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14 Animals Similar to Hedgehogs

A cute hedgehog in a palm.

Hedgehogs are delightful creatures that many would agree are very cute, and some even go so far as to keep them as pets. Indeed, it is challenging to resist their adorable faces and all of the joy that they bring to people. That said, there are some animals that look very similar to hedgehogs, but they are not actually hedgehogs.

It may prove useful to explore what kind of animals are similar to hedgehogs in order to get a better idea about what all exists in the animal kingdom. We will take a look at some animals that are very similar to hedgehogs at this time. 

1. Brazilian Porcupine

Brazilian porcupine feeding in a tree.

The Brazilian porcupine is found in Brazil and other parts of South America. That fact is no surprise to anyone. What you may not know is that they have quills just like other porcupines that they use for their own self-defense against predators.

On top of that, the Brazilian porcupine is nocturnal, so you won’t see them roaming around in the daytime. They do their best to stay hidden from natural predators, and they also like to stay away from humans whenever possible. That said, there are some people who do encounter them, and those individuals sometimes believe that they are looking at a hedgehog when they see them. 

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2. Cowen’s Shrew Tenrec

Common shrew sitting on the rock.

The Cowen’s Shrew Tenrec may have a cute-sounding name, but they have adapted to survive in some pretty extreme environments. They are typically found in Africa, and they sometimes have to protect themselves against the elements and natural predators. This means that they will use sharp teeth and claws to make sure they are safe from their natural predators.

You may find yourself unable to tell the difference between these and hedgehogs, but the dead giveaway is the fact that they have these highly developed defense systems that they use to protect themselves against any and all predators. 

3. Dwarf Gymnure

A short-tailed gymnure resting on a stump.

Small and spiny, the Dwarf Gymnure is an animal that will only be found in Asia and parts of Africa. They are also nocturnal (as are many creatures on this list), but they have the natural defenses necessary to keep themselves protected from predators that they may encounter. You should keep an eye out for them if you happen to be in a region where they exist.

It can be quite the sight to behold if you happen to see one in its natural environment. Not too many people get the chance to do this, but it is very enriching and rewarding if you do. 

4. Greater Hedgehog Tenrec

Young hedgehog tenrec photographed at night.

The Greater Hedgehog Tenrec is very close to being the same as a hedgehog because it is a blend between a hedgehog and an insect. That is very strange for many people to see, but it exists in the natural world and is something interesting to examine. You will only ever come across one of these if you happen to be in Madagascar, but you should take a look at them as they are among the most interesting creatures you will ever see on this planet.

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They have lengthy quills that can reach a distance of up to 3 inches. 

5. Long-Eared Tenrec

Juvenile long eared tenrec in the forest.

Staying in Madagascar, the Long-Eared Tenrec is another creature that may sometimes be mistaken for a hedgehog. The ears and spine of this creature are particularly notable as they have been adapted to help them survive in Madagascar’s sometimes unforgiving environment. They need to avoid a number of different predators, and the only way to do so is to have the kind of natural defenses that are developed over a long period of evolutionary time. 

6. Long-Eared Gymnure

Two Long-eared gymnure actively playing on the ground.

Another creature with very long ears makes the list. The long ears are one way that you can tell them apart from hedgehogs (who typically have very small ears), but the Long-Eared Gymnure still looks similar enough to a hedgehog that some people believe they are one in the same. You will find the Long-Eared Gymnure in Southeast Asia, and they get their name from the long and furry ears that are a natural part of their body.

You should check them out if you are interested in learning more about some of the natural wonders that exist on this Earth. They are truly amazing, and it is a sight to behold that they are as similar to hedgehogs as they are without actually being hedgehogs at all. 

7. Mexican Hairy Dwarf Porcupine

Orange-spined hairy dwarf porcupine.

This creature is a relative of hedgehogs, but it is not a hedgehog in and of itself. Instead, the Mexican Hairy Dwarf Porcupine is a relative of hedgehogs that we deserve to pay attention to for their unique characteristics. They are found in Mexico as well as Central America.

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They have a length of approximately 30 inches on average and a weight of about 16 pounds on average. Thus, they are quite a bit larger than what your average hedgehog may look like. They can be distinguished from hedgehogs simply based on their much larger body size.

That said, it is understandable if you get them confused with their hedgehog relatives as they are indeed closely related. 

8. Mindanao Gymnure

Mindanao gymnure in their habitat.

The only place in the world where the Mindanao Gymnure can be found is on the island of Mindanao in the Philippines. It is extremely rare for people to encounter them, but they are a relative of hedgehogs, so those who see them sometimes believe that they are looking at a hedgehog. This is not the case, but this belief is sometimes held by those who happen to encounter them.

It is important to recognize that the Mindanao Gymnure is its unique creature, but you should understand that there are a lot of reasons why you might not encounter one on your own. The important thing to remember is that they exist on this planet, and you should recognize that they are different from hedgehogs. As long as you can keep both of those things in mind simultaneously, you will be able to recognize why the Mindanao Gymnure is such an important creature and the value it provides to the planet. 

9. Mole-Like Rice Tenrec

A mole in their hole at night.

