West European Hedgehog
(Erinaceus europaeus) #61-559

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Physical characteristics and distribution

The West European Hedgehog is large, stout with short tail and ears. Its head back and side are covered with yellowish brown spines. Head and body length is 21-30 cm. Weight is .8-1 kg.

This animal is nocturnal and it feeds on insects and small invertebrates. It has acute hearing and smell but its eyesight is poor. For protection the hedgehog rolls into a spiny ball. It hibernates in cold climates in a nest among tree roots or under bushes.

West European Hedgehog breeds twice a year with litters of 4-5 young. Gestation is 34-49 days. Young are weaned at 4 weeks.

They are found in W Europe; Spain to Italy and Istrian Peninsula; north to Poland, Scandinavia and NW European Russia. Islands of Ireland, Britain, Corsica, Sardinia, Sicily, Azores, and many smaller islands. Introduced to New Zealand.

Description of the brain

Animal source and preparation
All specimens collected followed the same preparation and histological procedure.

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