Porcupines room rodents ideal known for your coat of sharp spines, or quills, that safeguard them indigenous predators. They are the 4th largest rodent, ~ the capybara, mara, and beaver. The surname "porcupine" originates from combining the Latin for pig and also French for spine, therefore the nickname "quill pig" for the animal.

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Weights and also Measures: Most porcupines are around 60-90 centimeter (25-36 inches) long, with a 20-25 cm (8-10 inch) lengthy tail. Weighing in between 5-16 kg (12-35 pounds), they space rounded, big and slow. Porcupines come in assorted shades the brown, gray, and also the inexplicable white.

The Quill is Mightier than the Sword: The porcupine"s chief defense is that quills, spicy spines distributed throughout the rodent"s back, sides, legs, tail and head. They may be as thick as 150 every square inch, giving one pet as countless as 30,000 quills. Contrary to renowned belief, porcupines do not shoot out their quills; unfortunately victims method closely sufficient to it is in swatted by the tail or brush against the animal. Prefer the related ordinary hairs, porcupine quills grow earlier when castle come out.

In Self-defense: when threatened, a porcupine will certainly raise the quills. This is the piloerection reflex, the very same as the goose bang reflex in humans. A porcupine can protect itself by hiding its bare face from one attacker and keeping its bare ship to the ground. It might swat its tail at an assailant. The quills space not poisoned, but animals may die from a porcupine encounter if the quills avoid eating. Porcupines often fall on their very own quills. Most likely as an evolutionary result, the quills possess mild antibiotic properties.

Moving Quills: Quills are sharp-pointed, fitted through microscopic barbs, and expand on contact with warmth flesh. Muscle contractions in a quill victim work the quill deeper, as lot as 2 cm per day uneven the quills are removed promptly.

Where in the World? Porcupines accounting a wide selection of habitats in tropical and temperate components of Asia, Italy, Africa and also the Americas. Porcupines live in forests, deserts and grasslands. Some live in trees, others remain on the ground.

Salt Seekers: Porcupines searching for salt occasionally encroach on areas inhabited through people and also eat tool handles, clothes and also many various other items that have been coated in braided sweat.

Just choose Chicken: In parts of Africa, porcupines are eaten as a form of bush meat. Porcupine meat is also appreciated in some regions of Italy and also Vietnam.

Twenty-three"s a Crowd: A porcupine is any type of of 23 types of rodent belonging come the families Erethizontidae and Hystricidae. All safeguard themselves with sharp spines (which room actually modification hairs) rather prefer those the the hedgehogs, i m sorry are part of the bespeak Insectivora and an ext closely pertained to shrews and also moles 보다 they room to the rodents, and the echidnas, which together monotremes are really distantly associated indeed.

Sizes and also Scales: Porcupines vary in dimension considerably: Rothschild"s Porcupine of south America weighs less than a kilogram; the african Porcupine can thrive to well over 20 kg.


North American Porcupine (Erethizon dorsatum),

Second largest: The phibìc American porcupine (Erethizon dorsatum), also known as Canadian Porcupine, is a huge rodent in the new World porcupine family. The Beaver is the only other rodent larger than the phibìc American Porcupine found in north America.

Habitat: This animal is usually found in coniferous and also mixed forested areas in Canada, Alaska and also much of the northern and western united States. Castle are additionally found in thicketed areas in shrublands, tundra and deserts as far south as north Mexico. It provides its den in a hole in a tree or in a rocky area.

Description: Porcupines room usually dark brown in color. They have actually a chunky body, a small face, brief legs and also a short thick tail. Your upperparts are covered with thousands of sharp, barbed hole spines or quills i beg your pardon are supplied for defense. The quills cannot be thrown, yet detach easily and are an overwhelming to remove once lodged in one attacker. The quills are generally flattened against to the body unless the animal is disturbed. The porcupine also swings its quilled tail towards the perceived threat.

Diet: These pets are mainly energetic at night; top top summer days, they often rest in trees. During the summer, they eat twigs, roots, stems, berries and also other vegetation. In the winter, they greatly eat conifer needles and also tree bark. They perform not hibernate yet do no travel far from their den in winter.

