CLASSIFICATION OF ERINACEUS : HEDGEHOG
PHYLUM :- CHORDATA (Notochord, dorsal tubular nerve cord present and gill slits present)
Group :- CRANIATA (Definite head. Cranium with brain present)
Sub-phylum :- VERTEBRATA (vertebral column present)
Division :- GNATHOSTOMATA (Jaws and paired appendages present)
Super class :- TETRAPODA (Paired limbs, lungs, bony skeleton and cornified skin).
Class :-MAMMALIA (Body covered with hairs. females have mammary glands).
Sub-class :- THERIA (Viviparous).
Infra class :- EUTHERIA (Placental mammals, vagina single).
Order :- INSECTIVORA (Feed on insects).
Genus : Erinaceus
- Erinaceus is found in northern hemisphere West Indies, Africa and India.
HABIT AND HABITAT
- It inhabits holes and bushes during day and it comes out during night to feed. It is omnivorous, feeding on fruits, roots, insects, worms, slugs and other small animals. Hedgehog hibernates during winter. When alarmed or disturbed, it has the habit of rolling its body a spiny rounded ball.
GENERAL CHARACTERSTICS OF ERINACEUS : HEDGEHOG
- Commonly called as hedgehog.
- Animal characterized by the presence of sharp backwardly directed spines on dorsal side. while ventral side has soft fur. Body elevated above ground and divided into head, neck, back and abdomen.
- Head conical and produced into a small snout bearing nostrils at the tip.
- Mouth small bearing 36 sharp pointed teeth.
- Eyes small. Pinnae and legs short. No marsupial bone or pouch. Number of ribs 14-15.
- Hind limbs and forelimbs short.
- A muscle band is found over neck and sides to move spines, Vagina single, foetus develops within uterus of female, attached by a placenta.
These are probably the most primitive of the Eutherians. The brain represents low grade of organization. Cranial cavity is small. The stomach is simple. The allantoic placenta is discoidal and deciduate but there is a provisional yolk sac placenta. Many young born at a time. When disturbed hairs of dorsal surface become converted into spines and due t0 strong development of dermal muscles. The animal rolls into a spiny round ball.
Since this mammal has sharp backwardly directed spines and above hence is Erinaceus or Hedgehog.