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In taxonomic terms, they form the family Erethizontidae. Facts | Nature | 37 Prickly Facts about Porcupines If for some reason they lose some of their needles, they will soon grow new ones. Required fields are marked *. Porcupines easily cut through even steel wire. Porcupines are nocturnal animals. The word porcupine in Latin means “quill pig.” It’s an inaccurate scientific description as porcupines are rodents and pigs are even-toed ungulates. Porcupettes (baby porcupines) are about 3 % of their mother’s weight at birth. For more videos about wildlife please subscribe :) Royalty free content brought from pond5.com and/or bigstockphoto.com Those on the back may be 40cm long; the shorter, open-ended tail quills will rattle as a warning. These can stab any potential threat. Although porcupines do not hibernate during the winter, they remain in their dens during especially cold or inclement weather. If the noise doesn’t work, the porcupine may try to charge backward into the predator. They came out from their hides at night for finding food and it is also meant for avoiding any direct contact with predators. Porcupines do not shoot their quills at predators as is widely thought. Privacy Policy | North and South America’s porcupines are good climbers and spend much of their time in. The amazingly strong front … Each quill is marked with black and white bands. When under threat of attack the porcupine will give warnings by hissing, growling, clicking … When another animal attacks the porcupine, its quills detach, burrowing into the adversary’s flesh and inflicting painful, potentially deadly wounds. Interesting and fun Porcupine facts all ranked by you! They tend to mind their own business, getting their dander — and their quills — up only when threatened. The derivation of the word “porcupine” can be traced back to Old English and French. Some quills can be up to 51 centimeters (20 inches) long. Fishers are a primary predator of porcupines, but quills have been found embedded in coyotes, pumas, bobcats, foxes, lynx, bears, wolves and even Great Horned Owls. Depending on the species female porcupines have between one and four offspring. A greasy coating on porcupine quills contains antibiotics, possibly to protect the animal from infection if it is accidentally pricked by its own quills. They are herbivorous animals (eat only plants). Fun Facts About Porcupine Rays. Their prehensile tails make the task of living in the trees easier. Roughly 30,000 quills cover the whole body except for the stomach, nose and bottom of their feet. The more than 30,000 quills covering the body of a porcupine represent this critter’s most obvious and most effective defense adaptation. This rodent has rather long quills of up to 16 inches. 5 Fascinating Facts #1. Porcupines have soft hair mixed with sharp quills. One wrong move and POOF! Because quills are so lightly attached, they come off easily when a predator encounters them. 1. A mother and her young are a family group called a prickle. The North American porcupines also eat. The length of quills varies by type. The quills of New World porcupines are much smaller (about 4 inches or 10 centimeters long) but work just as well. Although there’s not enough data on some species there are currently no porcupine species listed as endangered. Weighing between 12-35 pounds (5–16 kg), they are rounded, large and slow. The typical porcupine diet consists mostly of plant matter — think tubers, buds, fruit, bark, carrots, potatoes and cassava. An adult porcupine is about 50 cm long (20 inches), not counting the tail. They live in forests and deserts, and on rocky outcrops and hillsides. Description. It once was though that porcupines could shoot quills at predators, the truth is of course, they can’t, but their quills can easily be detached. Porcupines have soft hair, but on their back, sides, and tail it is usually mixed with sharp quills. Further, a porcupine ray’s preferred habitat is in populated coastal areas that are more susceptible to human activity. The body of this fish is covered with long sharp spines that remain covered when the body is deflated. 