Breeding: Porcupines each other in the fall and the young porcupine (usually one) is born in the spring with soft quills which harden soon after birth.

Pest: castle are taken into consideration by some to be as a pest since of the damage that they regularly inflict ~ above trees and also wooden and also leather objects. The quills are supplied by indigenous Americans to decorate posts such together baskets and clothing. Some civilization consider them to it is in edible. Porcupines perform not move an extremely fast and also are regularly hit through vehicles while cross roads. Organic predators incorporate fishers, wolverines and also coyotes.


African Brush-Tailed Porcupine (Atherurus africanus)

Description:The african Brush-Tailed Porcupine (Atherurus africanus) is a types of rat-like Old world porcupine called "brush-tailed porcupines". The brush-tailed porcupines live in forests, commonly at high elevations. They space nocturnal and also during the day they sleep in caves and burrows. The brush-tailed porcupine is among the greatest rodents in Africa, growing practically three feet long and also weigh as much as eight pounds. It has an elongated rat-like face and body and short legs, tipped with clawed and webbed feet.

Quills: Unlike most other porcupines, the brush-tailed porcupine has lighter and also smaller quills. ~ above the tail, these quills room thinner and also brush-like. These deserve to make noise when rattled. Brush-tailed porcupines live in tiny family teams of around eight members. Various family teams can share resources. When struck by a predator, the porcupine raises the quills so the looks twice its size, rattles that is tail quills, and stomps its feet. As with all porcupines, the brush-tailed porcupine would earlier into the attacker and also inflict damage with that quills.

Diet: The brush-tailed porcupine is greatly herbivorous. As soon as alone eating, the porcupines can be quite nervous. Throughout the breeding season, males and females type pair bonds (just prefer how people go ~ above dates) to obtain acquainted. The african brush-tailed porcupine has actually a lengthy pregnancy contrasted to various other rodents: 110 days at the longest. The young room born well-developed or precocial. Porcupines reach maturity at two years the age.

The meat of the afri Brush-tailed Porcupine is very popular and is consumed in huge quantities.



The 11 Old human being porcupines are nearly exclusively terrestrial, have tendency to be reasonably large, and have quills that room grouped in clusters. They separated native the various other hystricognaths about 30 million years ago, much previously than the new World porcupines.

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The 12 new World porcupines are largely smaller (although the north American Porcupine reaches about 85 centimeter in length and 18 kilograms), have actually their quills enclosed singly quite than group in clusters and are great climbers, spending lot of their time in trees. The new World porcupines occurred their spines independently and are much more closely concerned several other families of rodent than they are to the Old human being porcupines.


Suborder Hystricomorpha Infraorder Hystricognathi Family Hystricidae: Old world porcupines african Brush-tailed Porcupine, Atherurus africanus Asiatic Brush-tailed Porcupine, Atherurus macrourus african Porcupine, Hystrix cristata Cape Porcupine, Hystrix africaeaustralis Himalayan Porcupine, Hystrix hodgsoni Indian Porcupine, Hystrix indicus Malayan Porcupine, Hystrix brachyura Bornean Porcupine, Thecurus crassispinis Philippine Porcupine, Thecurus pumilis Sumatran Porcupine, Thecurus sumatrae Long-tailed Porcupine, Trichys fasciculata Family Erethizontidae: brand-new World porcupines Brazilian Porcupine, Coendou prehensilis Bicolor-spined Porcupine, Coendou bicolor Koopman"s Porcupine, Coendou koopmani Rothschild"s Porcupine, Coendou rothschildi mexican Tree Porcupine, Sphiggurus mexicanus south American Tree Porcupine, Sphiggurus spinosus Bahia Hairy Dwarf Porcupine, Sphiggurus insidiosus Pallid Hairy Dwarf Porcupine, Sphiggurus pallidus (extinct) Brown Hairy Dwarf Porcupine, Sphiggurus vestitus Orange-spined Hairy Dwarf Porcupine, Sphiggurus villosus phibìc American Porcupine, Erethizon dorsatum Stump-tailed Porcupine, Echinoprocta rufescens Bristle-spined Porcupine, Chaetomys subspinosus (sometimes thought about an echymid)