The hedgehog is one of our most instantly recognisable native mammals, as it is the only British mammal to have spines (2). They are also characterised by their fairly short tails, long legs and small ears (6). Young hedgehogs are born with a coat of soft, white spines, which are underneath the skin to protect the mother during birth, but emerge after a few hours (7). A second coat of dark spines emerges after about 36 hours, and later on a third set develops. By 11 days of age the young hedgehogs can curl into a ball, and after 14 days the eyes open (8).
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