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Hedgehog Facts: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Mary Grace Miller

Mary Grace has taught first grade for 8 years and has a Bachelor's degree in Elementary Education and is licensed in ESL.

Hedgehogs look like really tiny porcupines. Unless you live in Europe or Asia, you won't find one in your backyard. What are these animals? Keep reading to learn more about hedgehogs.

What Are Hedgehogs?

It's just another day in the life of Henry the hedgehog. Let's join him to learn about what his life is like.

Henry and all his hedgehog friends are mammals. A mammal is an animal that is warm-blooded, has fur or hair, and gives birth to live babies. Henry has tan fur and has sharp spikes all over his body.

Some of his friends are black. Henry's body is only about 5 inches long, about half a foot, but some of his friends can grow as long as one foot long. Their tails can make them another 1 or 2 inches longer.

Hedgehogs are very small!
hedgehog

Where Do Hedgehogs Live?

Henry and his friends live all over Europe and Asia. Hedgehogs usually live in grasslands, and they sleep in burrows or nests that they build under bushes. Hedgehogs that live in cold climates hibernate, meaning that they sleep through the whole winter. This keeps the hedgehog warm and safe.

What Do Hedgehogs Eat?

Hedgehogs are carnivores, which means they eat only meat. Hedgehogs mostly eat insects, but they also like to eat mice, snails, lizards, frogs, and snakes. Can you imagine tiny Henry eating a snake?

Hedgehogs find lots of food before they hibernate.
hedgehog

Henry uses his short legs to dig for food at night and he uses his strong sense of smell to sniff out his food. Henry and most other kinds of hedgehogs are nocturnal, which means they sleep during the day and are active at night.

How Do Hedgehogs Grow?

Henry was born in a litter, or a group, of seven of his hedgehog brothers and sisters, which is usually the most a female hedgehog will have at one time. When he was born, Henry's spikes were soft and short, but as he grew, they got sharper and pointier.

A group of hedgehogs is called a prickle.
hedgehog

Henry stayed in the nest with his mother until he was about 3 weeks old and then went out on his own. Henry can live as long as 5 years in the wild.

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