Hey there dear readers, you join us this week late at night outside the gates of Granada Studios, the home of Coronation Street; on a look-out for hedgehogs! So far we’ve not seen any and all we’ve actually managed to do so far is get a few strange looks from the security guards. Anyway, let’s not let that get in the way of bringing you some information on those pint-sized prickly critters... and the greatest super heroic hedgehog of them all –Sonic! Ryan’s asking the questions, I’m answering them, so let’s get going!
WHO IS SONIC?
Sonic is the super-fast hedgehog superhero created by Naoto Oshima, Yuji Naka and Hirokazu Yasuhara. Sonic first appeared in the computer game Sonic the Hedgehog in 1991 and has since become a video games icon! On numerous occasions Sonic has helped his furry little friends escape the clutches of the evil Doctor Eggman (or Doctor Robotnik for all you old schoolers out there) and has become a champion of his fellow... erm... animal!
He’s known as the fastest hedgehog in the world and...
ERM HANG ON, HEDGEHOGS AREN’T USUALLY CALLED SONIC ARE THEY?
No. No they’re not. Sonic’s super speed is kind of what makes him a super hero and it’s believed that he is faster than the speed of sound! Generally speaking the average hedgehog is not quite as fast, although you might be surprised as to how fast they are.
RIGHT, SO TELL ME WHAT MAKES HEDGEHOGS SO SPECIAL?
Hedgehogs are small mammals from the sub family Erinaceinae and the order Erinaceomorpha. The name hedgehog derives from the fact that they tend to hang around hedges and their snouts are a bit pig-like. They live in Europe, Africa and Asia, but you’d be hard pressed to find them in Australia or North America and they feed off of insects, snails, roots and bird eggs (amongst other things). The average lifespan of a hedgehog is between four and seven years and they’re nocturnal creatures; preferring to come out at night! Their most notable feature is their rather prickly spikes and this is probably what you know them for above everything else.
AH YES, THE SPIKES. AM I CORRECT IN THINKING THE SPIKES ARE USED AS A WEAPON?
Well it would be pretty cool if they were, but sadly that’s not really the case. The spikes on a hedgehog cover a heck of a lot of their body and so this means that when a hedgehog feels threatened it can curl up into a ball, allowing it to resemble a living pincushion. This is a great defence mechanism... but it’s not a weapon. There is something else that they do with their spikes, which involves transferring a scent on to them, using their spit. It’s known as anointing, but it’s all a bit weird... so let’s move on.
SO HOW ALIKE ARE HEDGEHOGS AND SONIC?
Well surprisingly they’re quite similar...
WHAT?! SONIC RUNS FASTER THAN THE SPEED OF SOUND! REAL HEDGEHOGS CAN’T DO THAT!
True, but if you’d stop butting in I could explain.
Sonic may run faster than the Flash at an all you can eat buffet, but that doesn’t mean you should dismiss the speed of the average hedgehog! As briefly mentioned earlier, the sharp little tykes move quite quickly, perhaps quicker than you might think. Believing them to be slow is actually a popular misconception. This perhaps stems from the fact they seem to get squished every time they try to cross the road, but this isn’t due to their speed; this has more to do with them getting scared and curling into a ball instead of running away from the path of a 4x4. Hedgehogs can actually reach speeds of up to 4.5 miles an hour, which might not be as fast as Sonic, but isn’t bad going really.
As for other similarities... well Sonic wasn’t a big fan of being underwater and generally speaking, hedgehogs don’t do so well in water either. They can swim, however they get tired very quickly which usually means that they stop swimming and then drown!
HMMM... A WEAKNESS TO WATER COULD BE A PROBLEM FOR A HEDGEHOG WANTING TO BECOME A SUPERHERO; BUT WHAT ARE THE CHANCES?
Well Sonic proved that he’s very heroic, but as for your average hedgehog, the fact that they curl up into a ball when freaked out is probably not going to help them fight bad guys. I’m not being funny, but shutting one’s self off from the outside world is not the best way to deal with the situation at hand... and does not make for a good superhero! On the plus side though hedgehogs have a natural immunity to snake venom, so if they were protecting you from a pretty nasty snake who was trying to steal your wallet they’d be quite handy to have around.
Well that’s all from us this time around. Next week we’re all about mice! See you back here soon.