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Covered in needle-sharp bristles, hedgehogs are not to be tangled with.
Born blind and deaf, a hedgehog's spines begin to emerge before its senses develop. The bristles are structured in a way that will not harm the hedgehog or the mother. These pointy bristles are stiff, hollow hairs which thicken into a ball shape under the hedgehog's skin. A hedgehog's primary defense against a predator is to raise its spines -- which are controlled by tiny individual muscles -- and then to curl up into a ball with its spines pointing in every direction. This leaves a hole smaller than the size of a fingertip for the predator to deal with. Hedgehogs are generally eight inches long and live to be a few years old. Known as omnivores, these mammals love to eat insects, amphibians, bird eggs, fungi, melons, berries, and snakes. Hedgehogs can eat snakes thanks to their immunity to snake venom, the result of an extra protein found in their body.
Fun Facts: An average adult hedgehog carries about five thousand, inch-long spines.