23 Animals with Quills (A to Z List with Pictures)

Animals with Quills

Examples of animals with quills include porcupines, hedgehogs, echidna, and tenrecs.

Quills are a common feature of many animal species. They can be used for defense, camouflage, or temperature regulation. Some animals have very sharp quills that can pierce human skin, while others have quills that are more like bristles.

Quills come in many different shapes and sizes, depending on the animal’s needs. This blog post will explore the different types of quills found in animals across the world.

Examples of Animals with Quills

1. African Crested Porcupine

Scientific NameHystrix cristata
Type of AnimalMammal
Rangesub-Saharan Africa, North Africa and Italy

The African crested porcupine is the largest species of porcupine in the world. It has long brown-black quills and an impressive mane. These quills are sharp and very dangerous. The animal uses them for protection against predators, but will also use them to mark its territory.

2. African Pygmy Hedgehog

Scientific NameAtelerix albiventris
Type of AnimalMammal
Rangecentral and East Africa

The African pygmy hedgehog is a small nocturnal animal whose quills are mostly used for defense. The prickly creature will curl into a ball to protect its soft underbelly from predators, and it can roll up in the blink of an eye. These tiny quilts are not as durable or sharp as porcupine quills, but they are still dangerous to humans who may come in contact with the hedgehog.

3. Algerian Hedgehog

Scientific NameAtelerix algirus
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeAlgeria, Libya, Malta, Morocco, Spain, and Tunisia

Similar to the African pygmy hedgehog, the Algerian hedgehog is a small, spiky creature that uses its quills for protection. Its quills are much longer and more sturdy than those of other species, so it can even use them as weapons against predators. The Algerian hedgehog also has special glands in its skin that secrete a noxious substance, making it even more dangerous to predators.

4. Amur Hedgehog

Scientific NameErinaceus amurensis
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeRussia, Manchuria in China, and the Korean Peninsula

The Amur hedgehog is the largest species of hedgehog in the world. It has long, brown quills that are used for camouflage and defense. The quills on its back are shorter than those on its sides, which helps the animal to blend in with its surroundings. The Amur hedgehog will also use its quills to make a loud noise when it is threatened, which can scare away predators.

5. Bare-Bellied Hedgehog

Scientific NameParaechinus nudiventris
Type of AnimalMammal
Rangesoutheastern India

The bare-bellied hedgehog is a small, spiky creature that uses its quills for protection. Its quills are much shorter than those of other species, and they are not as sharp or durable. However, the bare-bellied hedgehog makes up for this with its speed and agility. It can run up to 35 miles per hour, making it very difficult for predators to catch.

6. Brandt’s Hedgehog

Scientific NameParaechinus hypomelas
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeThe Middle East and Central Asia

These hedgehogs are found in Africa and have quills that are up to 2.5 inches long. The quills on their backs are black and white, while the quills on their sides are mostly white. These hedgehogs use their quills for defense against predators.

Related Article: 28 Animals Like Hedgehogs

7. Daurian Hedgehog

Scientific NameMesechinus dauuricus
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeNorthern Mongolia

The Daurian hedgehog is a small, spiny mammal found in parts of Asia and Eastern Europe. This animal has long, sharp quills that can be used for defense against predators. The quills are also hollow, which allows the hedgehog to trap air inside them as an extra layer of insulation. This helps the Daurian hedgehog stay warm in cold weather.

While the Daurian hedgehog’s quills may make it look intimidating, this animal is actually quite shy and tends to avoid contact with humans. It can be found in patches of dense vegetation, where it forages for insects, grubs, and other small prey. Despite its spiky exterior, the Daurian hedgehog is a gentle creature that poses no threat to humans.

8. Desert Hedgehog

Scientific NameParaechinus aethiopicus
Type of AnimalMammal
Rangethroughout the Middle East and parts of Africa

The desert hedgehog lives in the hot, dry climates of southern Africa, where it has adapted to survive in a very harsh environment. The desert hedgehog uses its sharp quills for defense when hunting insects or other small prey. The quills are also important for insulation, allowing the desert hedgehog to keep cool under the intense African sun.

9. Echidna

Scientific NameTachyglossidae
Type of AnimalMammal

The echidna is a unique mammal found in Australia and New Guinea. This unusual animal has sharp, pointed quills all over its body that act as a protection mechanism against predators. The echidna’s quills are made of keratin, the same material that makes up our hair and nails, which gives them their extremely sharp and durable structure. These quills can easily pierce the skin of other animals, making the echidna a very effective fighter in its natural environment.

While the echidna’s quills provide it with protection against predators, they also play an important role in regulating its body temperature. Much like a porcupine, the echidna can raise or lower its quills to control how much heat is conducted through its body. In hot weather, the echidna will lower its quills to cool off, and in cold weather, it will raise them to keep warm.

Related Article: Do Echidna Have Spikes?

10. Egyptian Long-Eared Hedgehog

Scientific NameHemiechinus auritus
Type of AnimalMammal

The Egyptian long-eared hedgehog is a small mammal found in North Africa. This hedgehog has long, sharp quills that are used for both defense and insulation. The quills on the back of this hedgehog are up to 4 inches (10 cm) long, while the quills on its sides are shorter, only reaching about 2 inches (5 cm) in length. These quills are incredibly sharp, and can easily pierce human skin.

11. European Hedgehog

Scientific NameErinaceus europaeus
Type of AnimalMammal
Rangethroughout Europe

The European hedgehog is another animal that uses quills to help regulate its body temperature. Like the echidna, these animals have stiff bristles that they can raise and lower depending on their environment. However, the hedgehog’s quills are much smaller and softer than those of the echidna, making them less dangerous but also less effective as a defense mechanism.

