A baby porcupine is called a porcupette. They are well known for their dangerous quills that they can come out easily upon contact with the unknown visitor. Porcupines are nocturnal, which means they are active during the night and sleep during the day. The Porcupine looks most like a prickly beaver! – Source. Porcupines are rodents with a coat of sharp spines, or quills, that defend them from predators. Porcupine Quills are dangerous to dogs because once they make contact with the skin, the quills can migrate further in and cause internal damage. June 5, 2016, cherran, Leave a comment. Female porcupines have between one and four young, depending on the species. Quick Facts About Porcupines, Quills, and Pets. The North American porcupine is the only species that lives in the U.S. and Canada, and is the largest of all porcupines. Porcupine Facts and Information Introduction to Porcupine. North American porcupines also eat fruit, leaves, and springtime buds. Its long strands of brown hair looks soft, but thousands of quills are tucked inside. Portrait of a Porcupine. Porcupines have soft hair, but on their back, sides, and tail it is usually mixed with sharp quills. Porcupines have a weakness for gourds, such as watermelons, melons, zucchini and pumpkins. New World porcupines, on the other hand, are capable of clinging to trees with their tails and catching surrounding branches if they fall. Porcupines are usually dark brown or black in color, with white highlights. Many people don’t know much else about them though. Kilimanjaro, as high up as 11,480 feet. Porcupines are not territorial animals, however, their home range can be as large as 200 acres. Interesting Facts About the Porcupine. Porcupines might be considered a prickly bunch, but they're pretty cute once you learn more about them. 1. It is this lust for tender greenery that finds porcupines tumbling from the tree tops on a surprisingly regular basis. Each quill is hollow – it is yellowish in colour, with a black tip and is covered in tiny barbs. Porcupines (like monkeys) are divided into New World (Erethizontidae) […] 3. Those on the back may be 40cm long; the shorter, open-ended tail quills will rattle as a warning. They weigh 12 to 35 pounds. A mother and her young is considered a family group called a prickle. The impact may shake nu… All About Quills – Every species has different patterns and lengths when it comes to their quills. The porcupine is a large, round, slow-moving rodent with a spectacular means of defense. Quills have sharp tips and overlapping scales or barbs that make them difficult to remove once they are stuck in another animal's skin. When a porcupine feels threatened, it tenses up and attacks predators with the swat of its tail, embedding quills into their skin. Capybaras are the largest rodents in the world and are followed by the beaver. A typical mating ritual consists of two males fighting over a single female. Porcupines have natural antibiotics in their skin and are the only mammals native to North America to have such protection. Porcupines have poor vision but have an acute sense of smell. Middle English variants include “porcupyne” and “porcapyne”. Facts about Porcupines. Porcupines are arboreal, built for climbing trees. FactsKing.com / Animal Facts / Top 8 Predators of Porcupines that Eat Porcupines The porcupine is best known for its sharp spikes and fierce look, helping it shield itself from predators. They have even been found on Mt. 1. It's muscular body is covered with up to … They eat natural bark and stems, and have been known to invade campgrounds and chew on canoe paddles. Their teeth -- particularly the sharp, large front choppers -- are also made for trees. A porcupine can fell a whole tree if it removes too much bark. Their prehensile tails make the task of living in the trees easier. 4. They have a large, round body and move slowly. This means that no matter the temperature of the environment that the porcupine is in, their internal temperature will always be the same. It also means that they are warm-blooded.. Warm-blooded animals are able to regulate their body temperature.. Porcupines have become a pest in Kenya and are eaten as a delicacy. Porcupines are nocturnal animals. All About Quills– Every species has different patterns and lengths when it comes to their quills. Some even have prehensile (gripping) tails to aid in climbing. Porcupines grow new quills to replace the ones they lose. A typical porcupine has soft hair mixed with quills, which grow from its back, sides, and tail. They are well known for their dangerous quills that they can come out easily upon contact with the unknown visitor. It grows up to 15 inches (38 cm) long. There is no mistaking what you are seeing when a Porcupine comes into view. Babies have soft quills at birth, which harden within a few days. The New World porcupines live in North and South America. The porcupine is the prickliest of rodents, though its Latin name means “quill pig.” There are more than two dozen porcupine species, and all boast a coat of needle-like quills to give predators a sharp reminder that this animal is no easy meal. Porcupines are 2 to 3 feet long in their head and body. The largest porcupine, the North African crested porcupine, grows up to 36 inches (90 centimetres). Porcupines are lumbering, rotund rodents with needle-like spikes, called quills, covering their back, sides, and