The word porcupine means thorny or quill pigs, but don’t
let this confuse you. They are not pigs, but rodents.
Porcupines are the third largest rodent in the world.
There are several species of porcupines. Some species
are excellent swimmers, while others are great climbers. Regardless of species
though, all porcupines shuffle on the ground.
Porcupines have poor eyesight, but they make up for it
with their great sense of smell.
Porcupines communicate with one another by screeching,
whining, and grunting.
Porcupines are famous for the quills that grow on their
body. There are at least 30,000 of them.
Porcupine quills usually lay flat against their bodies.
However, if an enemy approaches, their quills will stand on end. Porcupines
will also release type of smell to warn predators to stay away.
Some people believe that porcupines shoot their quills
as self-defense. That is false. The truth is that they slap their tails and
push the quills into their enemy’s skin.
Small hooks and scales cover the tip of each quill.
That’s why when you get poked by one it’s very difficult to remove. So be
A chemical similar to medicine also covers the tip of a
porcupine quill. So if you ever get poked by one, at least you won’t have to
worry about getting an infection.
The fisher is the porcupine’s greatest enemy, along
with other predators such as wolves, owls, coyotes, and cougars.
Porcupine quills are very difficult to remove from
other animals. However, it is easy for a porcupine to remove them from its
Porcupines are nocturnal creatures. That means they are
awake during the night and asleep during the day.
Porcupines are herbivores. That means they only eat
plants. Their meals are usually tree barks, twigs, berries, and grass.
Aside from plants, porcupine’s favorite food is anything
that has a salty flavor.
Porcupines can be solitary creatures or live with a
A den is what you call a porcupine’s home. It is
usually hollow logs, rock piles, or caves.
When two male porcupines are attracted to the same
female, they will often fight. Whoever wins gets the girl.
Female porcupines give birth to one or two babies. The
parents raise the babies together. After a few months, the young porcupine will
leave its parent to live on its own.
A baby porcupine is called a porcupette. They are born
with soft quills, which will harden after a few days.
Porcupines can live up to 7 years in the wild. In
captivity, it can be as long as 18 years.
Quillwork is a type of art form that was created using
porcupine quills to decorate clothes and furniture.