12. Gaoligong Forest Hedgehog

Scientific NameMesechinus wangi
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeYunnan Province

The Gaoligong Forest Hedgehog is a small, nocturnal mammal found in the forests of China. Like other hedgehogs, it has sharp quills that cover its entire body as a defense mechanism against predators. However, unlike other hedgehogs, the Gaoligong Forest Hedgehog’s quills are unusually long and thin, making them even more effective at piercing the skin of other animals.

The Gaoligong Forest Hedgehog uses its quills in a variety of ways depending on the particular situation. For example, when it is threatened by a predator, it will raise its quills to make itself appear larger and more intimidating. However, if the predator persists, the hedgehog will roll into a tight ball, using its quills to form an impenetrable barrier around itself.

13. Hugh’s Hedgehog

Scientific NameMesechinus hughi
Type of AnimalMammal
Rangecentral China and Manchuria

Hugh’s hedgehog is a small mammal found in Africa. This creature is named after its characteristic feature: a line of sharp quills running down its back. These quills are made of keratin, just like the echidna’s quills, and they are extremely sharp and durable. The hedgehog uses its quills for defense against predators, as well as for temperature regulation. In hot weather, the hedgehog will lower its quills to cool off, and in cold weather, it will raise them to keep warm.

14. Indian Hedgehog

Scientific NameParaechinus micropus
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeIndia and Pakistan

Indian hedgehogs have a coat of spines that are used for defense against predators. The spines are made of keratin, the same protein that makes up human hair and nails. Indian hedgehogs can also roll into a tight ball to protect their soft underbellies.

15. Indian Long-Eared Hedgehog

Scientific NameHemiechinus collaris
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeIndia (Gujarat, Rajasthan, and Uttar Pradesh) and Pakistan (Northwest Frontier Province, Punjab, and Sindh)

These unusual hedgehogs are found in the western Himalayas. They have long, sharp quills that can grow up to six inches (15 cm) in length. These quills are used for defense against predators, and they also help the hedgehog regulate its body temperature.

16. North American Porcupine

Scientific NameErethizon dorsatum
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeCanada, the northeastern and western regions of the United States

The North American porcupine is famous for its long and sharp quills. These quills cover the animal’s entire body and are used whenever the porcupine feels threatened. The porcupine can use its quills to defend itself against predators like mountain lions or bears. However, these quills cause very little damage to a human being.

17. Northern White-Breasted Hedgehog

Scientific NameErinaceus roumanicus
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeEastern Europe and Southwestern Asia

Northern white-breasted hedgehogs are a common species of hedgehog found throughout parts of Europe and Asia. They have sharp, pointed quills that grow along the length of their body as a form of protection from predators. These quills are very sharp, and can easily pierce human skin when handled carelessly.

18. Old World Porcupine

Scientific NameHystricidae
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeAfrica and Asia

These porcupines are found in Africa, Asia, and Europe. They have long, sharp quills that can reach up to 10 inches in length. The quills are covered in a layer of keratin, which makes them very tough. Old world porcupines use their quills for defense against predators.

19. Sea Urchin

Scientific NameEchinoidea
Type of AnimalEchinodermata

These animals are found in the oceans of many countries. They use their quills to protect themselves from predators, as well as for movement. One of the most noticeable features of sea urchins is the spines that cover their bodies. These spines make them almost impossible to grab and hold onto. While sea urchins don’t have many predators, they are hunted by large fish and other animals.

Related Article: Do Sea Urchin Sting?

20. Somali Hedgehog

Scientific NameAtelerix sclateri
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeSomalia and Somaliland

The Somali hedgehog is a small, spiny mammal found in the Horn of Africa. Unlike most other hedgehogs, which have sharp, pointy quills for defense against predators, the Somali hedgehog’s quills are long and bristly. These quills help to keep the animal warm by trapping air close to its body, helping it to maintain a stable body temperature even in cold weather.

The Somali hedgehog is also known for its distinctive coloration, with brown quills and black spines along its back. This helps the animal to blend in with its surroundings, making it less visible to predators. In addition, the Somali hedgehog has long claws that allow it to dig burrows and escape underground when threatened.

21. Southern African Hedgehog

Scientific NameAtelerix frontalis
Type of AnimalMammal
Rangethroughout southern Africa

The Southern African Hedgehog is a small, spiny animal that can be found in fields and forests across southern Africa. Its quills are very sharp and pointy, allowing them to pierce the skin of predators like snakes or other large animals.

22. Southern White-breasted Hedgehog

Scientific NameErinaceus concolor
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeEastern Europe and Southwestern Asia

These hedgehogs are found in Africa and have quills that are up to 2 inches long. The quills on their back are white with black tips, while the quills on their belly are all black. These quills are used for defense and help the hedgehog camouflage itself from predators.

23. Tenrecs

Scientific NameTenrecidae
Type of AnimalMammal

These small, spiny mammals are found in Africa and Madagascar. They have quills that range in size from 1 to 3 inches (2.5-7.6 cm). The quills on their backs are used for defense, while the shorter quills on their sides and legs help the tenrec camouflage itself in its forest habitat.


Quills are a natural defense for many animals. These sharp, barbed needles can deter predators or even injure them. Porcupines and hedgehogs are two of the most well-known creatures with quills, but there are other species that use them for protection as well. Some of these animals have long quills, while others have shorter, hair-like quills.

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