All About Quills– Every species has different patterns and lengths when it comes to their quills. Reviewed by. Porcupines have poor vision but have an acute sense of smell. #2. Those on the back may be 40cm long; the shorter, open-ended tail quills will rattle as a warning. Porcupines are herbivores, eating leaves, plants, fruit, and the tender layer of tissue beneath the bark of trees. All porcupines (and the Cape porcupine is no exception) have banded quills which are essentially their hairs. It's muscular body is covered with up to … 2. Both are covered with a total of 30,000 or more hollow quills. 1. When they grow accustomed to fending for themselves, baby porcupines leave their mothers—approximately 6 months after they're born. By Liz Langley, for National Geographic. The smallest, the Bahia hairy dwarf porcupine, grows up to 15 inches (38 cm) long. Porcupine Facts and Information Introduction to Porcupine. Tourists on safari in Kruger National Park in South Africa captured footage of the big cat facing the quilled defenses of its prey. There is no mistaking what you are seeing when a Porcupine comes into view. Porcupines are nocturnal animals. 2020 National Geographic Partners, LLC. They are embedded in the skin, and can be regrown when they are lost. Quick Facts About Porcupines, Quills, and Pets. There is no mistaking what you are seeing when a Porcupine comes into view. North American porcupines breed between October and November. They can weigh from 4.5 to 13 kg (10 to 28 pounds). The porcupines found in North and South America are good climbers and spend much of their time in trees. Porcupines easily cut through even steel wire. Kilimanjaro, as high up as 11,480 feet. The smallest recorded one is the Bahia Hairy Dwarf Porcupine. New World porcupines of the family Erethizontidae are smaller with yellow to white quills and are arboreal. Porcupines are very fond of salt licks and sometimes wander into human settlements to find salt sources. 3. Written by. – Source. 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. Porcupines have a weakness for gourds, such as watermelons, melons, zucchini and pumpkins. ", That's right behind the second-place beaver, and the first-place capybara.Â. live in Southern Europe, Asia, and Africa. 4. They are also smaller and more diurnal than their Old World counterparts. Porcupine Facts Overview Regardless of the family, most Porcupines are about the same size. Porcupines can't shoot out their quills, but they will be easily released when predators get it touch with animal. – Source. Its flat feet and sharp, rounde… Porcupines have natural antibiotics in their skin and are the only mammals native to North America to have such protection. Staff Author. New World porcupines, on the other hand, are capable of clinging to trees with their tails and catching surrounding branches if they fall. Instead, these spines fall out when they come in contact with something, or if they are shak… Porcupines cannot shoot them at predators as once thought, but the quills do detach easily when touched. Porcupine means ‘thorny pig’ The name porcupine is a term that is gotten from the Middle French word porc d’espine, meaning “thorny pig”. The origin of "porcupine" can be traced back to Old English and French words. A typical mating ritual consists of two males fighting over a single female. Porcupines are nocturnal, which means they are active during the night and sleep during the day. Porcupines are lumbering, rotund rodents with needle-like spikes, called quills, covering their back, sides, and tail. In North America, they are the second largest. Portrait of a Porcupine. They can be from 25 to 36 inches long. Some porcupines grow up to 36 inches (90 centimeters) long. 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 another animal attacks the porcupine, its quills detach, burrowing into the adversary’s flesh and inflicting painful, potentially deadly wounds. Porcupines have soft hair, but on their back, sides, and tail it is usually mixed with sharp quills. To communicate they make grunts and high pitched noises. It is no secret that these prickly creatures are unique! 5 Fascinating Facts #1. 1. Each species is different, yet all have a few similar qualities. Porcupines are herbivores, they feed on leaves, bark, fruits. By Liz Langley, for National Geographic. Porcupine Facts. Each species is different, yet all have a few similar qualities. These quills typically lie flat until a porcupine is threatened, then leap to attention as a persuasive deterrent. Porcupines occur in various shades of brown, grey and white. Babies have soft quills at birth, which harden within a few days. Quills have sharp tips and overlapping scales or barbs that make them difficult to remove once they are stuck in another animal's skin. They prefer wooded habitats and are apt at climbing trees. 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. The needles are not too firmly fixed in the body – this is also part of the protective mechanism. Middle English variants include “porcupyne” and “porcapyne”. A single porcupine can have more than 30,000 quills, which are actually sharp bristles of fused hair. Most porcupines are about 60–90 cm (25–36 in) long, with a 20–25 cm (8–10 in) long tail. Most young porcupines are ready to live on their own at about two months of age. 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