5 Fair Reasons to Get a Hedgehog Pet

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Hedgehogs are adorable creatures and no one can deny that. But what’s so special about them? Here you can find 5 fair reasons to get a hedgehog pet.

It appears that more and more people are looking for pet hedgehogs to adopt. I’m not sure whether to recommend such a deed, but anyway, this article is supposed to help you make up your mind. So let’s enter the hedgehog void…

Who they are

The hedgehog got its name as a consequence of its peculiar foraging habits. They root through hedges and other undergrowth in search of their favourite food. As it moves through the hedges it emits pig-like grunts. Thus the name – hedgehog. His favorite food consists of small creatures such as beetles, caterpillars, insects, worms, centipedes, snails, mice, frogs, and snakes. They possess a resistance to snake venom that allows them to find worms and snakes a delicacy.

What they do

They sleep all day long. Just like cats, or bats, they are nocturnal, coming out at night and spending the day sleeping in a nest under bushes or thick shrubs. How convenient!

Nevertheless, they are commonly referred to as ‘the gardeners friend’ due to the high number of insects and other garden pests it eats. In other words, encouraging a hedgehog into your garden has incredible advantages for both you and your prickly visitor. It is not uncommon for an adult hedgehog to eat almost half its own body weight every day. So no more pests for you!

What about its quills?

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A hedgehog that is calm and in a good mood will lay back it’s quills making their surface very smooth, and even a hedgehog that is being watchful is no worse than petting a hard hairbrush. But extra care has to be taken during these times when they feel threatened by various reasons and ball up.

Hedgehogs are actually born with their spines under the surface of a protective skin that shields the mother while giving birth. Within the first 24 hours the quills, which are modified hollow hairs, break through this protective skin and provide a limited defense for the tiny mammals. Quilling (it normally starts around the eighth week up to as late as six months) refers to the time when a young hedgehog starts to shed their baby quills and replace them with their adult quills.

They have about 5000 spines.  Each one lasts about a year and then drops out for a replacement to grow. For an indoor hedgehog this is a more delicate situation, as is not much comfort if you find one of them on your carpet with a bare foot.

 How about getting your own?

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  1. Well, they are easy to care for, that’s for sure. You don’t need to brush them, or wash them, maybe just get them an occasional nail trim. And keep their living space clean.
  2. Don’t expect them to purr or shake their non-existent tail once they see you. They get used to playing schedules and appear to greet you once you’ve kept your word. Their being relaxed in your presence is the most important affection sign you’ll ever get.
  3. They have different personalities. If you have children, consider choosing a less daunted one, in order to avoid its balling up every time it hears the little toddlers scream.
  4. They also have a strange habit when stimulated by a strong smell or taste to self-anoint – this means they cover their prickles in foamy saliva.  It is uncertain why it does this. However this should be an interesting thing to watch.
  5. There are 15 known species of hedgehog. European hedgehogs hibernate throughout winter. Moreover it is important to remember that hedgehogs have partial protection under the Wildlife and Countryside Act and cannot be trapped without permission.

6+1 Reasons to Own a Cat

Here are my 6+1 reasons to own a cat. Getting a pet is a controversial subject for many young adults nowadays, especially if their living conditions are far from being stable. Animals are indeed very giving, loving and non-judgemental creatures. However, they require some of our time and attention, not to mention a somewhat cheap, yet constant part of our income. I am a dog person, and I’ll remain one for as long as I live.  But circumstances beyond my control forced me to end up taking care of a cat. Life is ironic, indeed! Here are the things it taught me while being my constant silent neighbour.

1.     Cats are silent, yet wise confidents

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Cats seem to know all the answers, even though they are lousy at sharing their knowledge with their owners. But despite dogs, who are all over you all the time, a cat is a silent and mature listener. It can always feel your anxieties, have no doubt about that, but just like humans, they have different and personal ways of reacting to them. Don’t take it personally if they go to the other room whenever you are sad or angry, it’s just their way of letting you know you definitely need some time alone to cool down and realise you are miserable out of useless reasons. Or they just might feel endangered by your hysterical mood. Keep calm and confide in the cat.

