Did You Know? … (Real) Hedgehog Facts
Hedgehogs Eat Adders!
This may sound surprising, but when adders and hedgehogs come into contact with each other, it’s the hedgehog that’s the hunter. Hedgehogs can often come across adders when they’re out looking for food. You’d imagine that the snake would definitely have the upper hand in this situation, but in fact, the hedgehog comes up trumps. But why? Well, the hedgehog’s spikes are longer than the snake’s fangs, so the adder simply can’t reach through the hedgehog’s spikes to poison it. The hedgehog doesn’t just protect itself but it actually goes on the attack, biting the snake until it’s got no fight, then breaks its neck and eats it!
Hedgehogs are Super-Fast Runners
As anyone who’s witnessed a running hedgehog can testify - they can certainly move! Hedgehogs’ legs are long in comparison to their bodies and these long legs mean that they can run as fast as we humans can walk, around 4-6 mph. Despite being such fast runners, when faced with danger, they curl up into a ball and freeze.
Hedgehogs are Gardeners Friends
The green fingered amongst us will know this one. Hedgehogs are friends to the keen gardener because they eat the pests that wreak havoc, such as slugs and snails. They’re handy to have around, not to mention really cute! If your garden is too perfectly tended though, you’re unlikely to attract hedgehogs, they prefer to inhabit messy areas of leaves, long grass or shrubbery. It’s a good idea to have a little untended area set aside for them. They’ll repay you by keeping the pests away.
Hedgehogs Are Named After Their Behaviour
Why is a hedgehog called a hedgehog? The answer is simpler than you might think. It is derived from where they forage - under hedges - and the sound they make as they look for food; a pig-like snort. Hence the name hedgehog!
Hedgehogs are A Dying Breed
Studies by the People’s Trust for Endangered Species and the British Trust for Ornithology show that hedgehog numbers are in sharp decline. The situation is so drastic that the hedgehog is now classed as one of the most endangered species in the country.