When do hedgehogs roll up into a ball?

Although hedgehogs like woodland scrub and cover, as their name suggests, they prefer well cropped or cut grassland to find the worms and insects which are their staple diet. Hedgehogs do not tunnel, but wrap themselves up in dense collections of leaves to form solid hibernation nests under cover, and hide breeding nests in similar places.

Hedgehogs roll themselves up into a ball with spines to protect themselves from most predators. The spines are erect when they roll up, and these form a sharp defence. Born with soft, white ones, dark spines soon grow between these. Fleas, ticks, and lice enjoy life among these spines.

Fact File:

The porcupine is another mammal that uses in spines for defence. Porcupines are heavyset, relatively short-legged rodents, essentially nocturnal and herbivorous in habit.


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