2.     Cats love plants

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 No one is more aware of your house and garden plants more than your cat is. Because they are so skilful jumpers, the only way to keep your cat away from your plants is to lock the cat up rather than the plants.  Nevertheless if your cat is one of the passive plant destroyers, consider yourself lucky. They just love to blend in with any kind of flowers and eat most of their leaves. As a young adult however, one has less time to think about taking care of houseplants. That’s why your cat is always there to remind you of their existence, of their needing to be cut, watered, or cleaned. It would do all these things for you if it could. Unfortunately their claws are not always the best gardening tool.

3.     Cats are the best bug spray on the market 

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There’s no such thing as a house without strange, tiny and sometimes disgusting predators. Ignoring the fact that mice might belong to this category in anyone’s case, I’d like to underline the fact that cats excel in other catching domains as well. Hopefully since you don’t have mice to worry about in your home, I’m pleased to inform you that a cat is capable of catching any other flying or crawling visitor. Their patience and velocity are extra-terrestrial. Not to mention the fact that a fly is better than any toy you can find at the pet shop. So leave your windows open from time to time; such a victory would boost your cat’s self-esteem and offer you a priceless performance.

4.     Cats are the best therapists

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In The Cat Behavior Answer Book (Storey Publishing, 2007), author Arden Moore talks about the power of purring. Apparently cats create purr vibrations within a range known to be medically therapeutic (25-150 Hz). This frequency is therapeutic for things such as: boosting self-esteem, bone growth and healing, pain relief, swelling reduction, wound healing, muscle growth and repair, tendon repair, joint mobility and dyspnea (shortness of breath) relief. You can read more on purring here.

5.     Cats absorb and clean bad energies from your home

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Cats are very sensitive to their environment. And they perceive more about it than we do. It is said that they can sense and distinguish between positive and negative energies, also known as Yin and Yang in Chinese tradition. Yin is the receptive, feminine, cooler, negative energy and Yang is the positive, hot, projective energy. So when a cat goes to a certain regular spot to sleep in your house, they are actually absorbing the negative energy from that spot. You can read more on this subject here.

6.     Cats are the best “say no to addiction” tools

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Cats are strangely drawn to our laptops or computers. Whenever this heating machine with buttons takes more of your attention than it considers necessary, any sane cat will just brutally step on you, head towards your device and start resting on the keyboard, thus making sure to hit the exact button that makes all your 6-hour work vanish into thin air. The good thing about this typical cat deed is the fact that you’ll never get hooked on Facebook or Twitter more than necessary. A cat is a “say no to addiction” tool, as it can unconditionally warn you about any bad habit you may have, even if this involves eating too much (it will start bugging you right away, and trust me, not out of sheer curiosity), smoking too much (a wise cat will always decide to rest in your lap looking for affection at the exact moment when you have your lighter in one hand and the cigarette in the other), and last but not least, it bears down any cleaning obsessions you may have, no matter if this passion of yours involves the broom, the mop or a plain dusting around the house. On the other hand, when it comes to the vacuum cleaner, it instantly vanishes, reminding you of the times before the two of you became faithful neighbours.

6+1. To be considered by the ones who are not so fond of their couch

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A cat will teach you how to let go. Let go of the things you worked so hard to buy, more expensive things such as couches or carpets. Not all of them are unstoppable destroyers, but all of them seem to have reluctance towards all the nail sharpening tools you may get them from pet shops. A couch will always be the best option. Instead of losing your mind, allow your cat to teach you more about what matters in life, about the importance of cuddling, catching flies, mice or birds. It has to edge its nails somewhere!

 

In a nutshell, get a cat as soon as possible. Ignore the fact that it will always consider you its slave and enjoy this fruitful experience that will always bring laughter on your face in times of need.

Top 5 Most Fascinating Color Mutations in Animals

Lions are brown, and Pandas are black and white. Tigers are orange with black stripes. Elephants are gray. That’s how we picture these animals. Very rarely do we have the opportunity to see a while lion, or brown & white panda, but when we do, we are in awe. Such specimens are extremely rare. Color mutations are unusual in the animal kingdom, and they can completely alter the appearance of an animal (sometimes, specimens go on to form a whole new subspecies). Let’s take a look at the most fascinating color mutations in animals.

Recommended Read: 10 Weird & Cute Animals we Love

1. Melanistic Zebras

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Zebras are horse-like creatures with black and white stripes. On extremely rare occasions, zebras with melanism are born. Sadly, such specimens do not last very long in the wild. Melanistic  Zebras have an unusually black back, due to pronounced black stripes. This means that melanistic zebras are significantly darker than their relatives. Then again, every zebra is different (there are no zebras with the same stripes).

