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What Is The Difference Between A Hedgehog And A Porcupine?

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What is the difference between a hedgehog and a porcupine? And are hedgehogs and porcupines related? Thee are the most popular questions some net pet owners ask. Besides both being prickly mammals they are both frequently confused as they sharp quills on their body and are similar colours.

However, when you look a bit closer there are vast differences between the 2 and in this article, we’ll examine the main difference of the hedgehog vs porcupine.

What Is The Difference Between A Hedgehog And A Porcupine?

1. Location

Porcupines and hedgehogs are found in different parts of the planet. Both are native to Africa, Europe and Asia. However, Hedgehogs have recently been introduced into NewZealand. Porcupines can be found in the USA, Canada and even South America.

2. Habitats

The porcupine spends more time in trees then the hedgehog and it has small grips on it take to help it climb. The porcupine in Africa Europe, Asia and tend to live in deserts, forests and grasslands. Hedgehogs, conversely, live in and around vegetation, farmlands and gardens.

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3. Quills

Each animal has different quills. Hedgehogs have shorter quills. Measuring around 1 inch in length the hedgehog quills are much shorter then it’s porcupine friend. The porcupine quills measure in the region of 2 to 3 inches and there are some specifies (in Africa) that have quills grow up to 11 inches!

A very big difference between them is that a porcupine quills can easily come off their bodies if attacked or entangled in something. Hedgehogs, on the other hand, has a body structure that makes it much harder for any quills to come away and usually has a longer-lasting quill cycle.

It’s also important to note that hedgehog has around 5,000 quills while the porcupine has around 30,000. When thinking “what is the difference between a hedgehog and a porcupine” this is usually the most obvious one.

4. Size

Hedgehogs tend to grow to around the 5 -11 inch mark in length. A porcupine, on the other hand, can grow up to 36 inches and is generally larger then it’s hedgehog friend.

A hedgehog’s tale measure s in around the 2cm mark while a porcupine has a tail that measures around 10 inches. This is probably due to the hedgehog living primarily on the ground and the porcupine climbing trees.

5. Danger

Hedgehogs and porcupines are also different in the way they respond to danger. When faced with an unpleasant situation a hedgehog will curl up into a ball to defend itself.

A porcupine, conversely, will arch it’s back and point his quills up. It also waves its tail to hit a potential attacked which detaches the quills and acts an additional determent.

6. Meat and Grass.

What is the difference between a hedgehog and a porcupine? Hedgehogs are carnivores and eat garden pests like slugs, worms, snails, centipedes etc. Porcupines, on the other hand, are herbivores and will eat fruit, grass, bark and other vegetation in their surroundings.

7. Family Types

Another big difference between the pair is that they are from different family types. The hedgehog is a “Eulipotyphla”. This includes other shrews and mole types create. The Porcupine, on the other hand is from the “Rodentia’ family which include mice, rate and other beavers.

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