Why do hedgehogs and porcupines have thorns?


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published Hugo Plaso-Moisan June 4, 2022 at 2:34 p.m.

We ask ourselves questions in one day. Questions, questions and other questions. In some cases, the answer can be found easily and quickly, alone or with friends. But in other cases everything is much more complicated. Even if we do a lot of research, we can’t find the answers to our questions. Every day, Clean court offers you unusual information about a question you probably ask yourself every day. Then you can share your knowledge with your loved ones, for example, during a family dinner.

Asking: why do movies go to theaters on Wednesdays? Today we are interested in wildlife, or rather two very original animals. Indeed, we will talk about hedgehogs and porcupines about their backs.

animal spines

Why do hedgehogs and porcupines have thorns?

These small animals that roam our gardens in the morning or evening they look pretty, but they have a few quirks. In fact, the hedgehog, like its cousin, which we do not have, the porcupine, has thorns on its back. But why do these two mammals have thorns on their backs?

At the beginning of evolution, the hedgehogs were bald and devoid of any ridges. It was with evolution over the millennia that these little thorns appeared on his back. Evolution to protect against predators during night walks. These small thorns are actually hairs like ours, but harder. And, like our hair, it falls out and grows back many times in a lifetime. So yes the most natural element of protection who for centuries settled on the back of this little animal.

There are not many of them from the porcupine resemblance to a hedgehog. Porcupines are rodents that originally lived on the Asian and African continents. They are much larger than the small hedgehogs we encounter in Europe. On the other hand, where they have a common point, this obviously applies to their ridges. In porcupine, they are also there to protect themselves from potential predators much larger than a hedgehog.

Young people are born without feathers. They appear only on the third day after birth and a week later it became difficult. These thorns, unlike hedgehog thorns, are easily detached to impress their opponent. If a cheetah or other predator wants to attack a porcupine, he must beware of its thorns, which on average from 60 to 70 centimeters. In general, porcupines are much more aggressive than hedgehogs. Unfortunately, porcupines in Africa are increasingly being poached.

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