Seeings how today is “Groundhog Day”, I thought I’d round up all of our Groundhogs for a Group Shot. I coulda swore we had more of them, but Waya must’ve eaten some.
“Ummmm, those aren’t Groundhogs, David. Those are actually Hedgehogs, and I’m pretty sure it’s not “Hedgehog Day”.”-Editor/Mom
I knew that.
“Okay Mr. Smarty Pants. What, were you trying to fool us? I suppose you and Aleksa researched this together, and now you’re going to tell us all about how different they are..”-Editor/Mom
Yup. Cause at first I thought they were pretty much the same except that Hedgehogs have really spikey fur and Groundhogs have smoother coats, but it turns out they’re more different than I thought.
Groundhogs, which are also known as Woodchucks, are from the family Sciuridae, and are only found in Canada and Eastern USA, which is where we live. The most famous Groundhog of all is Punxsutawney Phil. He lives is Pennsylvania, and only comes out once a year on February 2nd to let us know how much longer Winter will last. If he sees his shadow, then it’ll be another six weeks, and if he doesn’t, then it’ll only be four.
“Oh my God! I think it’s time we unplug Aleksa again.”-Editor/Mom
What? No, don’t do that. She’s really helpful.
“Oh, did I say that out loud? Never mind. What’s so different about the Hedgehogs, besides their spikes?”-Editor/Mom
Hedgehogs are from the family Erinacinae, and come from Europe, Asia and Africa. Their spikes are really called spines, and they’re actually hollow hair stiffened up by keratin. Sonic is the most famous Hedgehog. He’s really fast, so fast they’ve made three movies about him.
And here’s the best part. Did you know that the smallest kind of Hedgehogs, the African Pygmy Hedgehogs, are kept as pets in some places? I’m thinking probably in Africa, but how cool is that? Maybe we could get one, what do you think? They’re really small, so he wouldn’t take up much room.
“I’m thinking not. I’m thinking we should just stick to the stuffed ones you guys all like to play with. Do you have any other tidbits of information about Groundhogs and Hedgehogs for us, you know, maybe some insight on why we depend on a wild rodent to help us predict the weather?”-Editor/Mom
Well, I’m still not really sure why, but way before we started doing it, “Hedgehog Day” was actually a Roman Tradition dating really far back in time. And I think that once we heard about it here in America, everybody must’ve thought it was a really cool idea. The only problem was that since we didn’t have any Hedgehogs here, they had to find another animal like them to do it.
My guess is they tried a Porcupine first, cause they look the most like Hedgehogs, but that probably didn’t turn out so well, so I’m thinking they decided that the next closest animal would be the Groundhog.
And let’s face it, “Groundhog Day” even sounds a lot better than “Porcupine Day”, don’t you think?
“I do. And I have to say, I didn’t really expect to learn anything new from this Blog Post, but this has actually been quite informative. I think your followers will agree. Thanks David.”-Editor/Mom
You’re Welcome… And Happy Groundhog Day everyone! Fingers and Paws crossed that Phil doesn’t see his shadow.