Junger Braunbrustigel (Erinaceus europaeus) CC BY SA 3.0 Michael Gäbler (https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Braunbrustigel#/media/Datei:Erinaceus_europaeus_(Linnaeus,_1758)_crop.jpg)

European hedgehog


The most striking feature of the European hedgehog are the spines that cover the top of the head and the back. European hedgehogs have short limbs, with the hind limbs being slightly longer than the front limbs. Each foot ends in five toes, which are provided with claws. The second, third and fourth toes are approximately the same length, the first and fifth are smaller and also have smaller claws. The head of the European hedgehog has a long, mobile snout. The eyes are round and small, the ears are also small with a length of one cm and almost completely hidden in the fur.


European hedgehogs prefer a richly structured field with a varied vegetation of hedges, bushes, ground covers, pastures, field margins with old grass or shrub thickets, small woody plants with dead wood and ruderal areas. They can also be found at the edges of deciduous forests. They avoid coniferous forests, treeless and shrubless agricultural areas and excessively wet habitats such as bogs. Bushes and hedges, but also hollow tree trunks and rock crevices serve them as resting places. Sometimes they also occupy abandoned burrows of other mammals. Today, European hedgehogs are mainly found in meadow orchards, near-natural gardens, parks and cemeteries, as well as in green settlements on the outskirts of towns and villages. They have been able to compensate for the loss of their original habitat - namely a richly structured field landscape - at least in part by increasingly entering the human settlement area as synanthropic species.

The text is a translation of an excerpt from Wikipedia (https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Braunbrustigel). On wikipedia the text is available under a „Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike“ licence. Status: 22 July 2021