The Hedgehog: Appearance and Behavior
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Basics on the topic The Hedgehog: Appearance and Behavior
Come and learn as Newton observes the appearance and behavior of a hedgehog.
Transcript The Hedgehog: Appearance and Behavior
Today, Newton is looking to observe a hedgehog. OH, there's one already! Let's take a closer look at the hedgehog, and learn about its "appearance and behavior". Newton takes a good look at the hedgehog from head to toe. On its head, the hedgehog has small eyes, and tiny ears. At the front of its head, there is a pointy snout with a mouth and nose. The hedgehog has many pointed teeth in its mouth because it is a carnivore, or meat eater. A hedgehog's fur grows all the way from the top of its head to the tip of its tail. The fur on the back of the hedgehog is very thick and pointy. Do you know what we call these hairs? They are known as spines and are made of keratin, just like your fingernails! A young hedgehog has about one hundred spines, while an adult one has six to eight thousand! That's quite a lot! Hedgehogs have four legs and a tiny, well-hidden tail. They can grow to be five to twelve inches in length. You can pause the video for a moment to find a ruler and see how long that is! When there is danger, the hedgehog will curl up into a ball, which points all of its prickly spines outward. Each spine stands up individually, just like the hair on your arm when you have goosebumps! Now, anyone who dares to touch it will be pricked! Did you know that a baby hedgehog is called a piglet? Hedgehogs are mammals, which means the baby piglet gets milk from its mother. Hedgehogs have several babies at once, this is called a litter. There can be two to ten piglets in a hedgehog litter. As soon as the little hedgehogs are old enough, they feast on food and water for the winter, because they hibernate. If a young hedgehog weighs less than a pound in the fall, it cannot survive the winter. One pound is about the same as a can of soup. If hedgehogs survive the winter, they can live up to seven years in nature. Are you curious what Newton wrote in zirs notebook today? The hedgehog is a carnivore, which means it eats other small animals, and explains the pointed teeth in its mouth. It has a small tail, which is hidden beneath its fur. The hedgehog's back is covered in thick, pointy hairs called spines. In case of danger, the hedgehog curls up into a ball. A hedgehog litter can have as many as ten piglets, who can live up to seven years. To survive winter hibernation, they feast on food and water in the fall and look for shelter as it gets colder. Newton is flying back home now, because ze is already quite tired from all this observation!
The Hedgehog: Appearance and Behavior exercise
What are the body parts located on a hedgehog's head?Hints
At the front of the hedgehog's head, there is a pointy snout with a mouth and nose.Solution
These are the body parts located on a hedgehog's head.
Why does a hedgehog have many pointed teeth in its mouth?Hints
These pointed teeth in the hedgehog's mouth are designed for a specific type of diet.
Carnivores are animals that eat meat. Think of them as meat-eaters, like lions and tigers.
Herbivores are animals that eat plants. Picture them as plant-eaters, like cows and rabbits.
Omnivores are animals that eat both plants and meat. They enjoy a mix of foods, like bears and humans.Solution
A hedgehog has many pointed teeth in its mouth because it is a carnivore, which means it eats other small animals.
What are hedgehogs covered with and how do they use them?Hints
These protective coverings on the hedgehog's back serve a similar function to the spiky hairs on a porcupine's body.
They're made of a material also found in your nails, feathers, and horns.
What substance is that?
When threatened, the hedgehog's defence mechanism involves creating a round, spiky shape that points these special features outward.Solution
The thick and pointy hairs on the back of a hedgehog are called spines, and they are made of keratin, similar to fingernails.
When there is danger, the hedgehog will curl up into a ball, which points all of its prickly spines outward to protect itself.
What is hibernation?Hints
Hibernation is like taking a super-long nap to stay safe and warm until the weather gets better in the spring.
Hibernation is a way for animals to survive the winter when there's not enough food, and the temperatures are too cold for them to be active.Solution
Hibernation is when some animals, like bears and hedgehogs, sleep for a very long time during the cold winter months.
During this time, the animal's body slows down a lot, and it doesn't eat or move around much.
This helps the animal conserve energy because it's too cold outside to find food.
Imagine you found a hedgehog in your garden during a cold winter. What should you do to help it survive?Hints
Think about what hedgehogs do during the winter to survive the cold.
Providing food, water, and a safe place can help a hedgehog prepare for its winter rest.
There are 2 correct answers.Solution
To help the hedgehog survive during a cold winter, you can provide it with food and water as it prepares for hibernation. You should also make sure it has a safe and warm shelter to protect it from the cold weather.
Fill in the blanks to complete the paragraph.Hints
Just like humans, who are mammals, the baby piglets get milk from their mothers.
Look for an option that is a number when completing the range of piglets in a litter.Solution
Hedgehogs are mammals, which means the baby piglet gets milk from its mother. Hedgehogs have several babies at once, this is called a litter.
If a hedgehog litter contains six piglets, having ten piglets in a litter would be considered at the higher end of the typical range.