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21 February 2007
5/2007
Commemorative Issue

Wildlife in Norway II

Norway
The European Hedgehog (Erinaceus europaeus)  

The European Hedgehog (Erinaceus europaeus)

:

The European Hedgehog (Erinaceus europaeus) is common in the lowlying areas of Eastern Norway and in coastal areas as far north as Bodo. It is about 30 cm long and weighs about 1 kg. On its back it has as many as 6000 spines, or surrounding hair, which are a couple of millimetres thick and 3-4 cm long.

When a hedgehog has to defend itself, a powerful muscle in its back contracts, erecting the spines so that they point in all directions. This can take place in two stages. First the hedgehog draws the skin on its back down over its feet and head, at the same time lying flat on the ground. If it feels seriously threatened, it will purse up the lower edge of the back muscle and form itself into a ball. It can maintain that shape until danger is over. With all its spines out, the hedgehog is pretty well impregnable.

The hedgehog's natural diet consists of insects, worms, snails, carrion and sometimes small rodents and birds. Plant food such as berries, fungi and windfall fruit is also popular.

The Red Squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris)  

The Red Squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris)

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The Red Squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris) occurs all over Norway where there are coniferous forests, particularly spruce forests. It is also often found in built-up areas, for example in parks even if these mainly consist of broad-leaf trees. With its bushy tail, ear tufts and springy movements, the squirrel is a familiar and delightful member of Norwegian fauna.

In the summer, the red squirrel has a reddish brown back and sides while its underside is white. In the winter, the fur on its back and sides turns grey. It is an excellent climber, with sharp claws on long, flexible toes which give it such a good hold that it can run headfirst down tree trunks.

Red squirrels are an important part of the coniferous forests' food chain. Since they move along the ground and up in the trees, they are prey to flying, walking and climbing enemies. The pine marten and the goshawk are their greatest threat. Red squirrels themselves eat the seeds of coniferous trees. Fungi are also an important part of their diet, and squirrels will readily supplement their diet with bird's eggs and young birds.

Technical Information

Subjects: The Red Squirrel, The European Hedgehog
Design: Inger Sandved Anfinsen Photo: Baard N?ss, Erlend Haarberg
Values: NOK 12.00 - NOK 22.00
No. per sheet: 50 stamps
Printing: Offset by Royal Joh. Enschede, Netherlands
Sales prices:
First day cover NOK 37.00
Presentation pack NOK 39.00
Collector's set NOK 81.00
Collector's sheet NOK 54.00
copyright notice: The source of the text and the images is Norway Post.
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