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Cute But Weird Overload
September 27, 2007 8:51 PM   Subscribe

Orphaned hedgehogs adopt cleaning brush as mother.
posted by fourcheesemac (41 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

 
See also. Daily, if possible.
posted by odinsdream at 9:01 PM on September 27, 2007


I'm going to go quietly sob myself to sleep now.
posted by bookish at 9:01 PM on September 27, 2007


You know who else loves clearing brush?
posted by Poolio at 9:05 PM on September 27, 2007 [1 favorite]


This is hysterically funny. I should have gone to sleep hours ago. The two previous statements may have a causal link.
posted by Kattullus at 9:07 PM on September 27, 2007


I know, odin, I debated . . . I'm not a one link to cuteoverload kind of dude, but this article transcended cuteoverloadness by being so weird. I thought it was . . . well, special. Like a baby hedgehog nursing on a brush special.
posted by fourcheesemac at 9:11 PM on September 27, 2007


Not that this is even on CO, yet.
posted by fourcheesemac at 9:12 PM on September 27, 2007


If there's a bristle in your hedgehog don't be alarmed now.
posted by Tube at 9:18 PM on September 27, 2007 [14 favorites]


Talk about sensationalistic headline writing. The article says the hedgehogs play with the brush. It doesn't say that they actually somehow think of it as their mother.
posted by delmoi at 9:20 PM on September 27, 2007


Is that the "one big thing" the hedgehogs know?
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 9:21 PM on September 27, 2007 [1 favorite]


The heart, it breaks from all the awwwwww.
posted by Ms. Saint at 9:21 PM on September 27, 2007


Having just purchased a copy of Roger's Profanisaurus, I expected something different:

hedgehog n. A fanny shaven five days ago. A face grater.
posted by redteam at 9:23 PM on September 27, 2007


I'm flashing back to the time my mom told me a bedtime story that was an heartwrenchingly epic shaggy dog variation on the porcupine/cactus joke and trying not to cry.

Damn you for filling me with conflicting emotions, Tube!
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:23 PM on September 27, 2007


A reiteration of Harry Harlow's 1958 Nature of Love experiments which showed that animal babies preferred Mom's touch over food.

And then of course, there's Disney's Dumbo, as wonderfully animated by Bill Tytla. Not a dry eye in the house.

Group hug, everybody!
posted by cenoxo at 9:25 PM on September 27, 2007


Definitely in favor of cute and weird combos. Those adorable hedgehogs holding tight to the brush are seriously awwwworthy.

Reminds me a bit of the Harlow attachment theory experiment, how important a sense of comfort is to children.

Adding to the aww cute and weird factor. Most hairy newborns and shoplifting seagull.
posted by nickyskye at 9:30 PM on September 27, 2007


Yes. Big yes. Absolute positivity. And this also a TLLT
posted by litfit at 9:34 PM on September 27, 2007


oh wow cenoxo, we thought along the same lines about Harlow. You did the info and I did the video. Good teamwork.

Definitely, I'm in for a group hug!
posted by nickyskye at 9:37 PM on September 27, 2007


Seeing these tragic photographs of living creatures longing for a love that shall never be requited by the cold, heartless object of their desire, I'm reminded of a t-shirt I once saw a man wearing as he walked the dirty streets of Baltimore. On it was printed a harrowing illustration of a lonely and confused caterpillar making futile advances on a crinkle-cut french fry. In the distance I heard the sound of gunshots and, farther away -- perhaps too far -- sirens.
posted by Reggie Digest at 9:45 PM on September 27, 2007 [2 favorites]


Oh, Mrs Tiggy-Winkle! What were you reincarnated as?
posted by frobozz at 9:49 PM on September 27, 2007


CO did do it yet.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 9:59 PM on September 27, 2007


Ohhhhh! The cuteness! The cuteness! *insert high-pitched squeal here*
posted by amyms at 10:03 PM on September 27, 2007


SCDB made me laugh out loud.
posted by pombe at 10:07 PM on September 27, 2007


A reiteration of Harry Harlow's 1958 Nature of Love experiments which showed that animal babies preferred Mom's touch over food.
From what I remember, those experiments only ever proved that young rhesus monkeys seem to, for some utterly bizarre and unknowable reason, prefer the look and feel of faux fur to that of bare chicken wire.

posted by Reggie Digest at 10:10 PM on September 27, 2007


There was just a whole lotta "squeeeeee!!!" and "awwwwwww!" in this house. Surprise y'all didn't hear it.

