Friday, November 9, 2007



At birth :

At birth, the baby is pale pink with its spines still beneath the skin, looking like pimples. Its eyes are closed. Within hours the spines begin to appear through the skin. The first one are white. The baby appears to have a parting along the centre of its back, which gradually disappears as the animal grows.

One week :

After about a week, brown spines begin to appear among the white ones and gradually replace them.

Two weeks :

At two weeks the baby's eyes open and fur begins to grow, obscuring the flesh of its underbelly, which starts to darken from its original pink.

Three Weeks :

The babies are weaned from about three weeks onwards. Over the next four months, or so, the milk teeth are lost and adult teeth appear.

Four weeks :

At four weeks the babies are taken on foraging expeditions by their mother.

Five to Six Weeks :

At the age of five to six weeks, the babies begin to leave the nest and fend for themselves. By this time they are about ten times their birth weight and will continue feeding until winter.

Baby hedgehogs grow very quickly for the first month of their life. When they leave their nest, their growth slows as they have to feed themselves. Unlike most animals, the hedgehog does not stop growing once it reaches maturity, but will very slowly continue to get bigger throughout its life.

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