Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



portable antitank, antipersonnel, and anti-landing obstacles. Antitank hedgehogs are made of reinforced concrete, section steel, or rails. Individual hedgehogs can be joined by steel beams and wire. Antipersonnel hedgehogs are made of three pickets, each sharpened at both ends, 1.5 m long, and attached at the ends and at half-way points by barbed wire. Antitank and antipersonnel hedgehogs, set in several ranks, are used to block roads and streets. Antilanding hedgehogs are set in the water at depths of 1.8–2.5 m at points of possible sea (lake) landings.



(Erinaceidae), a family of mammals of the order Insect!vora, containing 20 species in eight genera, divided into two subfamilies: the gymnure (Echinosoricinae) and the spiny hedgehog (Erinaceinae). The spiny hedgehogs have short tails, spines on the back, and a subcutaneous ring muscle that turns the body into a ball upon contraction. Hedgehogs are found in Europe, temperate latitudes of Asia, southern Asia (India), and Africa. There are three genera. Four species are known in the USSR: long-eared, Brandt’s, European, and Daur hedgehogs.

The long-eared hedgehog (Hemiechinus auritus) has long ears and soft white fur on the underside of its body. Length, 15–19 cm. It lives in southeastern part of the European USSR, the Caucasus, Kazakhstan, and Middle Asia.

Brandt’s hedgehog (Paraechinus hypomelas) has a spot on its vertex that has no needles. Length, 22–27 cm; tail, 23–27 mm. The needles reach 4 cm. This species is found in Central Asia.

The European hedgehog (Erinaceus europaeus) has small ears, and the underside of the body is brownish. Length, 20–25 cm; tail, 20–35 mm. It lives in the European USSR, except for the north, and in the Far East, usually in forests, gardens, thick underbrush, river floodplains, and steppes. It makes its nest under hedges, in pits, or in shallow burrows and hibernates in winter. The European hedgehog feeds primarily on insects but also eats small vertebrates (including snakes) and an insignificant amount of plant life. It is beneficial because it destroys harmful insects.

The Daur hedgehog (E. dauricus) is found in the Transbaikalia.


Ognev, S. I. Zveri Vostochnoi Evropy i Severnoi Azii, vol. 1. Moscow-Leningrad, 1928.
Bobrinskii, N. A., B. A. Kuznetsov, and A. P. Kuziakin. Opredelitel’ mlekopitaiushchikh SSSR, 2nd ed. Moscow, 1965.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in classic literature ?
"Very well, I am ready to drop the hedgehog, if you like; but I am anxious to be able to clear up this accumulation of misunderstandings.
A hedgehog charity has issued a plea for people to keep an eye out for hedgehogs in need for help.
We do certainly recognise we get a lot more calls of poorly hedgehogs needing help.
It left her needing surgery and she is now unable to walk, which has had a huge impact on her being able to care for the 25 hedgehogs, 11 of which are hoglets, in her care.
THE number of hedgehogs has plummeted in the UK in the last nine years, but one woman is doing everything she can to protect the prickly characters.
help the hedgehogs Last week was Hedgehog Awareness Week, organised by the British Hedgehog Preservation Society (BHPS).
Before you touch your compost heap, check for a nest first - injuries from garden forks are common for hedgehogs.
TFrogs, toads, ladybirds and hedgehogs are garden bouncers that protect plants from slug, caterpillar and aphid invasions, so helping these garden friends out during winter is a really worthwhile job.
The garden experts behind online retailer BillyOh.com have researched into the ways we can support British wild hedgehogs in our own gardens as breeding season draws to a close and the first young hoglets emerge this year.
The 53 year-old developed a passion for hedgehogs after finding one in her garden.