The long-eared hedgehog, scientific name Hemiechinus auritus is a species of hedgehog native to Central Asian nations and a few nations of the Middle East.
Long-Eared Hedgehog Profile
The long-eared hedgehog lives in burrows that it both makes or finds and is distinguished by its long ears. It is taken into account one of the many smallest Middle Eastern hedgehogs. This hedgehog is insectivorous however might also feed on small vertebrates and crops. In captivity, they’ll dwell for over 7 years.
Since the long-eared hedgehog is of course parasite inclined and may carry ailments as unhealthy as plague, it’s extremely really useful that, if saved as a pet, it ought to be bought from a revered supplier. Wild hedgehogs have been discovered to hold Rhipicephalus sanguineus, the brown dog tick, which might transmit Boutonneuse fever.
Long-Eared Hedgehog are present in arid deserts and steppes, and so they generally burrow beneath small bushes. They might also relax by day beneath rocks, rock heaps, or hollows.
The length of the top and body of Long-Eared Hedgehog is roughly 120-270mm, and the tail is 10-50mm long. The spines are banded with darkish brown and white, and the underparts of the hedgehog are whitish.
The ears are a lot bigger than these of different hedgehogs (longer than half the size of its head) and are thought of as growth for warmth radiation within the desert. Long-eared desert hedgehogs even have acute senses of listening to and odor, which they use to find meals and detect predators.
More particular to this species, Long-Eared Hedgehog is an insectivore that forages within the early night in search of bugs, myriapods, gastropods, batrachians (amphibians), small vertebrates, and crops.
It could even eat snakes or different vertebrates by curling as much as defend its underside because it eats the struggling prey. They want to dwell close to a water source.
However, if this isn’t accessible they rely upon their meal source for his or her water consumption The long-eared hedgehog is energetic all through a lot of the year and hibernates for shorter durations of time.
The longest reported hibernation is 40 days. This hibernation could come in the summertime or the winter. Also, this hedgehog will travel as much as 9 km throughout the night in quest of meals.
Long-Eared Hedgehog inhabits Egypt, Asia Minor, Afghanistan, elements of India, Russian Turkestan, southeastern Russia, Chinese Turkestan, and Mongolia.
Long-Eared Hedgehog Description
The size of the top and body of the long-eared hedgehog is roughly 120–270 mm, and the tail is 10–50 mm long. The skull is about 38–48 mm long. Unlike different species, the pterygoids of the skull don’t inflate and they don’t relay information to the tympanic membrane.
The ears of this hedgehog are 30–45 mm longer than the closest backbone. They are used for warmth radiation within the desert. Long-eared hedgehogs have great senses of listening to and an odor that they use to hunt out meals and detect predators.
The long-eared hedgehog’s spines are embedded in a novel muscle sheath that kinds a bag-like construction that acts as safety for the hedgehog. They can withdraw into this pouch and erect their spines out to fend off predators if need be.
The dorsal spines are white on the tip with darker banding under. They shouldn’t have darkish and light areas on their faces. Also, they don’t have a niche of spines on the back of their necks that’s frequent to different species of hedgehogs.
The long-eared hedgehog has a light-colored underside together with whitish hairs on the guidelines of their ears. The tops and heels of their feet are coated with hair however the soles are naked.
Long-Eared Hedgehog Food Habits
The long-eared desert hedgehog is omnivorous however feeds primarily on small invertebrates and bugs. Favorite meals embody grasshoppers, beetles, and different bugs.
They additionally devour eggs, fruit, greens, and even small vertebrates corresponding to lizards and snakes. They are remarkably proof against the shortage of meals and water; within the laboratory, they’ve survived as long as ten weeks without meals and water.
Long-Eared Hedgehog Diet
The long-eared hedgehog is an insectivore; 70% of its diet consists of bugs, with some worms and a tiny quantity of slugs and snails. The concept that these animals eat solely slugs and snails is a delusion; this sort of meal makes up solely about 5% of their natural diet.
