Essay by EssaySwap ContributorHigh School, 11th grade February 2008

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The word hedgehog is from the Old English language. The word hedgehog is used for several different spiny animals. The hedgehog is a small mammal. The hedgehog is from the Erinaceidae class. The hedgehog is a small animal, which almost looks like a porcupine and is about 9 inches long; it has short ears, and short legs, a short tail, and a long nose. It has stiff, needle-like spines that cover its back and these spines also protect it from its enemies. When the hedgehog is threatened, it rolls itself into a ball by using its powerful muscles that go rise from its head and neck on each side and loop around its body. These spines then protect the hedgehog from all directions. The European hedgehog will hibernate during the winter, but will not for long and it will rise from its nest of dry leaves to hunt for food.

The hedgehog will eat insects, snails, mice, birds, frogs, lizards, and snakes. It will only stay in its territory to hunt and will only go out at night to hunt. The hedgehog is nocturnal so he will sleep the whole day and may sleep for weeks at a time. The female will give birth to as many as 7 baby hedgehogs a year. The hedgehog lives in a grass-lined nest hidden by rocks, hedges, or underbrush. These places that the hedgehog can be found are in the rural areas of Europe, Asia, and Africa. Mostly the only reason a human will keep a hedgehog in his house is to keep out and get rid of insects and other house pests that will crawl around the house. Also, the hedgehog is a very easily tamed animal. The hedgehog is usually a brownish color or a yellowish color. The hedgehog is also related to the moles. The tail on the hedgehog is about 2 inches long. It can weigh up to as much as 2.25 pounds. The spines on this animal cover every body part except for the face, legs, and underparts.