Let's Compare Hedgehog and Porcupine


A hedgehog is any of the spiny mammals of the subfamily Erinaceinae, which is in order Erinaceomorpha.

hedgehog n 1: relatively large rodents with sharp erectile bristles mingled with the fur [syn: {porcupine}] 2: small nocturnal Old World mammal covered with both hair and protective spines [syn: {Erinaceus europaeus}, {Erinaceus europeaeus}]

Hedgehog \Hedge"hog`\, n. 1. (Zo["o]l.) A small European insectivore ({Erinaceus Europ[ae]us}), and other allied species of Asia and Africa, having the hair on the upper part of its body mixed with prickles or spines. It is able to roll itself into a ball so as to present the spines outwardly in every direction. It is nocturnal in its habits, feeding chiefly upon insects. [1913 Webster] 2. (Zo["o]l.) The Canadian porcupine.[U.S] [1913 Webster] 3. (Bot.) A species of {Medicago} ({Medicago intertexta}), the pods of which are armed with short spines; -- popularly so called. --Loudon. [1913 Webster] 4. A form of dredging machine. --Knight. [1913 Webster] 5. (Elec.) A variety of transformer with open magnetic circuit, the ends of the iron wire core being turned outward and presenting a bristling appearance, whence the name. [Webster 1913 Suppl.] 6. (Mil.) a defensive obstacle having pointed barbs extending outward, such as one composed of crossed logs with barbed wire wound around them, or a tangle of steel beams embedded in concrete used to impede or damage landing craft on a beach; also, a position well-fortified with such defensive obstacles. [PJC] {Hedgehog caterpillar} (Zo["o]l.), the hairy larv[ae] of several species of bombycid moths, as of the Isabella moth. It curls up like a hedgehog when disturbed. See {Woolly bear}, and {Isabella moth}. {Hedgehog fish} (Zo["o]l.), any spinose plectognath fish, esp. of the genus {Diodon}; the porcupine fish. {Hedgehog grass} (Bot.), a grass with spiny involucres, growing on sandy shores; burgrass ({Cenchrus tribuloides}). {Hedgehog rat} (Zo["o]l.), one of several West Indian rodents, allied to the porcupines, but with ratlike tails, and few quills, or only stiff bristles. The hedgehog rats belong to {Capromys}, {Plagiodon}, and allied genera. {Hedgehog shell} (Zo["o]l.), any spinose, marine, univalve shell of the genus {Murex}. {Hedgehog thistle} (Bot.), a plant of the Cactus family, globular in form, and covered with spines ({Echinocactus}). {Sea hedgehog}. See {Diodon}. [1913 Webster]


Porcupines are rodents with a coat of sharp spines, or quills, that defend and camouflage them from predators.

porcupine n : relatively large rodents with sharp erectile bristles mingled with the fur [syn: {hedgehog}]

29 Moby Thesaurus words for "porcupine": Cape polecat, ape, bar, bear, cavy, chimp, chimpanzee, coon, ferret, foumart, glutton, groundhog, guinea pig, hedgehog, monk, monkey, mousehound, opossum, polecat, possum, prairie dog, quill pig, raccoon, skunk, weasel, whistle-pig, wolverine, woodchuck, zoril

Porcupine \Por"cu*pine\, n. [OE. porkepyn, porpentine, OF. porc-espi, F. porc-['e]pic (cf. It. porco spino, porco spinoso, Sp. puerco espino, puerco espin, fr. L. porcus swine + spina thorn, spine). The last part of the French word is perhaps a corruption from the It. or Sp.; cf. F. ['e]pi ear, a spike of grain, L. spica. See {Pork}, {Spike} a large nail, {Spine}.] 1. (Zo["o]l.) Any Old Word rodent of the genus {Hystrix}, having the back covered with long, sharp, erectile spines or quills, sometimes a foot long. The common species of Europe and Asia ({Hystrix cristata}) is the best known. [1913 Webster] 2. (Zo["o]l.) Any species of {Erethizon} and related genera, native of America. They are related to the true porcupines, but have shorter spines, and are arboreal in their habits. The Canada porcupine ({Erethizon dorsatus}) is a well known species. [1913 Webster] {Porcupine ant-eater} (Zo["o]l.), the echidna. {Porcupine crab} (Zo["o]l.), a large spiny Japanese crab ({Acantholithodes hystrix}). {Porcupine disease} (Med.). See {Ichthyosis}. {Porcupine fish} (Zo["o]l.), any plectognath fish having the body covered with spines which become erect when the body is inflated. See {Diodon}, and {Globefish}. {Porcupine grass} (Bot.), a grass ({Stipa spartea}) with grains bearing a stout twisted awn, which, by coiling and uncoiling through changes in moisture, propels the sharp-pointed and barbellate grain into the wool and flesh of sheep. It is found from Illinois westward. See Illustration in Appendix. {Porcupine wood} (Bot.), the hard outer wood of the cocoa palm; -- so called because, when cut horizontally, the markings of the wood resemble the quills of a porcupine. [1913 Webster]

Porcupine, SD (CDP, FIPS 51340) Location: 43.27197 N, 102.33289 W Population (1990): 783 (175 housing units) Area: 24.5 sq km (land), 0.0 sq km (water) Zip code(s): 57772

Data Sources:

  • hedgehog: WordNet (r) 2.0
  • hedgehog: The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.44
  • porcupine: WordNet (r) 2.0
  • porcupine: Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0
  • porcupine: The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.44
  • porcupine: U.S. Gazetteer (1990)

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