2. Gold-Striped Zebra

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Since we are on the subject of zebras, let’s take a look at another fascinating specimen: the gold-striped zebra. While too much melanin makes zebras look like black lumps, too little melanin will turn the black stripes into golden ones. The most popular gold-striped zebra is Zoe, The Hawaiian Zebra (her stripes are bright orange). Besides her golden stripes, she also has white eyelashes and blue eyes. She suffers from the loss of tyrosinase.

3. White Elephants 

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Although they are called “white elephants”, elephants suffering from albinism aren’t actually white. Their color is more like a pink or reddish-brown. Despite the fact that albinism is a rare mutation, it is more common with Asian and African Elephants. Inhabitants of Burma (also known as Myanmar) & Thailand consider that white elephants are sacred, and should not be exploited for labor. They also believed that seeing a white elephant means that the ruler of the country reigns with justice, and is blessed.

Another interesting thing about white elephants, is the origin of the name. the idiom refers to things with little real value despite their supposed one. According to a story, the kings of Siam would give white elephants to the subjects they wanted to punish (because the elephant couldn’t be used for labor, it was useless).

4. Albino Eastern Gray Kangaroo

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The Eastern Gray Kangaroo is unimaginably white. It looks exactly like a snowflake with red ears and a pink nose. Eastern gray kangaroos (Macropus giganteus) are the largest species of kangaroo (they can reach 210 cm in height). They can also leap more than 8 meters in one jump, and run at 56 km/hour.

Albino kangaroos are extremely rare in the wild. In spite of this fact, one was spotted in the wild by Rohan Thomson, from The Canberra Times, in November, last year. Like most albino animals, white kangaroos also have extremely slim chances of surviving in the wild (they are also susceptible to skin cancer and have bad hearing).

5. White Deer

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The Seneca white deer have fascinated scientists for many years. In 2000, an army depot in Seneca county closed. During this time several white-coated deer got trapped within the walls. At the moment they represent the largest population of mutant creatures inhabiting a single area.

While they do not form a distinct species, the White deer of Seneca represent a subspecies of the brown-coated white tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus). These animals are leucistic (which means that they have no pigment in the hair, but their eyes are brown). A more extreme mutation (albinism) would leave the deer’s eyes pink.

These are the most fascinating color mutations in animals that we have found. Obviously, almost every species of animals has a case of albinism or melatonism. You can check out more albino animals here.

10 Weird Cute Animals We Love

We like weird stuff and we adore animals here at This Blog Rules – by the way, did you even know these animals exist? Brush up on your zoology knowledge, then come back to be entertained, baffled, and amused by the ten cute guys and gals on our list of weird cute animals. There are birds, rodents, foxes, and even a wolf in the gallery below. Check them out and let us know who your favorite is, in the comment section!

10. Pileated Gibbons

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This animal species is native to Thailand, more specifically, Cambodia and Laos. At the moment, there are approximately 32.000 individuals left in the wild. This means that the Union for Conservation of Nature has declared them endangered. Like most gibbons, these cute little fellows are arboreal, and live in monogamous pairs.

9. The Tufted Deer

This deer gets its name from the noticeable tuft of hair on its forehead. Also, the males have fangs! It lives in central China and in the north-east of Myanmar. At the moment it’s being overhunted and it’s losing its habitat.

8. The Patagonian Mara

In terms of weird cute animals, it doesn’t get that much better than the Patagonian Mara, a relatively large rodent, part of the mara family. They also call it Patagonian cavy, Patagonian hare, or dillaby. It kind of looks like a rabbit and it lives in Argentina, including, of cours Patagonia. An interesting thing about this species is that it’s monogamous.

7. The Irrawaddy Dolphin

You can find this item on our list of weird cute animals in the Bay of Bengal, as well as in other parts of Southeast Asia. It swims rather slowly, i.e. at around 20 to 25 km per hour, but can speed up when chased by a boat. Another interesting thing about it is that it competes with other species, as observed in experiments involving the Orcaella and the humpback dolphin.

6. The Mexican Axolotls

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This animal is also known as the Peter Pan of animals. Just look at it, how can this not be considered cute? This type of salamander looks like it is always smiling. It can be found in Mexico’s Lake Xochimilco, and it spends most of its time underwater. Its unusual appearance comes from its ability to regenerate body parts.

