Those on the back may be 40cm long; the shorter, open-ended tail quills will rattle as a warning. – Source. Some quills, like those of Africa's crested porcupine, are nearly a foot long. Porcupine Quills are dangerous to dogs because once they make contact with the skin, the quills can migrate further in and cause internal damage. Old World porcupines of the family Hystricidae have brown to black fur with white-banded quills and are terrestrial. They weigh 12 to 35 pounds. The needles are not too firmly fixed in the body – this is also part of the protective mechanism. porcupine Facts. The Latin name for porcupines is called “quill pig” Found in North and South America; A single porcupine may have more than 30,000 quills Their tails can be another 8 to 10 inches long. Old World porcupines are terrestrial and strictly nocturnal, and have longer quills. North American porcupines also eat fruit, leaves, and springtime buds. Instead, these spines fall out when they come in contact with something, or if they are shak… It is this lust for tender greenery that finds porcupines tumbling from the tree tops on a surprisingly regular basis. boasts between 700 and 800 barbs along its tip. It also means that they are warm-blooded.. Warm-blooded animals are able to regulate their body temperature.. They are very vocal animals and make shrill screeches, whines and low grunts. One documented example lived to the ripe old age of 27 years. Porcupines cannot shoot them at predators as once thought, but the quills do detach easily when touched. 3 Minute Read. Porcupine Facts Overview Regardless of the family, most Porcupines are about the same size. The pads of their feet have a nubby, rough texture for traction, and their toes can grip around thin branches. Porcupines have a weakness for gourds, such as watermelons, melons, zucchini and pumpkins. All quills are hairs coated in … Porcupines are a mammal that is often considered a rodent. Babies have soft quills at birth, which harden within a few days. Fun Facts About Porcupine. Porcupines can't shoot out their quills, but they will be easily released when predators get it touch with animal. It's muscular body is covered with up to … 1. A baby porcupine is called a porcupette. Most porcupines are about 60–90 cm (25–36 in) long, with a 20–25 cm (8–10 in) long tail. Porcupines generally live in family gro… June 5, 2016, cherran, Leave a comment. Middle English variants include “porcupyne” and “porcapyne”. 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. WATCH: Leopard vs. Porcupine—A Prickly Standoff, https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/mammals/group/porcupines.html. The porcupine is a large, round, slow-moving rodent with a spectacular means of defense. Interesting Porcupine Facts 1. Depending on species porcupines weigh 2.5 to 77 lbs. Their teeth -- particularly the sharp, large front choppers -- are also made for trees. During the night, they forage for food. They can be from 25 to 36 inches long. The smallest, the Bahia hairy dwarf porcupine, grows up to 15 inches (38 cm) long. Porcupines are 2 to 3 feet long in their head and body. Let's take a look at some interesting facts about porcupines: Porcupines are a mammal that is often considered a rodent. During the day they sleep and become active in the evening. If for some reason they lose some of their needles, they will soon grow new ones. – Source. A mother and her young is considered a family group called a prickle. The smallest, the Bahia hairy dwarf porcupine, grows up to 15 inches (38 cm) long. They have a large, round body and move slowly. Tourists on safari in Kruger National Park in South Africa captured footage of the big cat facing the quilled defenses of its prey. Their prehensile tails make the task of living in the trees easier. Many people don’t know much else about them though. Porcupines (Erethizon dorsatum) are the third largest members of the rodent family that are covered with spines or quills. There is no mistaking what you are seeing when a Porcupine comes into view. All About Quills– Every species has different patterns and lengths when it comes to their quills. According to San Diego Zoo, porcupines normally weigh between 2.5 and 77 pounds (1.2 and 35 kilograms), depending on species. The latter tries to get pregnant by the 'best' male. They have curved claws and powerful curved feet to grasp and climb. Porcupines (like monkeys) are divided into New World (Erethizontidae) […] Staff Author. Portrait of a Porcupine. The tail can be another 8 to 10 inches. Porcupines mostly come out at night and have poor eyesight. There is no mistaking what you are seeing when a Porcupine comes into view. When another animal attacks the porcupine, its quills detach, burrowing into the adversary’s flesh and inflicting painful, potentially deadly wounds. Their tails can be another 8 to 10 inches long. The wei… 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. All porcupines (and the Cape porcupine is no exception) have banded quills which are essentially their hairs. Porcupines are nocturnal animals. 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. Porcupine is the third largest rodent in the world Porcupines might be considered a prickly bunch, but they're pretty cute once you learn more about them. The Porcupine looks most like a prickly beaver! Porcupines are 2 to 3 feet long in their head and body. They have a stocky body, a small face, short legs, and a short, thick tail.This species is the largest of the New World porcupines and is one of the largest North American rodents, second only to the American beaver in size. 2. Porcupines have a gestation period of 112 days which is very long for a rodent. Depending on species porcupines weigh 2.5 to 77 lbs. They eat natural bark and stems, and have been known to invade campgrounds and chew on canoe paddles. (1.2 to 35 kilograms), and their … New World porcupines spend their time in the trees, while Old World porcupines stay on the ground. Roughly 30,000 quills cover the whole body except for the stomach, nose and bottom of their feet. Although porcupines do not hibernate during the winter, they remain in their dens during especially cold or inclement weather. 