2. This is very unusual having in mind that they use their quills as their only defence mechanism. Porcupines are mammals. Porcupine species have some traits in common, the obvious one being the long, sharp quills that cover their bodies. Porcupines boast of a coat of needle-like quills, giving predators a snappy reminder that this animal is no easy meal. Porcupines with short quills around 4 inches (10 cm) long belong to the New World, while porcupines with quills that can grow up to 20 inches (51 cm) long, though there are some exceptions, belong to the Old World. Porcupinefish can also inflate their bodies with water or air, but these fishes are also armed with well-developed spines from head to tail. A single porcupine may have 30,000 or more quills. They weigh 12 to 35 pounds. It’s difficult to remove quills once they are stuck in another animal’s skin because of their sharp tips and overlapping scales or barbs. The New World porcupines are indigenous to North America and northern South America. The smallest recorded one is the Bahia Hairy Dwarf Porcupine. The porcupine Latin name means “quill pig”. A baby porcupine is called a porcupette. The origin of "porcupine" can be traced back to Old English and French words. They are solitary during much of their lives. A single porcupine can have more than 30,000 quills, which are actually sharp bristles of fused hair. There are some that have white on them as well. Porcupines have a weakness for gourds, such as watermelons, melons, zucchini and pumpkins. Female porcupines carry their young for a gestation period of 16 to 31 weeks, depending on species. It also means that they are warm-blooded.. Warm-blooded animals are able to regulate their body temperature.. A porcupine's prickly coat of quills is its first line of defence. Porcupine, any of 25 species of large, herbivorous, quill-bearing rodents active from early evening to dawn. The derivation of the word “porcupine” can be traced back to Old English and French. These long, pliable quills act as guard hairs and form a “skirt.” When threatened, the skirt can be erected, making the porcupine appear two to three times bigger. Use our interactive map to navigate our fascinating planet and discover many interesting and fun facts for every country…, © 2020 Planet Numbers Ltd.   – Source. Porcupines are the third largest rodents in the world, followed by the capybara and the beaver. A male porcupine is a ”boar” and a female is a “sow”. They also eat nuts, tubers, seeds, grass, leaves, fruit and buds.Though they don't eat meat, porcupines chew on bones to sharpen their teeth. 1. North American porcupines satisfy their healthy appetite for wood with their large front, They eat natural bark and stems and even chew on canoe paddles. Its flat feet and sharp, rounde… This means that they sleep during the day and become active in the evening. Interesting And Fun Facts About Porcupine. Porcupines are native to southern Asia, North America, South America and Africa. Required fields are marked *. Each quill is hollow – it is yellowish in colour, with a black tip and is covered in tiny barbs. The color of a Porcupine is to help them stay well camouflaged in their habitat. The North African crested porcupine is the largest. Yet Latin isn’t the only language misidentifying the porcupine: The French word equivalent to the English porcupine is porc espin or “spined pig”. This means that they have fur, are born life, and drink milk when they are babies. They will also eat bugs once in a great while. (1.2 to 35 kilograms), and their tails can grow up to 8 to 12 inches (20 to 30 cm). The porcupine Latin name means “quill pig”. This means they eat mostly vegetation. Porcupines are divided into two groups: Old World porcupines, found in. It’s the prickliest of rodents. Their quills are very sharp and they will not use them by shooting them towards any location as the people think. The porcupine is Africa’s largest rodent. A porcupine is a rodent with a coat of sharp spines, or quills, that defend them from predators.The porcupine is the third biggest rodent, after the capybara, and beaver, and are not to be confused with hedgehogs.Most porcupines are about 60–90 cm long, with a 20–25 cm long tail. Behaviour: Porcupines are primarily nocturnal, moving alone or in small groups of 5 or 6 individuals. – Source. Site Map. 4. Porcupines are more likely to flee predators, but if cornered, it will er… The Indian porcupine is an ‘Old World’ porcupine and one of the world's largest porcupines. Porcupines are very vocal during mating season and the gestation period is about 7 months. Porcupines might be considered a prickly bunch, but they're pretty cute once you learn more about them. Porcupines that live on the ground and inhabit deserts, grasslands, and forests are the ones in Africa, Europe, and Asia. Weighing 5–16 kg (12–35 lb), they are rounded, large, and slow, and use aposematic strategy of defense. New quills grow to replace lost ones. At first, babies have soft quills but they harden within a few days. They use their strong feet and curved claws to climb the tree. Porcupines can live a long time. One of the unique characteristics of this fish is its ability of inflating its body to almost double the size. Facts and Information. Porcupines are arboreal, built for climbing trees. The quills, or spines, take various