Sonic the Hedgehog is the character in a video game by the same name.
Biologists later named an important protein Sonic the Hedgehog. The protein is important in the development of embryos. This is a very difficult process. Think about what it took to make you from one fertilized egg. Cells not only had to divide, they had to specialize. Some became cells in your nervous system. Others became muscle cells or kidney cells. How many other cell types can you think of?
When scientists first discovered one of these important proteins, they named it "hedgehog" because it looked all spiky, like the animal. As similar proteins were found, they were given names like "desert hedgehog." Then when one team found another protein like it, they decided to name it for the video game.
The Sonic Hedgehog protein, and the protein that codes for it, help bodies form correctly, especially, the two sides of the body. It helps the two sides of the body to be mirror images of each other. This is called "bilateral symmetry." Take a look in a mirror and see which parts of your body are symmetrical.