4. They include the large crested porcupines, some of which can grow more than 2 … They are herbivores, eating plants, twigs, leaves, and bark. Porcupines are lumbering, rotund rodents with needle-like spikes, called quills, covering their back, sides, and tail. live in Southern Europe, Asia, and Africa. 2. A single young is born after a gestation of 210 days. Other porcupine species live in Africa, Europe, and Asia. Reviewed by. They can weigh from 4.5 to 13 kg (10 to 28 pounds). Porcupines might be considered a prickly bunch, but they're pretty cute once you learn more about them. They are also smaller and more diurnal than their Old World counterparts. Porcupines can live a long time. 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. 1. North American porcupines have a polygynous mating system, where a dominant male breeds with multiple females. © 1996-2015 National Geographic Society, © 2015- Porcupines grow new quills to replace the ones they lose. They prefer wooded habitats and are apt at climbing trees. The New World porcupines live in North and South America. A single animal may have 30,000 or more quills. The North American porcupine is the only species that lives in the U.S. and Canada, and is the largest of all porcupines. 1. Porcupines aren't really social. New World porcupines of the family Erethizontidae are smaller with yellow to white quills and are arboreal. 3. The longest quills are found on their back and behind, while the shortest ones are on their face. Porcupine Facts. Quick Facts About Porcupines, Quills, and Pets. Some porcupines have up to 30,000 quills on their body. Female porcupines have between one and four young, depending on the species. Apart from this, porcupines give birth to only one offspring which is something that’s unique to porcupines when compared to the other rodents. They are well known for their dangerous quills that they can come out easily upon contact with the unknown visitor. Each species is different, yet all have a few similar qualities. It is no secret that these prickly creatures are unique! Porcupine Facts and Information Introduction to Porcupine. Many animals come away from a porcupine encounter with quills protruding from their own snouts or bodies. Porcupines have the longest gestation period among all rodents. By Liz Langley, for National Geographic. Porcupines are usually dark brown or black in color, with white highlights. Porcupines are herbivores, eating leaves, plants, fruit, and the tender layer of tissue beneath the bark of trees. Quills have sharp tips and overlapping scales or barbs that make them difficult to remove once they are stuck in another animal's skin. All rights reserved. Non-Projectile– Despite the common myth, porcupines cannot shoot their quills. Each quill is hollow – it is yellowish in colour, with a black tip and is covered in tiny barbs. A typical mating ritual consists of two males fighting over a single female. They have poor eyesight, but a great sense of smell. Some even have prehensile (gripping) tails to aid in climbing. Porcupines are arboreal, built for climbing trees. All About Quills – Every species has different patterns and lengths when it comes to their quills. Porcupines have soft hair, but on their back, sides, and tail it is usually mixed with sharp quills. Some porcupines grow up to 36 inches (90 centimeters) long. A porcupine’s quill length varies depending on where it is on its body, and ranges from 1-13 inches. 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. They have sensitive ears and noses to help them navigate and find food in the dark. An adult porcupine is about 50 cm long (20 inches), not counting the tail. The name ‘porcupine’ comes from Middle French ‘porc d’épine’ meaning ‘thorny pig’. Written by. Dr. Jennifer Coates is an accomplished veterinarian with over 25 years of experience in the fields of veterinary medicine and animal welfare. The porcupine has a small face, small ears, short legs and a thick, small tail. Its flat feet and sharp, rounde… The origin of "porcupine" can be traced back to Old English and French words. To communicate they make grunts and high pitched noises. Porcupines live about 15 – 18 years. Most young porcupines are ready to live on their own at about two months of age. They prefer wooded habitats and are apt at climbing trees. Weighing 5–16 kg (12–35 lb), they are rounded, large, and slow, and use aposematic strategy of defence. Porcupines have poor vision but have an acute sense of smell. Most porcupines are about 25–36 in (63–91 cm) long, with an 8–10 in (20–25 cm) long tail. There are, in total, 27 species of porcupine belonging to the families, Erethizontidae or Hystricidae. They weigh 12 to 35 pounds. It is no secret that these prickly creatures are unique! (1.2 to 35 kilograms), and their tails can grow up to 8 to 12 inches (20 to 30 cm). Porcupines do not “shoot” their needles, they are so easily released by touch. The smallest recorded one is the Bahia Hairy Dwarf Porcupine. They are well known for their dangerous quills that they can come out easily upon contact with the unknown visitor. All quills are hairs coated in multiple layers of stiff keratin. Sharp quills, gnawing teeth, and digging claws help this porcupine avoid predators and find food in the wild. New World porcupines are indigenous to North America and Northern South America. A leopard gets itself into a prickly situation when it tries to hunt down a porcupine. – Source. Porcupines are nocturnal animals. Porcupines are not territorial animals, however, their home range can be as large as 200 acres. Features of a crested porcupine Gallery. Get to the Point: 5 Fast Facts About Porcupines. They have even been found as high as 11,480ft, on Kilimanjaro. When a porcupine feels threatened, it tenses up and attacks predators with the swat of its tail, embedding quills into their skin. Each species is different, yet all have a few similar qualities. This means that no matter the temperature of the environment that the porcupine is in, their internal temperature will always be the same. Porcupines have soft hair, but on their back, sides, and tail it is usually mixed with sharp quills. Breeding occurs only if a female wants to breed. 