Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Learning | Hoglets and Porcupettes

I learned a few new words while I was playing around on a social network recently. Do you know the correct term to use for baby hedgehogs? They are called "hoglets."  And baby porcupines are known as "porcupettes." I think I liked learning those new words as much as I enjoyed the pictures of the hoglets and porcupettes.

Hedgehogs are small creatures from the family Erinaceidae. These small mammals from Europe, Asia and Africa search through undergrowth for insects to eat. While they are foraging, they make a grunting noise that reminds people of the sounds pigs make; this is why they are called hedgehogs. Hedgehogs have a prickly coat of stiff spines; they protect themselves by rolling into a ball.
One of my favorite hedgehogs is the title character in Beatrix Potter's The Tale of Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle. She is not a hoglet herself, but a grown hedgehog, who happens to do washing and ironing. 

Porcupines are large rodents native to North America and Africa. They have sharp quills that give them an appearance similar to a hedgehog, but porcupines eat plants, instead of bugs. The name for these creatures came from words meaning "pig" and "quill." Isn't it  funny that neither hedgehogs nor porcupines are pigs, but their names suggest that they are?

Author Paul Schmid has a new book out about a porcupette with a problem. Perfectly Percy tells about a porcupine who loves balloons. It's too bad he can't get too close to them without popping them.  If only he could prevent his quills from touching the balloons.... 

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