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. Staff Author. Porcupines might be considered a prickly bunch, but they're pretty cute once you learn more about them. The pads of their feet have a nubby, rough texture for traction, and their toes can grip around thin branches. The word porcupineÂ is a derivative of the Middle French word porc dâespine,Â meaning âthorny pig.â Middle English variants include "porcupyne" and "porcapyne. Roughly 30,000 quills cover the whole body except for the stomach, nose and bottom of their feet. Porcupines occur in various shades of brown, grey and white. North American porcupines breed between October and November. They prefer wooded habitats and are apt at climbing trees. Some quills, like those of Africa's crested porcupine, are nearly a foot long. porcupine Facts. In North America, they are the second largest. It grows up to 15 inches (38 cm) long. Reviewed by. Only on occasion will loose quills fall out before it strikes, creating the illusion that they're being shot out. Porcupines (Erethizon dorsatum) are the third largest members of the rodent family that are covered with spines or quills. Interesting Facts About the Porcupine. Its flat feet and sharp, roundeâ¦ They weigh 12 to 35 pounds. It is no secret that these prickly creatures are unique! Porcupines mostly come out at night and have poor eyesight. 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. 2020 National Geographic Partners, LLC. It is no secret that these prickly creatures are unique! Middle English variants include âporcupyneâ and âporcapyneâ. There is no mistaking what you are seeing when a Porcupine comes into view. #2. Porcupines live about 15 â 18 years. When another animal attacks the porcupine, its quills detach, burrowing into the adversaryâs flesh and inflicting painful, potentially deadly wounds. Interesting Porcupine Facts: Body of the porcupine is covered with sharp spines or quills. If for some reason they lose some of their needles, they will soon grow new ones. Porcupines might be considered a prickly bunch, but they're pretty cute once you learn more about them. Each species is different, yet all have a few similar qualities. Porcupine is the third largest rodent in the world They can weigh from 4.5 to 13 kg (10 to 28 pounds). Porcupines are primarily creatures of the night that rest in hollow logs, trees, and crevices during the day, and later come out toÂ enjoy feasts of tree bark, grass, twigs, stems, berries, and the like. For example, the fact that they are classified as rodents.They are the 3rd largest of all rodents in the world. All porcupines (and the Cape porcupine is no exception) have banded quills which are essentially their hairs. When old needles are lost, they are replaced with new ones. The needles are not too firmly fixed in the body â this is also part of the protective mechanism. Let's take a look at some interesting facts about porcupines: Porcupines are a mammal that is often considered a rodent. Porcupines are not territorial animals, however, their home range can be as large as 200 acres. 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. They are herbivores, eating plants, twigs, leaves, and bark. (1.2 to 35 kilograms), and their tails can grow up to 8 to 12 inches (20 to 30 cm). A single young is born after a gestation of 210 days. During the day they sleep and become active in the evening. 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