What Animal Is Knuckles From Sonic?

Not many people know that Sonic the Hedgehog’s sidekick, Knuckles, is actually based on a real animal.

Knuckles From Sonic is a red anthropomorphic short-beaked echidna, just like the ones found in the wild. This animal is covered in fur and spines, has a long snout, and has an adapted tongue that allows it to catch its insect prey at high speeds.

Takashi Yuda, the developer behind Knuckles, never meant for him to be more than just a “supporting character”. But he quickly became popular with fans and has since appeared in countless Sonic games and spin-offs.

What Is A Short-Beaked Echidna?

The short-beaked echidna is 1 of only 4 living species of echidnas in the world. The species is native to much of Australia and eastern New Guinea’s highlands and coastal areas, where it is the most common native mammal.

Indigenous Australians have a rich animistic culture, featuring the short-beaked echidna in their visual arts and stories. Some groups, including the Noongar people from Western Australia, saw the species as a totem. The short-beaked echidna was known as the spiny anteater in some older texts, although since the echidna has nothing to do with true anteaters, this name is no longer used.

Final Thoughts

The Sonic the Hedgehog franchise is an odd one. The main character in this story is a hedgehog that loves to eat chili dogs and his sidekick is an echidna that doesn’t even look like one. Nevertheless, both characters have made a mark on the gaming and movie world and have become icons in their own right.

Short-beaked Echidna Featured Image by: fir0002 flagstaffotos [at] gmail.com Canon 20D + Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 L, GFDL 1.2, via Wikimedia Commons