20 Animals with Spikes (A to Z List with Pictures)

Animals with Spikes

Examples of animals with spikes include the armadillo girdled lizard, armored rat, echidna, porcupine, and hedgehog.

There are many animals that have spikes for protection. Some, like the hedgehog, curl up into a ball to protect themselves from predators. Others, like the porcupine, use their quills as a form of defense.

While all of these animals have spikes for different reasons, they all have one thing in common: they can be dangerous if you get too close.

Examples of Animals with Spikes

1. Armadillo Girdled Lizard

Scientific NameOuroborus cataphractus
Type of AnimalReptile
RangeSouth Africa

The armadillo girdled lizard is a reptile that is found in parts of Africa and Asia. These lizards get their name from the fact that they have a band of spikes around their middle, which makes them look like an armadillo. These spikes are used for defense, and the lizards will sometimes curl up into a ball to protect themselves.

2. Armadillo Spiny Tailed Lizard 

Scientific NameOuroborus cataphractus
Type of AnimalReptile

The armadillo spiny-tailed lizard has a row of spines along its tail that it uses to defend itself against predators. These small lizards are native to the grasslands of Africa, and they are able to survive in extreme climates because of their hard scales.

3. Armored Rat

Scientific NameHoplomys gymnurus
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeLatin America, from northern Honduras to northwest Ecuador

The armored rat is a small rodent that is found in tropical forests of Central and South America. With its short, spiky coat of fur and strong build, this animal is well-equipped to deal with predators. Despite its spikes, the armored rat is an agile climber and can easily avoid danger by moving quickly through the trees.

4. Crown Of Thorns Starfish

Scientific NameAcanthaster planci
Type of AnimalEchinoderms
Rangeon reefs in the Indo Pacific region, including the Great Barrier Reef

The crown of thorns starfish is a dangerous creature that lives in the waters off the coast of Australia. It uses its sharp spikes to attack coral and sea urchins, damaging the ecosystem. This species has been declared endangered due to overfishing and habitat destruction.

5. Echidna

Scientific NameTachyglossidae
Type of AnimalMammal

The echidna is a unique animal that is found in Australia and New Guinea. These animals are well-known for their spiky appearance, which helps protect them from predators. Like the hedgehog, an echidna will curl up into a ball when threatened, using its spines as protection.

But the echidna isn’t just a one-trick pony. These animals are also known for their strong sense of smell, which they use to find food. They are also expert swimmers and can even climb trees.

6. Hedgehog

Scientific NameErinaceinae
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeEurope, Asia, Africa, and New Zealand

The hedgehog is a small, spiny mammal that is found in Europe, Asia, and Africa. These animals are nocturnal and use their sharp spikes as a form of protection from predators. They curl up into tight balls when threatened, making it difficult for predators to get close. Despite their prickly appearance, hedgehogs are actually quite gentle animals and are known to be good parents.

Related Article: Do Brandt’s Hedgehog Have Quills?

7. Indian Crested Porcupine

Scientific NameHystrix indica
Type of AnimalMammal
Rangerocky hills, deserts and forests from Turkey to India

The Indian crested porcupine is a species of rodent found in southern India and Sri Lanka. These animals are nocturnal and spend their days resting in burrows. At night they forage for food, which includes roots, tubers, and other plant material. Indian crested porcupines are also known to eat insects, small reptiles, and even carrion.

These porcupines are well-armed with sharp quills that cover their backs and sides. When threatened, they shake their quills to make a rattling noise. This warns predators to stay away. If that doesn’t work, the porcupine will back into its attacker, driving the quills into the flesh.

8. Lionfish

Scientific NamePterois
Type of AnimalFish
Rangecoral reefs in the tropical waters of the South Pacific and Indian Oceans

One of the most beautiful, but also one of the most deadly, fish in the world is the lionfish. It has long, billowing fins and vibrant colors that make it a stunning sight to see. But don’t let its beauty fool you-this fish is covered in venomous spikes. Lionfish are native to the reefs of the Indo-Pacific Ocean, but they have been found in the Atlantic Ocean as well.

Related Article: Do Lionfish Sting?

9. Long-Spine Porcupinefish

Scientific NameDiodon holocanthus
Type of AnimalFish
Rangecoral and rocky reefs around the world in tropical and subtropical seas

The long-spine porcupinefish is a species of fish found in tropical waters around the world. This animal gets its name from the large, sharp spikes that cover its body. These spikes are made of hard, bony material and are used as a form of protection against predators.

The long-spine porcupinefish is an agile swimmer and can often be found in shallow, coral-filled waters. It uses its long spikes as a way to scare off potential predators, or to defend itself if threatened. Despite this protective feature, this species is still a popular food source for larger marine animals.

10. Malayan Porcupine

Scientific NameHystrix brachyura
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeIndia and Nepal, east to China, and south through the Malay Peninsula

The Malayan porcupine is a large rodent that is found in the forests of Southeast Asia. These animals are nocturnal and spend most of their time in trees. They are excellent climbers and can even climb down trees headfirst.

