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A lovely hedgehog


A lovely hedgehog
Photo Information
Copyright: philippe hornus (amanengone) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 188 W: 54 N: 412] (2113)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2010-07-28
Categories: Mammals
Camera: Olympus E 30, ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 50 mm 1:2.0, Sandisk Ultra II 8GB
Exposure: f/2, 1/125 seconds
Details: (Fill) Flash: Yes
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2010-08-08 8:56
Viewed: 3643
Points: 6
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note [French]
he hedgehog

Erinaceus europaeus Linneae, 1758 is the biggest insectivore of Western Europe, with its 20 in 30 centimeters in length.

He belongs to the order of Erinaceomorpha - Gregory, 1910, recently officially recognized (in 2008 by the specialists of Mammal Species of the World).

It is a protected specie in most of the contries where he leaves.

The head becomes confused with a squat body. It contains a sharp snout, ended with a black gleaming truffle (an olfactory rhinarium allowing the hedgehog to meet in all the scents which surround him). It wears two small rounded ears. The tail is short and little differentiated besides by the body. Legs are short, and wear five fingers provided with sharp nails allowing the hedgehog to burrow in its ease, in search of its sustenance and of its lodging house. The whole body is covered with very stiff erectile hairs, constituting a sufficient protection against many sorts of aggressors. These spines are renewed all 12 in 18 months. They are of yellowish tint more or less darkened at their ends by a brown strip more or less darkened in some millimetre of their extremity. They are streaked in their biggest direction.

Area of distribution

The hedgehog can meet in numerous countries. Here, Erinaceus europaeus meets in Europe, where he can rise until high latitudes. He can also meet at raised heights (up to 2000 meters, and even more). It is a very ubiquitous recently officially recognized (in 2008 by the specialists of Mammal Species of the World).

It is a protected specie in most of the contries where he leaves.

The head becomes confused with a squat body. It contains a sharp snout, ended with a black gleaming truffle (an olfactory rhinarium allowing the hedgehog to meet in all the scents which surround him). It wears two small rounded ears. The tail is short and little differentiated besides by the body. Legs are short, and wear five fingers provided with sharp nails allowing the hedgehog to burrow in its ease, in search of its sustenance and of its lodging house. The whole body is covered with very stiff erectile hairs, constituting a sufficient protection against many sorts of aggressors. These spines are renewed all 12 in 18 months. They are of yellowish tint more or less darkened at their ends by a brown strip more or less darkened in some millimetre of their extremity. They are streaked in their biggest direction.

Area of distribution

The hedgehog can meet in numerous countries. Here, Erinaceus europaeus meets in Europe, where he can rise until high latitudes. He can also meet at raised heights (up to 2000 meters, and even more). It is a very ubiquitous animal: we meet him as well in plains as in hills and mountains. He frequents clearings, borders of wood, parks and gardens: this animal lives in any places offering him at the same time nourishment and lodging: some insects and a good heap of dead leaves in a bush will make king of places. Hedges, bushes, interlacings of roots on the base of trees, bushes, heap of wood and leaves are indifferently of use to him as refuge.

In Europe, we can meet two main species of hedgehog: Erinaceus europaeus and Erinaceus concolor. The distinction between both species is not easy to do and the confusions are frequent. The species Erinaceus concolor is characterized by the absence of a darkened mask around its eyes and its nose. It has a generally grey-brown hairs and present a zone of white hairs on the lap coat. The Erinaceus europaeus's jaw is proportionally less long than the Erinaceus concolor's one. Anyway the distinction between the both species is not very easy and the confusions are frequent.

Behavior

The hedgehog is mainly a night-animal; don't look for him during the day: he sleeps. The night he moves noisily in the heaps of leaves, in search of its preys. He can move in at a speed of few meters per minute when he is not worried. It is its main handicap there: in the slightest alert, he rolls about in ball and does not offer more than its spines all bristled to his enemy. He remains immovable in this posture, until his aggressor withdraws, what is most frequently the case. Regrettably, very fearless, he does not hesitate to venture on the road; in the rumours of cars, he puts itself in position of defence and, sadly, does not resist to the fury of those one,): the hedgehog pays one very heavy toll to the car traffic.

In the entrance(entry) of the winter, the hedgehog falls asleep and makes a length hibernated

Tales and Legends

One of the oldest stories which we tell on the hedgehogs is that they transport fruits on their spines. According to the legend, the hedgehogs transport fruits on their spines, to return them in their nest. The way they collect and carry apples is illustrated in a very convincing way related by numerous medieval books. Legend or reality? On the possibility of walking, the back covered with a booty of apples, as in the medieval images, it recovers downright from the realm of imagination.

The hedgehog in the trophic chain

By his diet, our friend is an excellent auxiliary(aid,assistant) of the gardeners beside of whom he is welcome. But, be careful! To want him to become accustomed, do not divert him from usual diet; in particular, never give him milk and restrict your contributions to the only periods of real scarcity. Or he will becomes to much dependant on you and loose his habits.

The photography

The photography was taken in the middle of the night, without additional lighting. The focal is 50 millimeters, proxi photograph. Device adjusted in automatic mode. The opening is of f/2 for a speed of 1/125 with an equivalent sensibility of iso-200. Post treatment with photomatix pro and neat embellish with images.

Sources

Un amour de hérisson
Mammals species of the World
Écologie et nature - Voir les pages sur les mammifères
Le monde des mammifères
Un document très complet sur les hérissons

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Critiques [Translate]

Bravo Philippe pour cette superbe photo nocturne. On dirait qu'elle a été prise en plein jour, tant les couleurs sont bien restituées. J'aime bien les détails de ses piquants. Pas évident, j'imagine, car il est très actif la nuit! Amitiés,
Catherine

bonjour Philippe
très belle portrait de cet adorable hérisson, excellente saturations des couleurs,
magnifiques détails, excellent contraste avec l'herbe verte
Passe une bonne nuit
Jacqueline

Hola philippe

Una preciosa composición de este pequeño animalito, que has sabido captar en su entorno.

Excelente imagen, con una perfecta nitidez y claridad, contrastes perfectos, felicidades.

Un saludo de Antonio

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