*Goes off to adopt hedgehogs...and buy a brush.*
posted by rtha at 10:17 PM on September 27, 2007


Reggie Digest, the results of the Harlow experiments: "In the first group, the terrycloth mother provided no food, while the wire mother did, in the form of an attached baby bottle containing milk. In the second group, the terrycloth mother provided food; the wire mother did not. It was found that the young monkeys clung to the terrycloth mother whether it provided them with food or not, and that the young monkeys chose the wire surrogate only when it provided food.

Whenever a frightening stimulus was brought into the cage the monkeys ran to the cloth mother for protection and comfort, no matter which mother provided them with food. This response decreased as the monkeys grew older.

When the monkeys were placed in an unfamiliar room with their cloth surrogates, they clung to it until they felt secure enough to explore. Once they began to explore, they would occasionally return to the cloth mother for comfort. Monkeys placed in an unfamiliar room without their cloth mothers acted very differently. They would freeze in fear and cry, crouch down, or suck their thumbs. Some of the monkeys would even run from object to object, apparently searching for the cloth mother as they cried and screamed. Monkeys placed in this situation with their wire mothers exhibited the same behavior as the monkeys with no mother."

So, it would seem that those baby hedgehogs are seeking the familiar, brush-like surface that seems comfortingly maternal to them.
posted by nickyskye at 10:26 PM on September 27, 2007


There was just a whole lotta "squeeeeee!!!" and "awwwwwww!" in this house.

There's a Deliverance joke in there somewhere.
posted by me & my monkey at 10:26 PM on September 27, 2007 [1 favorite]


This just serves as another painful reminder to me that www.cuteoverlord.com is not available.
posted by ORthey at 10:51 PM on September 27, 2007 [1 favorite]


sure they're cute, but how does one cook them?
posted by vrakatar at 11:53 PM on September 27, 2007


I adopted a small Jewish family as my own when I was a baby, and it has caused no end of confusion. Perhaps I should have gone with my second choice, which was the head of a clown doll.
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:54 PM on September 27, 2007


I adopted syphilis.
posted by dirigibleman at 12:06 AM on September 28, 2007 [1 favorite]


Whooping Crane Migration:
A new flock of Whooping Cranes is migrating between Wisconsin and Florida, with the help of surrogate parents.
Operation Migration:
Like many birds, Whooping cranes learn their migration route by following their parents. But this knowledge is lost when the species is reduced and there are no longer any wild birds using the flyway. Until Operation Migration was asked by the US Fish and Wildlife Service to spearhead a reintroduction of the world's most endangered cranes, there was no method of teaching migration to captive reared Whooping cranes released into the wild.

In the first five years of the program, approximately 60 birds have been taught a migration route between Wisconsin and Florida.
posted by pracowity at 12:11 AM on September 28, 2007


How sweet. My sister in Helsinki is tending after 5 hedgehogs in her garden right now, though they're nowhere near that small anymore. She built a little home for them and she's hoping that's where they'll hibernate over the Finnish winter.
posted by myopicman at 12:40 AM on September 28, 2007


This thread is useless without the LOL tag.
posted by regicide is good for you at 12:46 AM on September 28, 2007


When I was approximately 11, I won the school speech competition with a speech about hedgehogs.

What all the squeeing seems to conveniently neglect is that hairbrush/hedgehog bonding is all too common in orphaned hedgehogs. Which makes little baby hedgehogs starve to death, owing to the inferior food providing capabilities of hairbrushes.

In other true facts - hedgehogs have more fleas per square centimeter than any other animal. But hedgehog fleas are very particular, and won't actually leave hedgehogs if they can avoid it - preferring the wide open spaces of bristles rather than the closed thickets of typical mammallian hair - in fact, place a hedgehog flea on a cat or a dog and it will jump off and wait for the soonest passing hedgehog.

