Friday, January 6, 2017

Protecting Brain Damage- Hedge Hog style.

Zookeepers are very protective of the hedgehogs and don’t let them climb up anything tall to drop from great heights, even though that’s what hedgehogs do naturally. “We just go to the zoo and talk to the zookeeper, and look at them and how they move,” he says.

I could not let this grammatical error slip by. The image in my head is too funny.

So scientists want to understand how hedgehogs survive a 30 foot fall without injuries. Hopefully, it can assist them in making an improved helmet for humans.

So do they go wandering into a forest full of hedgehogs and study the tiny animals falling from trees? No. 

Based on all the thousand of pictures of hedgehogs on Pin Interest, I must presume there are none left in the wild. They have all been captured and are loved and adored as the strangest and cutest animal on the planet.

When Hoglets (i.e. babies) are born, they'll weigh from 7 to 25 grams.

In other words, they barely weigh anything.

They are born bald and pink, much like many of us...except for the size difference and a longer nose.

They have two front paws and two feet.

One hour after birth white spine poke through their outer layer of skin. (I hope there are NO nerve endings in that layer of skin, or those poor critters are being tortured.)  

They come from Africa, so they want warm weather. They can grow to 2 pounds, but most hedgehogs do not live beyond 3 or 4 years.

By nature, they climb trees to eat bugs. While trying to grab a meal, they often lose their grip and head south. The minute falling starts, they roll into a ball, with backside facing down. I suspect the weight of the quills will always cause them to land on their back rather than their head or a faceplant.

So now that you know more about the hedgehog in the wild. And it turns out there are plenty of them all over the world. 

Evidently, People see hedgehog, people want hedgehog, people take them home....So let's return to the reason I made this blog.

It turns out scientists want to make safer helmets to protect the brain of HUMANS and thus wish to model it after the hedgehog quills.

Only they go to a zoo to get their info. 
A zoo where hedgehogs aren't allowed to climb and fall. No, these groundhogs must stay on the ground so they don't traumatize a small child watching it fall to the ground.

So, and I take this exactly from the hedgehog's mouth:
“We just go to the zoo and talk to the zookeeper, and look at them and how they move,” he says.

So let's see, they go to a zoo and talk to the zookeeper.

Since zookeeper is the noun of the sentence, we must assume 'them' means there is more than one zoo-keeper, or he had a split personality. 
AND, they watch the zookeeper and sees how he moves. 
Notice how the zookeeper keeps his head from hitting the floor. 
And this is how a hedgehog drops from a 30' tree.  It reaches out to snare a bug, loses, its grip on the bark and falls. 

Instantly it rolls up to protect itself and falls to the ground. It only weighs from 7 grams to 2 pounds depending on it's age. (The mother should not be sending a newborn to hunt down grubs, however, these pics were too cute not to include.)  
So let's say a half pound to a 2 pound hedgehog falls to a ground. It will survive unharmed.

Now let's drop the 180 pound zookeeper 30 feet head first....want to guess how that is going to end up? We can try to get him to roll up, but honestly, it probably won't help at all.

Drop and roll to one side would be his best shot...

All right, I've had enough fun with the grammar error.

If you read the actual article, they think something 'like' the hedgehog quill could diffuse the shockwave that does so much damage in head slams. Sadly my head couldn't get beyond them going to a zoo and watching a zookeeper.


  1. Pedantic much?
    It's ok, we love you anyway. Keep it coming. (Is it really true that fear of frightening a child is the reason they gave? I wonder what the real reason is. And if the HH are allowed freedom while the zoo is closed to the public. That's me; inquiring minds want to know.)
    THanks for sharing.

    1. I made the reason up. But it could be the reason. Why else would they care if the hedgehogs fall from trees. Oh wait! The limb of the tree might stretch beyond the fence and it might fall on some lady with puffy hair.


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