Porcupine vs Hedgehog (Difference Between Porcupine and Hedgehog)

Hedgehog vs Porcupine

When we talk about Porcupine and Hedgehog comparison both are very similar animals. Some people often mistakenly call them the same kind of animal, but both are quite different from each other. Let us discuss the distinctive features of both the species. 

The Porcupine and hedgehog are prickly mammals. They are often confused because of their sharp, needle-like quills on their body. However, that is the only similarity between these two animals. Both of these differ in sizes, defensive behavior, diet and habitation. Their quills also have different features. 

More About Hedgehog and Porcupine: 

What does a Hedgehog Look Like?

Hedgehogs have a triangular face with a pig-like snout and small feet with tiny toes and claws. 

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What does a Porcupine Look Like?

Porcupines have rounded faces and broad feet with long nails which facilitate climbing on the trees.

Hedgehog Habitat:

Porcupine and Hedgehog habitats in different areas of the world. Both are native to Africa, Europe, and Asia. Hedgehogs have also been introduced to the regions of New Zealand. Some species of Porcupine are native to the New World, ranging from Canada and the United States to South America. 

Porcupine Habitat:

The Porcupine covers its habitat range, unlike the Hedgehog. North and South America species of Porcupine spend most of their time in trees. They have grasping tails that enable them to climb. The species of Porcupine in Europe, Asia and Africa inherit in deserts, grasslands, and forests. On the other hand, the Hedgehog prefers to develop nest around farms and meadows.

How Big Do Hedgehogs Grow?

A hedgehog can range between 4 and 12 inches in length and its tail is up to 2 inches in length.

Porcupine Size:

A Porcupine can grow triple the size of Hedgehog ranging between 20 and 36 inches. If we talk about the tail size of these two animals, the rear of Porcupine measures between 8 and 10 inches. 

What do Hedgehogs Eat?

Hedgehogs are hungry and act as useful garden pets. They consume pests like slugs which damage gardens. Other foods for them are insects, worms, mice, snails, frogs, and small snakes. 

What do Porcupines Eat?

Porcupines are herbivorous animals and depending on the food available in their habitat; they feed on fruit, grass, leaves, buds, bark, and stems. 

Difference Between Porcupine and Hedgehog:

  • The quills of a hedgehog are shorter by about 1 inch in length.
  • On the other hand, the quills of Porcupine is 2 to 3 inches, while the African species can grow its quills up to 11 inches.
  • A Hedgehog’s quill cannot easily come off its body, while a Porcupine’s quills can easily detach themselves.
  • The number of quills on the body also differs, on an average, a hedgehog has 5000 feathers. 
  • In comparison, a Porcupine has approximately 30,000. 
  • The Hedgehog and Porcupine exhibit different behaviors when they feel threatened. 
  • When the Hedgehog feels endangered, it curls up into a ball. Its quills work like a defensive barrier to stop predators attacking. 
  • On the other hand, the Porcupine curve it’s back, so the feathers stick up when it feels threatened.
  • It waves its tail around to hit the attacker, and the tail quills will detach and stick into a predator. 
  • Hedgehogs are solitary creatures and can sleep up to 18 hours per day. 
  • They are also nocturnal, that means they sleep during day time. 
  • This can make them poor pet choices for someone that wants an active pet during day time hours. 
  • At night, hedgehogs search for food. Hedgehogs have poor eyesight and rely on hearing and smell to help them to find food. 
  • Hedgehogs hides in cold climates, and they sleep through times of heat and drought in deserts.
  • This process of sleeping during heat and dryness is known as aestivation. 
  • In areas where there are not extreme climates, hedgehogs are active and have a regular sleep cycle.
  • Hedgehogs gave birth only once per year after a gestation of four to six weeks. 
  • Their litter consist of four to seven young at a time. 
  • The baby of a hedgehog is called a hoglet or a piglet which weighs less than 1 ounce. 
  • Female Porcupine carries their young for a gestation period of 16 to 31 weeks. Baby Porcupines are known as Porcupettes. 

Hedgehog vs Porcupine: Who Will Win?

Porcupine is a more extensive and powerful animal as compared to Hedgehog, who goes half of it. Since both, the animals do not share the same habitats, and they are not strictly related. They might not get face to face for a fight. But if battle ever happened between them, a Porcupine has more possibility of winning because of its large size and weight as compared to a Hedgehog. 

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