The Malayan porcupine has long, sharp quills that cover its back, sides, and tail. These quills act as a form of protection, causing predators to think twice before attacking one of these animals. Like most porcupines, the Malayan porcupine is an herbivore and spends most of its time foraging for leaves, seeds, and fruit.

11. Sea Urchins

Scientific NameEchinoidea
Type of AnimalEchinodermata

Sea urchins are a type of marine animal that is characterized by their spiny, shell-like bodies. These animals are found in temperate waters all around the world, from the shallow coastal areas to deeper waters along continental shelves.

Sea urchins use their sharp spikes for defense against predators, as well as for moving around in their environment. The spikes are also used to help the urchin attach to surfaces.

While sea urchins are not typically considered dangerous to humans, their spikes can cause puncture wounds if you step on them or handle them improperly.

Related Article: Do Sea Urchins Have Legs?

12. South African Porcupine

Scientific NameHystrix africaeaustralis
Type of Animal Mammal
Rangesouthern and central Africa, to southern Kenya, Uganda, and Congo

The South African porcupine is one of the more well-known animals with spikes. They can be found in many parts of South Africa and are known for their large, sharp quills that cover their bodies. These quills can grow up to 1 foot long and are used as a form of protection from predators, some of which include lions and leopards.

Porcupines are not only found in South Africa though. They can also be found in parts of Africa, the Middle East, and even as far north as Asia. One interesting thing about porcupines is that they do not roll up into a protective ball like hedgehogs do when threatened by predators. Instead, they will face their attacker and use their quills as a form of defense.

13. Spiny Oakworm Moth

Scientific NameAnisota stigma
Type of AnimalInsect
Rangefrom the Atlantic Coast from southern New England to central Florida

The spiny oakworm moth is a small, harmless creature that lives in the forests of North America. Its body is covered in tiny, sharp spikes, which help protect it from predators and allow it to blend in with its surroundings.

14. Spiny Orb-Weaver

Scientific NameGasteracantha
Type of AnimalInsect
Rangesoutheast coast of the United States and in California

The spiny orb-weaver is a small arachnid that can be found inhabiting tropical and subtropical regions around the world. With its distinctive spikes and web, it is well-equipped to defend itself against predators. These animals are primarily nocturnal, hiding during the day and coming out at night to feed on insects.

15. Spiny Starfish

Scientific NameMarthasterias glacialis
Type of AnimalEchinoderms
Rangesouthwest coasts of England and Wales and west coast of Britain

The spiny starfish is a small, colorful sea creature that can be found in the Pacific Ocean. These animals have numerous spikes on their bodies to help protect them from predators and other threats. The spiny starfish moves by extending its legs in all directions, which helps it travel quickly through the water. In addition to using their prickly spines for defense, spiny starfish also have the ability to regenerate lost body parts.

16. Spot-Fin Porcupinefish

Scientific NameDiodon hystrix
Type of AnimalFish

These interesting-looking fish are found in warm waters around the world. As their name suggests, they have quills that look like porcupine needles. These quills are used for protection. When a predator tries to eat a spot-fin porcupinefish, the quills make it hard to swallow.

17. Thorny Dragon

Scientific NameMoloch horridus
Type of AnimalReptile

The thorny dragon, or moloch, is a small lizard that lives in the deserts of Australia. These lizards have spikes all over their bodies to help protect them from predators. Many animals find it difficult to eat a thorny dragon because of the many spines on its back and head.

18. Three-Spined Stickleback

Scientific NameGasterosteus aculeatus
Type of AnimalFish
Rangenorthern hemisphere

The three-spined stickleback is a small fish that is found in freshwater environments all over the world. These fish get their name from the three spines that protrude from their backs. These spines are used for protection against predators.

19. Western Saharan Spiny Mouse

Scientific NameAcomys airensis
Type of AnimalMammal
Rangesouthern Mauritania, Mali and Niger but which may also occur in Chad, Western Sahara and southernmost parts of Algeria

The Western Saharan spiny mouse is a small rodent that is found in the Sahara desert. These mice have long, spiny tails that they use for balance while running. They also have spines on their backs that help to protect them from predators.

20. Whiptail Stingray

Scientific NameDasyatidae
Type of AnimalFish

The whiptail stingray is a species of ray that lives in shallow tropical waters across the globe. This animal has sharp, venomous spikes on its back and tail that it uses for protection against predators. The whiptail stingray relies on its speed and agility to evade larger predators and can swim incredibly fast when threatened.


The animals with spikes mentioned in the title are some of the most fascinating creatures on Earth. With their unique defenses, they have evolved to become some of the most successful and well-adapted species.

While there are many different types of spikes, each has its own function and importance in the animal’s life. Whether it is used for camouflage, defense, or even hunting prey, the spikes are sure to provide a unique perspective on these animals.

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