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Early Neocene lacked various and diverse ecosystems; its’ ecosystems lacked big herbivores and carnivores. So the situation was a bit like early Paleocene when the representatives of different animal groups were having their “tryouts” of different environmental niches. That happened in Eurasia where nature was once under the especially strong influence of mankind. The representative of different species and orders were having their “tryouts’ for the ecological niche of big predator. During a few millions of years true predators from the Carnivora order had to co-exist with different predators representing insectivores and primates. Finally they retook their rightful places in ecosystem which were abandoned during the dominance of mankind, but some of the competitors are still there. In the northern European forests spinywolf (Erinalupus spinosus) lives, and the Mediterranean maquis is inhabited by jackal hedgehog (Erinalupus mediterraneus). The subtropical belt of Europe- Balcans, Asia Minor and Caucasus- are inhabited by another representative of the same family- huge hedgehog tchagrin. That animal has more primitive features compared to its relatives. Tchagrin is a stocky animal, reminding badger in proportions. Body length is around 140 cm. The visible tail is absent, the head is relatively big, with long movable snout. The fur is grey with brown shades, lighter on the belly; around mouth the fur is white. Tchagrin has strong jaws with sharp teeth of carnivorous animal. But pursuing its prey isn’t one of strong sides of tchagrin: his limbs are relatively short (longer than those of badger but shorter than those of dog) and it’s plantigrade animal. So maximal speed of sprinting tchagrin is around 30 km\h. Tchagrin has poor eyesight- it’s myopic. But the animal has keen sences of hearing and smell which help him to locate his prey and the sources of possible danger. From its ancestors the animal has inherited another specific trait- among its fur on the back you can find 5 cm-long hard quills. Those cover upper part of the head, neck, shoulders and the middle of the back along the spine. Tchagrin lost the ability to roll itself up in the ball for protection cause he's too large to do that. But the large size gives him the possibility of active defence. While defending himself, tchagrin opens his mouth wide to demonstrate sharp teeth, and actively tries to bite its opponent or attack him with claws. Rudimentary muscles under skin allow the animal to lift the quills during the attack of predators. That’s a solitary animal who is very aggressive towards its own species outside of mating season. During the fight two tchagrins "box" with their heads while quills are up. During the courting in the mating season male pushes female to the bodyside with his head, quills are down.  The mating season of tchagrins starts early in the spring. The female, who is ready for the coupling, has specific strong musk smell that attracts males. One female can attract up to 5 males. They engage in strong rivalry, pushing the rivals away from desired female with their heads. Female doesn't care about her mate, so sometimes mating happens while the other males nearby are fighting. The winner walks behind the female on stretched legs, sniffing loudly and pushing the female with his head. Once the mating is over, the female sends males away from her. The pregnancy is about 5 weeks long. The female makes the nest for her cubs from branches and ground. She makes a pile of the branches and digs something akin to dugout under it. The dug earth is thrown over the branches to make a cover from the rain and the wind. The brood (usually 3-5 cubs) is born naked and blind. The eyes open at the age of a week, and at the age of 6 weeks they leave the den together with their mother and start searching for the food with her. The maturity is reached at the age of 3 years, the life span of the species is 40-45 years.

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