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Digging up the hedgehog


Two months ago, I wrote about when Dad brought a hedgehog home that he had found on the road and thought was a bit sick. We put in in a warm box and gave it food and water but it still died.

Although it was sad that it died, we decided to bury it in a wire cage and leave it to rot so I could keep the bones.

On Friday we went to check how it was doing. We were lucky we buried it in a place that was easy to remember because everywhere else was covered in bracken. We dug up the cage and found we could see the bones.

We took the cage home and tipped out everything onto a tray. All the flesh had gone but there were thousands of quills and they all looked liked bones too. So we had to sift through very carefully to find all the bones.

All together, we found 75 bones, and we found all the important ones.

Most of the hedgehog's teeth fell out when we cleaned it in peroxide, so it was tricky putting them back in the right place. Behind the front two top teeth were two smaller teeth which we thought were new teeth coming through, but I think they might be peg teeth like on rabbits.

This next picture shows something important. This is the humerus, one of the front leg bones. The coin is a one pence piece. The top of the humerus isn't joined on, meaning the bone was still growing and the hedgehog was young. I have seen this in young deer too. The bottom of the braincase was loose as well, and that happens in young deer roo.

This is the shoulderblade, and it looks different to other shoulderblades I have seen because it has an extra bit of bone that bends down over the joint.

It is sad that this hedgehog died, but it is cool looking at the bones. I have called this skeleton Oscar.

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Anonymous said...

That is brilliant, as a boy I had a collection of bird skulls. My favourite was a Gannet. but I never had the bottle to do a whole skeleton.
Hats off to you, young sir.
When are we going to see you on Springwatch?, you could give Chris Packham a run for his money.

All the best,

Tim in Norfolk.

Jake said...

Thank you, Mr Tim ! I haven't been on Springwatch but I have been on TV !

Castie said...

this helped me alot with burying my own hedgehog, Aya! thank you so much, i love your blog!

Castie from The Netherlands

Jake said...

Thanks, glad it helped !

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