When do hedgehogs hibernate?

Hedgehogs in Britain do not usually hibernate before November, and the latest they hibernate is January. They stay in hibernation until the spring.

Here are some facts about hedgehog hibernation.

  • Only three British animals hibernate: the bat, the dormouse and the hedgehog. Snakes and lizards become inactive during the winter months, but they don’t truly hibernate.

  • Hedgehogs hibernate when their main source of food – insects – becomes more scare in the winter months.
  • During hibernation the hedgehogs metabolism drops very low. Its heartbeat drops from 190 beats per minute to 20 beats per minute, it breathes in and out once or twice every few minutes, and its body temperature drops dramatically. The hedgehogs fat reserves keep the hedgehog alive.
  • If the temperature drops below 1 degrees C, a hibernating hedgehog will suffer from frostbite, and may even freeze to death. Hopefully before this happens, the hedgehogs body starts to shiver and its heart rate increases, causing the hedgehog to wake form hibernation ans seek a warmer nest.
  • If hedgehogs to do not put on enough fat before they hibernate, they will not make it through the winter.
  • In the spring, when hedgehogs come out of hibernation they are a third lighter than they were and they are very thirsty.
  • Hedgehogs wake several times during their hibernation, but they won’t leave the nest (called a hibernaculum) unless it gets too cold and they must seek a warmer spot.
  • The nest is about 50cm wide.
  • Very ocassionally, male and female hedgehogs may share a hibernating nest.
  • Hedgehogs don’t always hibernate. If it’s a mild winter, and insect supplies are still sufficient to sustain the hedgehog, there is not need to go into hibernation.

What next? Discover more hedgehog facts.

Facts About Platypus

Here are some facts about platypus.

  • Platypus are small, semi-aquatic mammals that are native to parts of Australia. They are covered in thick, brown fur that is waterproof and works as an insulation layer to keep the animal warm.
  • Platypus have webbed feet and a rubbery snout. Its webbed feet aid help it to swimming and they move really quickly through the water.

  • The platypus has a diet that consists mainly of insects, larvae, small shellfish and worms. A platypus looses their teeth at a very young age leaving hard tips or pads. They use these hardened areas to mash their food before swallowing.
  • Platypus belong to a species group known as monotremes, and it is one of the only mammals that lays eggs instead of giving birth to live young.
  • Platypus feed their young through pores in the skin. They have mammary glands that secrete milk into grooves in the abdomen that allow the milk to pool making it possible for the young to lap it up.
  • The female platypus has two ovaries. However, only the left one is functional.
  • The eggs of a platypus are slightly rounder than a traditional bird egg. They are approximately 11 mm in diameter. Typically, the platypus will lay one to three eggs.
  • They actually produce a poisonous venom. The male platypus has a spur on its hind foot that allows them to inject this venom into an unlucky victim. This toxin is powerful enough to cause pain and can even cause the death of a small animal.
  • The platypus lives in freshwater. They construct their burrows along the water’s edge and can spend as many as 14 hours a day sleeping.
  • Unlike most mammals, the platypus does not rely on its sense of smell or sight to find its food. Instead, they use receptors that are located in rows along the snout These receptors allow them to locate their prey through electroreception.