Hedgehogs have been around, in their present form, for about 19 million years.

You should never feed hedgehogs with bread and milk - the bread will swell up in their stomachs, possibly killing them, and milk will give then diarrhoea, possibly leading to dehydration and death. Similarly, they only eat slugs and snails when they can't get anything else, and a slug/snail only diet will kill them through malnutrition, if the lungworm, which slugs and snauls are primary carriers, doesn't get them first.

When the lungworms breed inside the hedgehog they start to eat away the hedgehogs lung and the hedgehog either dies from drowning due to the build up of fluid in the lungs (Pneumonia) or dies when the lungs bleed because of the lungworms.

Hedgehogs prefer chicken flavoured pet food.

When a hedgehog's life-partner dies in a road accident, hedgehogs can exhibit finely honed senses of vengeance and may attack you as you sleep with carving knives they find in your own kitchen.
posted by Sparx at 1:32 AM on September 28, 2007 [3 favorites]


hedgehog in the fog: youtube (about 10 minutes)

Wikipedia:
This is a story about a little hedgehog (voiced by Mariya Vinogradova) and his friend bear cub (voiced by Vyacheslav Nevinniy). They would meet every evening to drink tea, converse, and count the stars. One day, the hedgehog decided to bring raspberry marmalade. As he went to the bear to count the stars, he passed through the woods and found a horse standing in a fog. He is curious as to whether the horse would suffocate if it lay down in the fog. Being an explorer, the hedgehog decides to explore the fog. [...]
posted by pracowity at 2:19 AM on September 28, 2007


Not quite as cute a hedgehog.
posted by Effigy2000 at 3:00 AM on September 28, 2007


The four inch long creatures are being hand-reared by staff

I'm sorry. I came here straight from Fark.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 3:50 AM on September 28, 2007 [1 favorite]


I come her to avoid Daily Mail articles. Nowhere is safe.
posted by Geezum Crowe at 4:09 AM on September 28, 2007


but how does one cook them?

For cooking your hedgepig, the recommended procedure is to sprinkle with a pinch of salt then slather with river mud. The balls are then cooked in banked coals, preferably of an open fire. After an hour or so, remove the hardened balls and crack them open. The needles and fur are pulled off by the ceramic revealing the delicate insides.

The things I learned from Neil Gaiman's Sandman.
posted by bonehead at 5:50 AM on September 28, 2007 [1 favorite]


nickyskye: Setting something in bold doesn't excuse it from being absolute horseshit. There are no "mothers" involved in those experiments. Call a spade a spade, and a comfortable fur-lined panel a comfortable fur-lined panel. If you had the choice to cower in fear against a cold, jagged chunk of metal or a soft, fluffy wall, you'd go for the fluff -- not because it reminds you of your mommy, but because it doesn't feel as goddamned terrible as the alternative.

The Harlow experiments were used to discourage mothers from joining the workforce; they were used to enforce the notion that autism is caused by bad mothers; they were used to discourage divorce between couples with children, even in dangerous and abusive situations. And they were 100% bad science.

posted by Reggie Digest at 11:02 AM on September 28, 2007


NPR did a piece that referenced Harlow a couple of days ago. From what I remember (it was early in the morning, I was undercaffeinated), he did these experiments to discover what importance affection had in the mother-child bond. Apparently, there were theories going around that showing your baby affection would make it weak and dependent, and it would grow up to be a wuss; parents were being encouraged to simply feed their babies, but not hold or hug them, or even touch them unnecessarily.

I don't know much more than that, but I'm not sure it's fair to blame Harlow for what other people did with the information he published. Good (or useful) science is spun or put to bad use all the time.
posted by rtha at 11:28 AM on September 28, 2007 [1 favorite]


Reggie Digest, you wrote, "From what I remember, those experiments only ever proved that young rhesus monkeys seem to, for some utterly bizarre and unknowable reason, prefer the look and feel of faux fur to that of bare chicken wire".

Presumably your smaller font was to show off your faux sophisticated irony. Apparently you missed the significance of the Harlow experiments, which rtha aptly pointed out.
posted by nickyskye at 10:34 PM on September 28, 2007


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