Difference between Echidna and Hedgehog


They are egg-laying mammals that come under the Tachyglossidae family. They are also referred to as spiny anteaters. They feed on termites and ants but are not related to the original anteaters. The original anteaters are placental mammals.


They are medium-sized mammals with coarse body hair and spines. Their spines are a type of hair modification made of keratin. They are brown or black in colour. Also, they have a long and slender snout. They have strong and short limbs with large, powerful claws. One of their unique features is their tiny mouth with toothless jaws.

These echidnas are usually solitary animals. They have a few electroreceptors that help them to detect objects.


They are also spiny mammals that look similar to echidna and porcupines. They belong to the family Erinaceidae. Hedgehogs are omnivorous animals that feed on toads, insects, melons, grass, berries, etc. Also, they are nocturnal animals.


They also have spines made of keratin. Their body is typically brown in colour, with the spines having a paler tip. A unique feature of hedgehogs is that they can roll into a ball-like structure as a mechanism of self-defence. They are vocal animals that communicate through snuffles and grunts.

Difference between Echidna and Hedgehog



Echidna belongs to the family Tachyglossidae.

Hedgehog belongs to the family Erinaceidae.

They are widely distributed in New Guinea and Australia.

They are found in Asia, Europe, Africa and even in New Zealand.

Echidnas are egg-laying mammals (monotreme).

They produce complete progeny or litter.

There are only four living species of Echidnas.

There are seventeen known species of hedgehogs.

They have electroreceptors.

They do not have electroreceptors.

Echidna cannot be domesticated

Some species of hedgehogs are domesticated as pets.

Also Read: Difference between Aves and Mammals

Frequently Asked Questions


What is a platypus?

Platypus is an egg-laying mammal (monotreme). It also senses through electroreceptors. Their body is covered with dense brown fur and not the spine. Also, they have a unique paddle-like tail.


What are xenarthrans?

Xenarthrans are a branch of placental mammals that include sloths, anteaters, and armadillos. They have several features that are unique from other placental mammals. They have extra bone articulations and unique teeth. Also, they are one of the most primitive placental mammals.


How are porcupines different from hedgehogs?

Porcupines have about 30,000 sharp and long spines, whereas hedgehogs have approximately 5000 spines. They are large rodents belonging to the order Rodentia.

Explore: Sensory Receptors

Keep exploring BYJU’S Biology for more exciting topics.


Leave a Comment

Your Mobile number and Email id will not be published.