Depending on the species, the gestation period is 35–58 days. The average litter is 3–4 newborns for larger species and 5–6 for smaller ones. As with many animals, it is not unusual for an adult male hedgehog to kill newborn males.
Hedgehogs have a relatively long lifespan for their size. Larger species of hedgehogs live 4–7 years in the wild (some have been recorded up to 16 years), and smaller species live 2–4 years (4–7 in captivity), compared to a mouse at 2 years and a large rat at 3–5 years. Lack of predators and controlled diet contribute to a longer lifespan in captivity (8–10 years depending on size). Hedgehogs are born blind with a protective membrane covering their quills, which dries and shrinks over the next several hours. The quills emerge through the skin after they have been cleaned, or it falls off. Photo: unknown
My first wild red squirrel.. this stunning little chap was very accommodating and came round a few times. The biggest challenge was the speed they move and keeping the focus tracked on them. So nice to see them thriving on Brownsea