Spikes are a common defense mechanism used by animals to protect themselves from predators and intimidate potential threats. They can be found on a wide variety of animals, from mammals and birds to reptiles and insects. Here are 20 animals with spikes, along with some interesting facts about each one:
Porcupines are rodents with long, sharp quills on their backs, sides, and tails. When threatened, they can raise and puff up their quills to make themselves look bigger and more intimidating. Porcupines can’t shoot their quills, but they can easily detach from their bodies and get stuck in the skin of predators.
Hedgehogs are small, spiny mammals native to Europe, Asia, and Africa. They have short, sharp spines on their back and sides that they use for defense. When threatened, hedgehogs will roll up into a ball, exposing their spikes to deter predators.
#3: Echidna Echidnas
Also known as spiny anteaters, are mammals native to Australia and New Guinea. They have a spiny coat of fur on their backs and sides, which they use for protection. Echidnas also have a long, slender snout and a tongue that they use to catch ants and termites.
#4: Pangolin Pangolins
are scaly mammals native to Africa and Asia. They have large, overlapping scales on their bodies that provide protection from predators. Pangolins can also curl up into a tight ball when threatened, using their scales as a shield.
Armadillos are mammals native to Central and South America. They have a hard, armor-like shell on their backs and sides, made up of small, bony plates covered in a layer of keratin. Armadillos use their shells for protection from predators, as well as for digging burrows.
#6: Sea urchin
Sea urchins are spiny, round creatures found in the ocean. They have a hard, spiky shell on their bodies, made up of many small, pointed plates. Sea urchins use their spikes for protection from predators and for attaching themselves to rocks and other surfaces.
Stegosaurus was a herbivorous dinosaur that lived during the Late Jurassic period. It had a row of plates running down its back, as well as two rows of large, sharp spikes on its tail. Scientists believe that Stegosaurus used its spikes and plates for defense against predators.
Ankylosaurus was another herbivorous dinosaur that lived during the Late Cretaceous period. It had a club-like tail and a body covered in armor-like plates and spikes. Ankylosaurus used its spikes and plates for protection against predators, as well as for digging up roots and bulbs to eat.
#9: Long-tailed pangolin
The long-tailed pangolin is a species of pangolin found in the rainforests of West and Central Africa. It has large, overlapping scales on its body that provide protection from predators and a long, prehensile tail that it uses for balance and climbing.
#10: Spotted hyena
The spotted hyena is a carnivorous mammal found in Africa. It has a thick, spiky mane of fur on its neck and shoulders, as well as a powerful jaw and sharp teeth. Spotted hyenas are known for their distinctive vocalizations and strong social bonds.
#11: Bearded dragon
The bearded dragon is a species of reptile found in Australia. It has a row of spiky scales on its neck and throat, which it can puff up to make itself look larger and more intimidating. Bearded dragons are popular pets due to their docile nature and easy care requirements.
#12: Gopher tortoise
The gopher tortoise is a species of turtle found in the southeastern United States. It has a hard, spiky shell on its back and powerful front legs that it uses for digging burrows. Gopher tortoises are an important species in their ecosystem, as their burrows provide shelter for a variety of other animals.
#13: Honey badger
The honey badger is a carnivorous mammal found in Africa and Asia. It has a tough, spiky coat of fur on its back and sides, as well as sharp claws and teeth. Honey badgers are known for their fearless nature and ability to take on much larger predators.
Starfish, also known as sea stars, are marine animals found in the ocean. They have a spiky, bumpy exterior and a central disc with five or more arms. Starfish use their spikes for protection from predators and for clinging to rocks and other surfaces.
Viperfish are predatory fish found in the deep ocean. They have long, sharp teeth and a set of luminescent photophores on their bodies that they use to lure in prey. Viperfish are also equipped with long, spiky fins and a hinged lower jaw that allows them to open their mouths wide.