2020 National Geographic Partners, LLC. 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. We identify a porcupine in a reader's photo and separate prickly fact from fiction. Porcupines are nocturnal, which means they are active during the night and sleep during the day. When in danger, porcupines produce a rattling noise, by wagging their tail, to defend themselves and raise their sharp, long quills also. In North America, they are the second largest. They have even been found on Mt. The largest porcupine, the North African crested porcupine, grows up to 36 inches (90 centimetres). This is, however, a defense mechanism to prevent accidental self-quilling. We identify a porcupine in a reader's photo and separate prickly fact from fiction. Lost quills are replaced with new quills. North American porcupines breed between October and November. Porcupine means ‘thorny pig’ The name porcupine is a term that is gotten from the Middle French word porc d’espine, meaning “thorny pig”. A single porcupine can have more than 30,000 quills, which are actually sharp bristles of fused hair. 5 Fascinating Facts #1. 3 Minute Read. Jennifer Coates, DVM Reviewed on 09/18/19 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. Both are covered with a total of 30,000 or more hollow quills. They are embedded in the skin, and can be regrown when they are lost. Capybaras are the largest rodents in the world and are followed by the beaver. Kilimanjaro, as high up as 11,480 feet. A porcupine can fell a whole tree if it removes too much bark. Porcupines are most active at night but may be found foraging for food during the day, too. Only on occasion will loose quills fall out before it strikes, creating the illusion that they're being shot out. ", That's right behind the second-place beaver, and the first-place capybara.Â. Fond of salt, they may approach areas inhabited by humans for this mineral. The largest porcupine, the North African crested porcupine, grows up to 36 inches (90 centimetres). It is a large rodent encountered equally in the “Old World” and in North America and northern South America. Get to the Point: 5 Fast Facts About Porcupines. These quills typically lie flat until a porcupine is threatened, then leap to attention as a persuasive deterrent. Porcupines are herbivores, they feed on leaves, bark, fruits. When they grow accustomed to fending for themselves, baby porcupines leave their mothers—approximately 6 months after they're born. The impact may shake nu… Porcupine is the third largest rodent in the world Porcupines are ranked third in terms of size among rodents. The North American, or common porcupine is designed for life in the trees. Porcupines can adapt to most habitats including dense wet forests and the most barren of deserts. This means that they have fur, are born life, and drink milk when they are babies. Porcupines are Rodents When we think of rodents, the idea of mice or squirrels usually comes to mind, not a great big animal like a porcupine. Porcupines have natural antibiotics in their skin and are the only mammals native to North America to have such protection. porcupine Short-legged, mostly nocturnal, herbivorous rodent with erectile, defensive quills in its back. Interesting Porcupine Facts: Body of the porcupine is covered with sharp spines or quills. In fact, they are actually the third largest rodent in the world, coming after the huge capybara and the beaver. Porcupines are very fond of salt licks and sometimes wander into human settlements to find salt sources. A typical porcupine has soft hair mixed with quills, which grow from its back, sides, and tail. 1. For example, the fact that they are classified as rodents.They are the 3rd largest of all rodents in the world. Facts about Porcupines. These animals usually live on the ground and can inhabit deserts, grasslands, and forests. It grows up to 15 inches (38 cm) long. Porcupines have become a pest in Kenya and are eaten as a delicacy. Each quill has a topical antibiotic, so a porcupine attack will not necessarily lead to an infection. Porcupine (Erethizon dorsatum) What they look like: The porcupine is a medium-sized rodent, that is related to mice, rats and beavers. Its long strands of brown hair looks soft, but thousands of quills are tucked inside. The word porcupine is a derivative of the Middle French word porc d’espine, meaning “thorny pig.” Middle English variants include "porcupyne" and "porcapyne. Interesting Facts About the Porcupine. #2. Porcupines are rodents with a coat of sharp spines, or quills, that defend them from predators. 3. Porcupines easily cut through even steel wire. 2. Porcupines are mammals. 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. New World porcupines, on the other hand, are capable of clinging to trees with their tails and catching surrounding branches if they fall. Porcupines occur in various shades of brown, grey and white. By Liz Langley, for National Geographic. The porcupines found in North and South America are good climbers and spend much of their time in trees. 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. When old needles are lost, they are replaced with new ones. 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