tail. The porcupine has a small face, small ears, short legs and a thick, small tail. North American porcupines use their large front teeth to satisfy a healthy appetite for wood. Most porcupines are about 60–90 cm (25–36 in) long, with a 20–25 cm (8–10 in) long tail. They are embedded in the skin, and can be regrown when they are lost. The males are careful not to injure themselves during the fight, and the winner territorially urinates on the female so that she knows to move her tail aside for safe, quill-free mating. The origin of "porcupine" can be traced back to Old English and French words. Porcupine (Erethizon dorsatum) What they look like: The porcupine is a medium-sized rodent, that is related to mice, rats and beavers. The smallest, the Bahia hairy dwarf porcupine, grows up to 15 inches (38 cm) long. Many animals come away from a porcupine encounter with quills protruding from their own snouts or bodies. One documented example lived to the ripe old age of 27 years. Non-Projectile– Despite the common myth, porcupines cannot shoot their quills. When they grow accustomed to fending for themselves, baby porcupines leave their mothers—approximately 6 months after they're born. Most young porcupines are ready to live on their own at about two months of age. Both are covered with a total of 30,000 or more hollow quills. They have sensitive ears and noses to help them navigate and find food in the dark. To communicate they make grunts and high pitched noises. One of the few known facts about porcupines is that they turn on their back and make a 'reverse-charge', in order to drive their needle-like quills into their enemy's flesh. Porcupines do not “shoot” their needles, they are so easily released by touch. Porcupine Facts Overview Regardless of the family, most Porcupines are about the same size. The longest quills are found on their back and behind, while the shortest ones are on their face. Their tails can be another 8 to 10 inches long. They prefer wooded habitats and are apt at climbing trees. They are very vocal animals and make shrill screeches, whines and low grunts. It is no secret that these prickly creatures are unique! Porcupines are most active at night but may be found foraging for food during the day, too. Porcupines mostly come out at night and have poor eyesight. Porcupines can adapt to most habitats including dense wet forests and the most barren of deserts. 5 Fascinating Facts #1. Roughly 30,000 quills cover the whole body except for the stomach, nose and bottom of their feet. Some porcupines have up to 30,000 quills on their body. It is a large rodent encountered equally in the “Old World” and in North America and northern South America. This is, however, a defense mechanism to prevent accidental self-quilling. 2. If you were ever looking for an unusual piece of trivia, the porcupine held the record for being the longest living rodent in the world. Sharp quills, gnawing teeth, and digging claws help this porcupine avoid predators and find food in the wild. Breeding occurs only if a female wants to breed. They have even been found as high as 11,480ft, on Kilimanjaro. Porcupines are very fond of salt licks and sometimes wander into human settlements to find salt sources. 2020 National Geographic Partners, LLC. Porcupine is the third largest rodent in the world By Liz Langley, for National Geographic. During the night, they forage for food. All quills are hairs coated in multiple layers of stiff keratin. Dr. Jennifer Coates is an accomplished veterinarian with over 25 years of experience in the fields of veterinary medicine and animal welfare. 3. North American porcupines have a polygynous mating system, where a dominant male breeds with multiple females. Porcupine Facts. During the day they sleep and become active in the evening. New World porcupines spend their time in the trees, while Old World porcupines stay on the ground. Old World porcupines of the family Hystricidae have brown to black fur with white-banded quills and are terrestrial. They have poor eyesight, but a great sense of smell. They can weigh from 4.5 to 13 kg (10 to 28 pounds). Old World porcupines are terrestrial and strictly nocturnal, and have longer quills. 1. They can be from 25 to 36 inches long. Features of a crested porcupine Gallery. The smallest, the Bahia hairy dwarf porcupine, grows up to 15 inches (38 cm) long. Porcupines have a gestation period of 112 days which is very long for a rodent. Porcupines are primarily creatures of the night that rest in hollow logs, trees, and crevices during the day, and later come out to enjoy feasts of tree bark, grass, twigs, stems, berries, and the like. Other porcupine species live in Africa, Europe, and Asia. A single animal may have 30,000 or more quills. Porcupines are herbivores, they feed on leaves, bark, fruits. Lost quills are replaced with new quills. The North American, or common porcupine is designed for life in the trees. We identify a porcupine in a reader's photo and separate prickly fact from fiction. The word porcupine is a derivative of the Middle French word porc d’espine, meaning “thorny pig.” Middle English variants include "porcupyne" and "porcapyne. Porcupines can't shoot out their quills, but they will be easily released when predators get it touch with animal. Their tails can be another 8 to 10 inches long. Let's take a look at some interesting facts about porcupines: Porcupines are a mammal