Tuesday, December 25, 2012
North African Hedgehogs are indigenous to the northernmost rim of Africa, and apparently are plentiful in the right areas. When threatened, they instantly roll into a perfect ball, and all one sees is an orbicular spiny mass. When wrapped up tight, the hedgehog resembles a spiky baseball. In this shot, the animal just poked his face out, to see what's going on.
Many predators would no doubt enjoy noshing on a tasty little hedgehog, hence the evolution of the spiny exterior and the ability to instantly transform into a largely impenetrable jumble of stiff spinyness. Those spines really aren't that stiff to the touch, though - certainly nothing like a porcupine's quills. To up their odds of predator avoidance, wild hedgehogs typically do their foraging at night.
ZZ Top's guitarist, Billy Gibbons, got the inspiration for that goofy cap. Hey, peace brother, any PR is good PR, as they say.