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8 Animals That Use Their Spikes as Tools


North American Porcupine

Category: Defense

30,000 Quills

30,000 quills. That’s a scary amount of possibly painful meetings. When the North American porcupine is attacked, it swipes at its attacker with its tail. And it’s covered with up to 30,000 quills! But the porcupine goes one further. The 2.7 inches (7 cm) long quills on its tail aren’t just horribly pointy and sharp, but also have nasty barbs on them. Ouch!

North American Porcupine North American Porcupine - Photo: A_Lein/Shutterstock


Old World Porcupine

Category: Defense

It Makes Even Lions Cry

When threatened, the African porcupine swings its tail at its attacker, which has 13.7 inches (35 cm) long quills with nasty barbs. Its attacks cause painful, festering wounds. Believe it or not, it’s not uncommon for big, powerful animals like lions to die of these wounds.

Old World Porcupine Old World Porcupine - Photo: Martin Maritz/Shutterstock



Category: Defense

A Feathery Pincushion For Defense

For a hedgehog, spines are like life insurance. When it rolls up into a ball, it doesn’t just protect itself from predators, but also falls. But hedgehogs don’t climb often.

Hedgehog Hedgehog - Photo: Mr. SUTTIPON YAKHAM/Shutterstock


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