Echidna vs Hedgehog: What’s the Difference?
The Echidna and the Hedgehog are two very similar looking mammals that are often confused with one another. Both of these animals have spiny backs, and both live in Australia. However, while both of these animals have a long snout, the echidna has longer ears, and the hedgehog has shorter ones. Echidnas are known to eat insects, whereas hedgehogs prefer eating worms and grubs.
Both of these animals are herbivores, meaning that they eat plants. They do differ slightly in terms of diet though. Hedgehogs tend to feed on earthworms, mollusks, and slugs. On the other hand, echidnas like to eat ants and termites.
While both of these animals have short legs, the echidna tends to walk upright compared to the hedgehog, which walks on four legs. This difference in locomotion makes it easier for people to identify the echidna.
In addition, the echidna does not hibernate during wintertime. Instead, it goes into a state of torpor where it stops moving and conserves energy.
Hedgehogs, however, do hibernate during cold weather. During this period, the hedgehog shuts down its metabolism and enters a deep sleep.
Comparing Echidna vs Hedgehog
The echidna is a small mammal native to Australia. They are mostly known for being able to dig tunnels under water. But what about their size? How do you compare hedgehogs to echidnas? Let’s take a look at some facts about both animals.
• An echidna weighs anywhere from 3 to 15 pounds.
• Their length ranges from 12 to 20 inches.
• These mammals live in colonies.
• They have a very narrow and elongated snout.
• They are usually one uniform color.
Key Differences Between Echidna vs Hedgehog
Echidnas grow far larger in size than hedgehogs. A full grown adult echidna weighs around 80 pounds while a fully grown hedgehog weighs about 4 pounds. This difference in size makes it easy to tell the two apart just by looking at them.
Hedgehogs live in much smaller areas than echidnas do. They tend to live near water sources like rivers, ponds, lakes, etc. However, there are some exceptions where they can even be found living in deserts. In fact, one species of hedgehog lives in Australia.
While both of these animals roll up into balls as a form defensive mechanism, echidnas dig holes to hide in while hedgehogs build dens out of sticks and leaves.
Let’s take a look at each animal individually now.
Echidna vs Hedgehog: Size and Weight
Hedgehogs and echidnas look very similar, but there is one major difference between these two animals: size and weight. While both species are mammals, hedgehogs are small and furry, weighing about 5 pounds on average. In comparison, echidnas are much bigger, reaching up to 15 pounds on average. You can easily distinguish the two species just by looking at them.
Echidna vs Hedgehog: Location and Habitat Preferences
Hedgehogs and echidnas share many similarities. Both are small mammals, both are nocturnal, and both spend most of their lives underground. However, there are some differences between the two species. One of the biggest differences is in their geographic location. Echidnas are native to Australia and New Guinea, whereas hedgehogs are native to Europe, Asia, Eurasian, and Africa. Another big difference between the two is their preferred environment. While echidnas prefer dry upland forested areas, hedgehogs prefer moist lowland forests and marshes.
Echidna vs Hedgehog: Appearance
Hedgehogs and echidnas look similar, but there are some major differences between them. Both are mammals, but the echidna is actually a monotreme, meaning it lays eggs like reptiles. They’re also different in size; an adult male echidna weighs about 2 pounds, while a hedgehog typically weighs around 15 ounces.
The echidna does have some similarities to the hedgehog, though. Both have spiky hair, although hedgehogs usually grow longer hair than echidnas do. Their spines are also similar, although echidnas have fewer spikes and are much thicker. Because of this, echidnas don’t really have a set pattern. As far as colors go, echidnas tend to be grayish or white, while hedgehogs often have a darker tone.
Echidna vs Hedgehog: Behavior
Like most mammals, echidnas and hedgehog species are very similar in appearance. Both are covered in thick hair and have short legs and tails. They both have sharp spikes on their backs and spines on their bellies. But there are some key differences between the two. For one thing, echidnas do not have whiskers like hedgehogs. Also, unlike hedgehogs, echidnas dig holes for shelter, rather than building nests out of leaves and twigs. And finally, echidnas are found in hot climates, whereas hedgehogs prefer temperate zones.
Echidna vs Hedgehog: Lifespan
Hedgehogs are smaller mammals native to Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia, and parts of North America. They are known for having short snouts, long spines, and small ears. Echidnas are herbivores found throughout the world, including New Zealand, Australia, Indonesia, Japan, China, and South Korea. As you might imagine, there are some differences between the two animals. For example, hedgehogs are covered in hair, while echidnas lack hair. Both species are members of the monotremata group, which includes platypus, echidna, and Tasmanian devil.