Idiot Animal: Photos, Interesting Facts, Everything you need to know

It’s an animal with spines like the porcupine and Echidna.

It is indigenous to semiarid regions of West Africa. In some places, hedghog is called “idiot”. Although it is similar to porcupine yet they are quite different. Hedgehog has spines all over its body why porcupine has quill on its body.


Unlike the quills of a porcupine, its spines are not poisonous as people think and are not readily removed from the hedgehog body meaning the “Idiot” doesn’t shoot as compared to the porcupine and even if it does, the spines don’t kill, they are not even poisonous though they may hurt anyway.


idiot animal

The hedgehog is known to only loose its spines when the animal is diseased or under extreme stress.

According to Wikipedia:

A hedgehog is any of the spiny mammals of the subfamily Erinaceinae, in the eulipotyphlan family Erinaceidae. There are seventeen species of hedgehog in five genera, found through parts of Europe, Asia, and Africa, and in New Zealand by introduction.

Hedgehogs share distant ancestry with shrews (family Soricidae), with gymnures possibly being the intermediate link, and have changed little over the last 15 million years. Like many of the first mammals, they have adapted to a nocturnal way of life.

Hedgehogs’ spiny protection resembles that of the unrelated porcupines, which are rodents, and echidnas, a type of monotreme.

Physical description

People often mistake the hedgehog for a porcupine(a big cousin of the hedgehog who shoots his spines in defense) or a Echidna (one of the hedgehog relatives who doesn’t fear wild fire.

You can quickly distinguish a hedgehog by its hollow hairs which are made stiff by keratin, these hairs are called spines.

Hedgehog skeleton

The spines of a hedgehog my be mistaken for the quills of a porcupine but unlike the quills of a porcupine its not poisonous or barbed and it is not easily detached from the hedgehog body meaning the “Idiot” doesn’t shoot as compared to the porcupine and even if it does, the bullets don’t kill they are not even poisonous though they may hurt anyway.

The hedgehog only looses its spines when the animal is diseased or under extreme stress and then through a process called quilling which refers to immature hedgehog’s spines falling out to be replaced with adult spines. (just like we change milk teeth it seems they change milk spines too) lol.


Just in-case you fall in love with this lovely animal after reading this and want to have one as pet, here are a few things you need to know.

Other creatures are like film stars — you only ever glimpse them at a distance — but hedgehogs are like the boy or girl next door; we can get really close to them, and maybe fall in love. The most common pet species of hedgehog are hybrids of the white-bellied hedgehog other species include:

  • The North African hedgehog
  • The long-eared hedgehog
  • The European hedgehog
  • The four-toed hedgehog
  • The Indian long-eared hedgehog
  • The white-bellied hedgehog
  • They feed on insects, snails, frogs and toads, snakes, bird eggs, carrion, mushrooms, grass roots, berries, melons and watermelons.

According to Wikipedia, It is illegal to own a hedgehog as a pet in some US states and some Canadian municipalities, and breeding licenses are required. No such restrictions exist in most European countries with the exception of Scandinavia. In Italy, it is illegal to keep wild hedgehogs as pets.

Difference between idiot and Porcupine


Porcupines are large rodents with coats of sharp spines, or quills, that protect them against predation. The term covers two families of animals: the Old World porcupines of family Hystricidae, and the New World porcupines of family Erethizontidae.

Idiot (noun)

A human being destitute of the ordinary intellectual powers, whether congenital, developmental, or accidental; commonly, a person without understanding from birth; a natural fool.

In a former classification of mentally retarded people, idiot designated a person whose adult level of intelligence was equivalent to that of a three-year old or younger; this corresponded with an I.Q. level of approximately 25 or less.‘

Life . . . is a taleTold by an idiot, full of sound and fury, Signifying nothing.’;

Idiots are living our planet

According to the Eden study the top 10 list of endangered species in the UK is:

  • 1 Red-necked phalarope
  • 2 Black-tailed godwit
  • 3 Scottish wildcat
  • 4 Capercaillie
  • 5 Cuckoo
  • 6 Red squirrel
  • 7 Turtle dove
  • 8 Natterjack toad
  • 9 Brown hare
  • 10 Hedgehog
A child with a giant model of a hedgehog on Clapham Common Photo: David Parry/PA

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