that is often considered a rodent. Although porcupines do not hibernate during the winter, they remain in their dens during especially cold or inclement weather. If for some reason they lose some of their needles, they will soon grow new ones. Most porcupines are about 25–36 in (63–91 cm) long, with an 8–10 in (20–25 cm) long tail. Jennifer Coates, DVM Reviewed on 09/18/19 by . The smallest recorded one is the Bahia Hairy Dwarf Porcupine. – Source. Porcupines occur in various shades of brown, grey and white. In North America, they are the second largest. Porcupines easily cut through even steel wire. Interesting Porcupine Facts 1. New World porcupines of the family Erethizontidae are smaller with yellow to white quills and are arboreal. Depending on species porcupines weigh 2.5 to 77 lbs. porcupine Short-legged, mostly nocturnal, herbivorous rodent with erectile, defensive quills in its back. All quills are hairs coated in … They will also gnaw at salt placed down to thaw ice on roads which can lead to death or injury through being knocked by motor vehicles. Fond of salt, they may approach areas inhabited by humans for this mineral. According to San Diego Zoo, porcupines normally weigh between 2.5 and 77 pounds (1.2 and 35 kilograms), depending on species. Porcupines have soft hair, but on their back, sides, and tail it is usually mixed with sharp quills. Porcupines are a mammal that is often considered a rodent. The largest porcupine, the North African crested porcupine, grows up to 36 inches (90 centimetres). Porcupines have the longest gestation period among all rodents. WATCH: Leopard vs. Porcupine—A Prickly Standoff, https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/mammals/group/porcupines.html. live in Southern Europe, Asia, and Africa. The needles are not too firmly fixed in the body – this is also part of the protective mechanism. The porcupines found in North and South America are good climbers and spend much of their time in trees. All porcupines (and the Cape porcupine is no exception) have banded quills which are essentially their hairs. They include the large crested porcupines, some of which can grow more than 2 … Porcupines generally live in family gro… 2. Porcupines are nocturnal animals. Apart from this, porcupines give birth to only one offspring which is something that’s unique to porcupines when compared to the other rodents. Staff Author. In fact, they are actually the third largest rodent in the world, coming after the huge capybara and the beaver. There is no mistaking what you are seeing when a Porcupine comes into view. They prefer wooded habitats and are apt at climbing trees. This means that they have fur, are born life, and drink milk when they are babies. Porcupine is the third largest rodent in the world Porcupines are ranked third in terms of size among rodents. 3 Minute Read. When in danger, porcupines produce a rattling noise, by wagging their tail, to defend themselves and raise their sharp, long quills also. All rights reserved. We identify a porcupine in a reader's photo and separate prickly fact from fiction. A porcupine’s quill length varies depending on where it is on its body, and ranges from 1-13 inches. These quills typically lie flat until a porcupine is threatened, then leap to attention as a persuasive deterrent. Only on occasion will loose quills fall out before it strikes, creating the illusion that they're being shot out. Porcupines can live a long time. ", That's right behind the second-place beaver, and the first-place capybara.Â. New World porcupines are indigenous to North America and Northern South America. Reviewed by. New World porcupines (family Erethizontidae) The North American porcupine (Erethizon dorsatum) is the largest species in the family, usually weighing less than 7 kg (15.4 pounds) though males occasionally grow significantly larger.Its body is up to 80 cm (31 inches) long, with a tail up to 30 cm. porcupine Facts. Get to the Point: 5 Fast Facts About Porcupines. There are, in total, 27 species of porcupine belonging to the families, Erethizontidae or Hystricidae. Instead, these spines fall out when they come in contact with something, or if they are shak… Written by. Tourists on safari in Kruger National Park in South Africa captured footage of the big cat facing the quilled defenses of its prey. 1. Depending on species porcupines weigh 2.5 to 77 lbs. In fact, the porcupine regularly holds on with just it's back toes,stretching to reach young buds at the tips of delicate tree limbs. 2. They have curved claws and powerful curved feet to grasp and climb. When another animal attacks the porcupine, its quills detach, burrowing into the adversary’s flesh and inflicting painful, potentially deadly wounds. Porcupines are 2 to 3 feet long in their head and body. Porcupines cannot shoot them at predators as once thought, but the quills do detach easily when touched. Weighing 5–16 kg (12–35 lb), they are rounded, large, and slow, and use aposematic strategy of defence. Its flat feet and sharp, rounde… They are about 25 to 35-inches long, have an 8 to 10-inch tail and weigh between 12 and 35-pounds. An adult porcupine is about 50 cm long (20 inches), not counting the tail. Each species is different, yet all have a few similar qualities. Ofâ two males fighting over a single porcupine can fell a whole tree if it removes too bark. 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