Are hedgehogs blind?
Yes, there is a time when hedgehogs are blind. This is the time at birth and about five weeks after. The time for the birth of a hedgehog is usually in August to mid-September. The gestation period from fertilization to birth lasts and five weeks. The mother then gives birth to between four and seven small hedgehogs. These are raised in principle alone by the mother.
At the age of about two weeks the eyes of the little hedgehog open and at 25 days they leave the nest for the first time. At the beginning, only small excursions are made together with the mother, because the young hedgehogs can not yet assess the dangers.
Hedgehogs see poorly
The hedgehog's eyes are round and black and resemble buttons. The eyes are located at the front of the head and are covered by the fur. Just like the ears, the hedgehog's eyes are relatively large compared to the rest of its body. Nevertheless, visual perception plays only a subordinate role in the hedgehog. Much more important for him are his other sense organs.
Thus, the hedgehog relies primarily on its hearing and sense of smell when searching for food. Visual perception plays virtually no role here. Because the hedgehog is mainly active at night, its sensory organs have adapted to these special requirements. Thus he can recognize colors as good as not at all.
It sees almost everything only blurred and hazy. You can imagine this as if you swim under water and open your eyes. You can see some things, but they are blurred and fuzzy. However, this is not so important at night, because as we know, at this time almost everything is gray or black anyway.
What if the hedgehog was blind?
If a hedgehog were completely blind, he would hardly have any disadvantage compared to his rather poorly seeing conspecifics. Thus, blind females can also raise offspring very successfully and effortlessly prepare the young hedgehogs for later life in nature. This has been found out by scientists who have carried out telemetric studies with hedgehogs in different situations.
Even if the hedgehogs with their poorly developed eyes see nothing, in the search for food they are true artists. So you can easily hear even in the ultrasonic range and smell a potential prey over several meters. So that this prey does not become aware of the hedgehog too quickly, he has developed a special tactic.
To do this, the hedgehog chews on things it finds. The chewing is done until a foamy saliva is produced. This saliva is then spat onto the side spines so that the hedgehog can The smell of it. Thus, the prey animals are not so quickly aware of him and he can catch them more easily.
So hedgehogs are not blind, but they see poorly and have adapted excellently to this situation.
Garden animal - A life with nature
Welcome to my animal blog! My name is Dirk and I am happy to take you on my journey through the fascinating world of animals and gardening.
Born 54 years ago, I have had an insatiable curiosity for the animal world around me since childhood. Although I have moved professionally in other industries, my true passion has always been animals and nature. It is remarkable how a small garden has become such an important part of my life.
Many of my fondest memories are associated with the animals that share our home. Whether it's the curious squirrels that scurry across the trees in the morning, the colorful variety of birds that visit our feeders, or the busy bees and butterflies that pollinate our flowers, every moment with them is invaluable to me.
This blog is my contribution to share my experiences, discoveries and insights with like-minded people. Here I will share stories of unforgettable encounters with animals, give tips on gardening and creating wildlife-friendly habitats, and take you on my journeys through nature.
Thank you so much for being here!
Dirk aka garden animal