The breakdown of a wild hedgehog’s diet is as follows: 30% beetles, 25% caterpillars, 11% earthworms, 10% bird eggs, 5% mammal meat, 5% slugs and snails, 3% millipedes, 3% earwigs, 2% bees, 1% bird meat and 5% that has been undefined by researchers. This diet breakdown is just not particular to Long-Eared Hedgehog however a generalization about most hedgehog species.
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The long-eared hedgehog is smaller than the West European hedgehog; it weighs between 250–400 grams and is far sooner. It is much less more likely to curl up in a ball when approached by predators and can fairly attempt to outrun or leap at predators with their comparatively quick needles.
The long-eared hedgehog is hunted by the Eurasian eagle-owl and makes up about 14% of the predatory birds’ diet. It has been reported as prey for the Pharaoh eagle-owl within the Azraq Nature Reserve in Jordan. The Long-eared hedgehog is a bunch of the Acanthocephalan intestinal parasite Moniliformis cryptosaudi.
Long-Eared Hedgehog Behavior
Although Long-Eared Hedgehog possesses sharp spines on its back that defend it from predators, it is usually capable of running very quickly. Long-eared hedgehogs dig their very own burrows (often beneath bushes), that are roughly 45 cm long and have a single opening.
They have additionally been noticed to make use of the burrows of different small mammals. Hedgehogs are solitary and sleep rolled up individually of their burrows, besides throughout the breeding season when females hold offspring with them.
Long-eared hedgehogs are nocturnal, and so they could wander as much as 9 km a night in quest of meals. They typically enter durations of torpor in the summertime and in some areas they hibernate within the winter.
The presence of the spines on hedgehogs has typically led people to marvel at how mating is completed. In Long-Eared Hedgehog, the male copulates by standing nearly vertically on his hind legs whereas the feminine lays on her ventrum with hind legs prolonged on the ground.
Long-Eared Hedgehog Distribution and habitat
Long-Eared Hedgehog has a range that extends from the eastern Mediterranean area, via the arid and steppe areas of Asia to western Pakistan within the south; and from eastern Ukraine via Mongolia (Gobi desert), to China (Xinjiang).
This species is native to the next nations: Afghanistan, China, Cyprus, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Libya, Mongolia, Pakistan, Russia, Syria, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan.
The long-eared hedgehog prefers to remain in intermediate climates, avoiding the new desert and the northern colder mountain areas. They additionally want areas with an average rainfall of 100–400 mm.
The long-eared hedgehog inhabits a number of various kinds of dry steppes, semi-deserts, and deserts. It prefers dry river valleys, gullies, forest shelter belts, deserted irrigation ditches, and shrubby areas, and sometimes settles in oases and round human settlements (generally in cultivated habitats).
They dwell in burrows that they dig beneath bushed with a size of 45 cm long with just one opening. They might also inhabit deserted burrows of different small mammals. They are nocturnal solitary hedgehogs. During the day they’re discovered resting beneath rocks, hollows, or rock piles.
Long-Eared Hedgehog Reproduction
The long-eared hedgehog solely breeds as soon as a year in the summertime months of July via September. The presence of spines doesn’t inhibit this species means to breed. The long-eared hedgehog’s gestation interval is 35–42 days.
The feminine has 8–10 nipples and sometimes has 2–3 infants. After only one week the infants start consuming stable meals. They are born with only a few spines and within 5 hours after delivery, the spines have doubled in size. After two weeks the infants are totally coated with their new spines.
Hemiechinus auritus breeds solely as soon as a year, usually between July and September, and females have between 1-4 offspring per litter. Gestation is 35-42 days; the younger’s eyes open after one week, and child hedgehogs eat stable meals after three weeks.
Baby hedgehogs are born bare apart from sparsely scattered spines, that are very gentle. The spines quadruple in size inside 5 hours after delivery and after 2 weeks, the infants are totally coated with them.
Very little is understood about their life cycle (corresponding to weaning, age at sexual maturity, or life span within the wild).
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