Have you seen a mole before? They are among some of the most unique-looking creatures on the planet. People are often dazzled by the look of a mole and how it can do everything it does.

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This is the type of creature that will burrow into the Earth in order to find both food and shelter. They are nocturnal and frightening to some people, but others say they look somewhat like hedgehogs. The Mole-Like Rice Tenrec is another creature found in Madagascar (noticing a theme here?) that has a unique appearance and has given many people the opportunity to see something that is wholly unique and interesting to look at and examine.

Plenty of people who have seen the Mole-Like Rice Tenrec in the past have said that they didn’t think anything so interesting could exist. It does, and we are all fortunate that nature provides us with such beauty to look at regularly. 

10. Moles

Mole peeking out of it's hole in the garden.

Just like the creature above, your standard garden-variety mole is another one that can be mistaken for a hedgehog. They are found in North America, Europe, and Asia. They are known to dig deep into the Earth to build a home for themselves and look for food.

They have extremely sharp claws that are great for digging, but moles are known to have incredibly bad eyesight. When you first look at moles, they appear as if they have no eyes. They actually have eyes, but it is understandable that some people look at them and think they don’t.

After all, their weak eyesight is the main reason they rely so heavily on touch to move around in their environment. They need to navigate around and figure out where they are to build the kind of home they will require for themselves. While some people may want to adopt a hedgehog as a pet, precious few will feel the same about a Mole.

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They simply do not have the same “cute and cuddly” attributes that many associates with the hedgehogs they love. 

11. Moonrat

A moonrat on a white background.

Southeast Asia is home to the Moonrat, a cousin of hedgehogs. Just like the others on this list, Moonrats are nocturnal and tend to burrow deeply into the Earth to get the supplies they need just to survive daily. Like many others on this list, they are also not something that most people would think of as a pet.

They may have some backers who wouldn’t mind having them around the house as a pet, but the number of people this applies to is vanishingly small. Instead, Moonrats typically only exist out in the wild. If you happen to encounter one, you may be forgiven for believing that you are looking at a hedgehog.

The qualities that they share with a hedgehog are bountiful, and, understandably, some people may get them confused. 

12. Nimba Otter Shrew

A nimba otter shrew on the wooden table.

Africa is home to the Nimba Otter Shrew. If you get the chance to see one, watch out for its spine. They have a very spiky spine that is meant to keep predators away.

The idea is that their spine is a great way for them to reduce the chances of being attacked by a predator. This is exactly how it plays out in the real world for many Nimba Otter Shrews, and it is why people are so adamant about avoiding them if they have no reason to be near these creatures. It may be best to keep a safe distance away from them until you are certain that you can keep yourself safe and fully protected from any kind of advance that these creatures may make upon you. 

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It may sound like being too careful to avoid the Nimba Otter Shrew like this, but you will hear stories from people who have gotten too close to them and ultimately regretted it. They can be dangerous for those who don’t take the proper precautions. That is certainly different from what you would expect in a pet that you may want to own.

Thus, you should watch out for the Nimba Otter Shrew, as they are not the kind of creature that you want to mess around with. 

13. Short-Tailed Gymnure

Portrait of a resting short-tailed gymnure.

The cute, short, spiky tail of the Short-Tailed Gymnure is very interesting as they are closely related to the hedgehog. They are close enough that some people may consider getting a Short-Tailed Gymnure for themselves as a pet. It has the cute tail people often look for, and there is no doubt that this wonderful creature is a sight to behold.

You may want to look at the Short-Tailed Gymnure as a potential pet for yourself because they are really cute. Not everyone can imagine having a hedgehog-like animal as a pet, but those who love these creatures will surely see the value in going for something like this. The Short-Tailed Gymnure is exactly what you need to go for if you are the type of person with a particular liking for creatures similar to a hedgehog.

You won’t believe the level of similarities between the two, and you will want to show it off to people who may visit you. 

14. Solenodon

A venomous solenodon actively eating.

Cuba is where you can find the Solenodon if you are looking for one. It is a small and spiny creature that has had to figure out ways to keep itself safe over the years. Thus, it has a number of adaptations that help keep it safe from predators that might want to take it out.

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The Solenodon is a great example of a creature that you can see only in specific parts of the world (in this case only in Cuba), but it is also a great example of something that looks extremely similar to a hedgehog, and that is the reason why so many people get them confused with hedgehogs in the first place. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Are hedgehogs permitted as pets everywhere? 

In the United States, you can own a hedgehog as a pet in all places except California, Hawaii, Washington DC, Georgia, Pennsylvania, and parts of New York City. They are specifically banned in those areas, but they are allowed everywhere else in the country. You want to ensure that you follow the local laws to legally keep your hedgehog as a pet.

The laws on this issue can change from time to time, so always check up on what those laws are to stay within compliance with the law to remain safe from a legal grounds. 

How much do hedgehogs cost? 

The cost of a hedgehog is generally between $100 and $300. You may have some additional expenses involving their habitat and environment, but the typical cost you are looking at is just $100-$300. They can be a bit more than that if you get one with something particularly special about it, but that is rarely the case.

Usually you are going to be within those bounds on the price. You should budget a bit more just to ensure you can get all the supplies you need for your hedgehog.