5. Amur Leopards

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Leopards are universally considered cute, but the Amur leopard is undoubtedly the most beautiful leopard on the planet. Sadly, this animal, native to southeastern Russia is on the brink of extinction. Only 19 to 26 specimens are left in the wild. The Amur leopard is also known under the name of Manchurian, Far East or Korean leopard.

4. Sand Cats

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Are you familiar with the smallest wild cats on the planet? The sand-cats have the size of domestic cats and they can be found in northern Africa and central Asia. They enjoy arid locations, but their habitats are being threatened. Although this animal species is endangered, four sand cat kittens have just been born in the Zoological Center of Tel Aviv.

3. The Superb Bird of Paradise

With a name like this and such lavish colors, how could we not have included the superb bird of paradise on our list? It lives in the rainforests of New Guinea, it’s relatively small (only 26 cm), and, interestingly enough, there’s a pretty low count of females in the species.

2. The Gobi Jerboa

This rodent lives in China and Mongolia, in the temperate deserts and grasslands of the area. It was discovered in 1925. It’s considered the most desert loving of all Jerboas, but it’s extremely rare. For the moment, only 163 sightings of the Gobi jerboa have been made (in contemporary times). However, the actual number of specimens remains unknown.

1. The Fennec Fox

We couldn’t have topped off our list of weird cute animals with anyone else but the absolutely adorable fennec fox (known simply as the fennec). It’s a nocturnal animal, very small, but with those hilariously huge ears, which they use to fan off the heat. Makes sense, when you consider the fact that it lives in Sahara and northern Africa.

What Animals and Other Things Might Become Extinct in the Near Future

The world changes all the time; sometimes this is for the better and sometimes it’s for the worse. Apart from the animals that are currently listed as critically endangered species, plenty of other things that could disappear from our lives soon. What animals and other things might become extinct in the near future? How would the world look without the following things?

Landline Phones

What Animals and Other Things Might Become Extinct in the Near Future

Do you remember the days when every home had a landline phone? Some of them were even hung up on walls. If you were outside and needed to make a call, you could look for a phone booth. The way in which cell phones have become so commonplace in the world means seeing landline phones is becoming a rare event. They will slowly get phased out even more over the coming years.

Redheads

Animals and Other Things That Might Become Extinct

You don’t tend to think of people as being on the list of things that might become extinct, do you? As a red haired person myself, I worry when I see reports of our imminent demise. Will a giant meteor kill us all off? Perhaps we will fall foul of a deadly disease that attacks our freckles? Part of the answer lies in the fact that recessive genes will make red hair disappear. That theory appears to have been debunked but now there is a new one. We have red hair to help us improve Vitamin D production without much sun exposure. It is now claimed that global warming will kill off the need for redheads all over the world. Why can’t mother nature just leave us alone?

The Cross River Gorilla

Animals and Other Things That Might Become Extinct

I’ve been trying to put off the critically endangered animals list for as long as I can. It really depresses me to think about these things. Look at the beautiful creature in the picture. He might not be a redhead, but he’s still cool. Sadly, it is believed that less than 300 Cross River Gorillas are still around. They live around the border between Nigeria and Cameroon. Hunters and land development mean that they probably won’t be around for too much longer.

Hand Written Postcards and Letters

Animals and Other Things That Might Become Extinct

Ok, onto cheerier stuff for a minute. When was the last time you sent a hand written postcard or letter? Unless I’m very much mistaken it was sometime around “never.” The rise of email, text messages, Skype, Facebook and other types of technology means that sitting down and writing “Dear Fred” or “wish you were here” is no longer popular. Is this a good thing? Personally, I would rather receive a long and interesting letter than a generic Facebook status update. But, I can’t be bothered to write anything these days so I won’t complain too much.

The Sumatran Tiger

Animals and Other Things That Might Become Extinct

Ok, back to the sad and depressing stuff now. The Sumatran Tiger is one of the most beautiful creatures you’ll probably never get to see. It is believed the global population is around 500. Maybe less.

TV Sets with Four Legs

Animals and Other Things That Might Become Extinct

Actually, my aunt still has one of these that I hope to inherit. The future isn’t that bad for them after all.

The Javan Rhinoceros

Animals, Things and Extinction

Hunters and land developers are again the main enemies of this chap. There are none of them alive in zoos across the planet. The population in the wild is believed to number no more than 40.