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Whether you’ve played the games or seen the movies, you probably know that the Sonic franchise has several anthropomorphic animals. While we know that Sonic is a hedgehog and Tails is a two-tailed fox, we don’t get much of an explanation about Knuckles. What animal is Knuckles from Sonic? We’ll tell you which family this animal belongs to and why it’s so difficult to discern what it is in the game.
What Animal is Knuckles in the Sonic Franchise?
Knuckles from Sonic is an echidna, a type of small mammal that comes from the family Tachyglossidae. People often wonder about what type of animal Knuckles is due to the somewhat ambiguous anthropomorphic art style used in the games.
After all, Knuckles is presented as a bright red creature that runs on two legs, has long quill-like dreadlocks, and wears gloves with two prominent spikes on them. Unlike real echidnas that are ground-dwelling animals, Knuckles can trap air beneath his dreadlocks to glide indefinitely. At least, that’s the explanation provided early in the game series.
It’s no surprise that people have difficulty figuring out what type of animal Knuckles is in the Sonic series. Still, the game developers certainly could not have picked a more interesting small mammal to rival the hedgehog, Sonic.
Species Information About Echidnas
|Size||Measure about 14 to 20 inches long and weigh about 9 to 15 pounds|
|Location||Primarily live in Australia and parts of New Guinea, but face a dwindling population|
|Habitats||Often live in woodlands and forests, using burrows or other forms of cover to hide from dangerous weather and predators|
|Appearance||– Small, quadrupedal mammal
– Some possess a long, thin snout used for finding and eating burrowing prey
– Some species have a shorter snout
– Have long claws and sharp spines on their backs for defense
– Somewhat resemble anteaters
– Can curl into a ball for defense
|Lifespan||– 14 to 16 years in the wild
– Upwards of 45 to 50 years in captivity
Echidnas of the Tachyglossus genus are very interesting mammals. One of the most interesting facts about these creatures is that they are monotremes, egg-laying mammals. They are one of two types of mammals that lay eggs, the other being the duck-billed platypus. Those animals also live mostly in Australia. Echidnas are spread across Australia and parts of New Guinea.
Currently, four extant species of Echidnas exist, but they are relatively few. Some estimates claim that only 10,000 mature echidnas are alive in the wild today. While the government of Australia has enacted many laws to protect these creatures, they may not be enough to save the species’ decline.
Does Knuckles from Sonic Look Like an Echidna?
No, Knuckles does not resemble an actual echidna at all. Knuckles is a tall, red, bipedal creature with long quills forming a hairstyle resembling dreadlocks. Actual echidnas are small mammals that walk on four legs and measure from 14 to 20 inches long. Some species have a very long, thin snout while others have a shorter snout. Their snouts allow them to detect the insects that form most of their diet.
While they don’t have the large protruding spikes like Knuckles, they do have long claws. Given their small size, it should be no surprise that echidnas are skittish creatures.
When echidnas feel threatened, they can curl up into a ball. They have modified hairs on their dorsal side that serve as spines. These sharp, strong spines can deter some animals from attacking them while they try to get away. However, the echidna’s quills are not like a porcupine’s quills, and they do not detach from their bodies. Knuckles does retain the long snout like members of his species, though.
Is an Echidna the Same as a Hedgehog?
Echidnas and hedgehogs have some similarities, but they are not the same animals. While echidnas weigh about 9 to 15 pounds and measure between 14 to 20 pounds, hedgehogs are much smaller at 2 to 5 pounds and 4 to 12 inches in length.
Hedgehogs are covered in short spikes with small claws. The echidna has longer spines and long claws. Another major difference is their snouts. Some echidnas have very long, specialized snouts, and even the short-snouted echidnas have pronounced snouts. Hedgehogs have medium-sized, conical snouts.
Both creatures roll into a ball when they are threatened. However, echidnas have a far greater lifespan of about 14 to 16 years in the wild compared to a hedgehog which only lives about 4 to 6 years in the wild. Hedgehogs are far more widespread than echidnas. Echidnas only live in Australia and New Guinea, but hedgehogs are found throughout Asia, Africa, and Europe.
Interesting Echidna Facts
Echidnas are very intriguing animals with many interesting facets to them. Although we presented one of the most interesting facts about them, that they’re egg-laying mammals, several other cool facts about these animals exist.
- Echidnas are also called “spiny anteaters.”
- Four species of echidnas exist in two genera.
- Echidnas are named after a half-woman, half-snake from Greek mythology called the “Mother of Monsters.”
- Echidnas have the lowest body temperature of any mammal.
- Echidnas evolved somewhere between 50 million years ago and 20 million years ago, and they may have descended from the platypus.
Needless to say, Knuckles from Sonic was modeled after a rather unique animal!
We’ve covered the answer to, what animal is Knuckles from Sonic? Even knowing that he’s an echidna, it’s hard to look past the overwhelming amount of anthropomorphism. Still, looking at his snout and spikes, you can see some similarities between the character on the screen and the Oceania-based mammal.