The Hedgehog is a mammal and it can grow
to the size of six to nine inches long. The average lifespan
of hedgehog is ten years and it reaches sexual maturity
between the ages of 1 and 2. It's gestation period usually
lasts anywhere between 34 and 37 days. The hedgehog lives
in open country throughout Central Africa where it feeds
on a diet of mostly insects, crustaceans, eggs and carrion.
There are 11 species of hedgehog native to Africa, Asia,
and Europe, and they have been introduced to New Zealand.
Hedgehogs have a litter of one to seven babies which are
born with the spines just below the skin. Spines start to
appear within 24 hours of birth. The only natural predators
for hedgehogs are large owls and hawks with well protected
claws and feet. To protect it against these types of enemies
it has a very large muscle in it's stomach to help it roll
into a ball when attacked. It's spines are it's natural
defense much a like a porcupine.