forms depending on the species, but all are modified Unlike the 'New World' porcupines, this porcupine is a ground-dwelling and burrowing animal. They can weigh from 4.5 to 13 kg (10 to 28 pounds). Interesting facts about Yorkshire Terriers. Porcupine Quills are dangerous to dogs because once they make contact with the skin, the quills can migrate further in and cause internal damage. During the wintertime, porcupines eat a lot of tree bark, as well. #2. Porcupine babies, called porcupettes, are not born with sharp or barbed quills. Here are some interesting facts about porcupines that’ll help you in your quest for knowledge! (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); Your email address will not be published. To communicate they make grunts and high pitched noises. Your email address will not be published. They like to eat leaves, stem, bark, fruit… Fewer porcupine rays are caught today as bycatch compared to years past, and researchers believe this means the species has been overexploited in its range and there are fewer individuals. They are excellent climbers. In either case, the wording focused on the porcupine’s quills accurately depicts the feature he is best known for having. It swallows water or air and inflates like a balloon. They often take shelter in aardvark (Antbear) burrows which they modify to make more comfortable. There are 11 species, in three types of Old World porcupines which are part of the Hystricidae family. They’ve got soft hair, only their back, sides, and tail are usually mixed with sharp quills. It’s probably a way to prevent infection from accidental self-quilling. Instead, the porcupette’s quills are soft and bendable, gradually hardening in the first few days after birth. Thank you for listening. Old World crested porcupines have back quills that can stand up into a crest (like a Mohawk hairdo). It grows up to 15 inches (38 cm) long. Factlist containing Fun Porcupine Facts. Porcupines are nocturnal animals. Its long strands of brown hair looks soft, but thousands of quills are tucked inside. Porcupines are herbivores. Porcupines can be found on rocky areas up to 3,700 meters (12,100 feet) high. The only porcupines listed as vulnerable are the. Porcupine's home is called a den. Porcupines, on the other hand, have a vegetarian diet and mainly feed on fruits and branches. These spines, which can be up to 5 cm (2 in.) You're staring at a big, spiny ball that only the bravest sharks would dare eat. 3. The word porcupine is derived from … Your email address will not be published. Porcupine (Erethizon dorsatum) What they look like: The porcupine is a medium-sized rodent, that is related to mice, rats and beavers. The crest starts from the top of the head and goes down to the shoulders. Most porcupines are about 60–90 cm (25–36 in) long, with an 20–25 cm (8–10 in) long tail. Porcupines are listed as least concern or vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). 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. 37 Prickly Facts about Porcupines Their teeth — particularly the sharp, large front choppers — are also made for trees. Porcupines are covered in about 30,000 quills. Porcupines are also known to eat bugs and small lizards every now and then. Porcupines are found in woodland, savannah and forest biomes as well as rocky outcrops. When the quills enter the skin of a predator, they work their way further into the skin at a rate of 1 mm an hour. Write for us | Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. They are less strictly nocturnal than their Old World relatives, and generally smaller. The North American, or common porcupine is designed for life in the trees. The youngsters stay with their mother for just a few months before they are ready to live on their own. The Old World porcupines live in southern Europe, Asia, and most of Africa. 32 Capable Facts about the Gulf of California. The Porcupine looks most like a prickly beaver! It’s the prickliest of rodents. Porcupines are a mammal that is often considered a rodent. Porcupines have a good sense of touch, smell and hearing. Interesting Porcupine Facts 1. Although porcupines do not hibernate during the winter, they remain in their dens during especially cold or inclement weather. Porcupine Fish Features. Porcupines are large rodents with defensive spines or quills on the body and tail. Depending on species baby porcupines mature at 9 months to 2.5 years, and can live up to 15 years in the wild. Quills are not thrown or shot, as popularly conceived. The name porcupine comes from the Latin words ‘porcus’ and ‘spina’ which translate to mean pig spine. The longest quills are found on their back and behind, while the shortest ones are on their face. Therefore, we can say that hedgehogs are carnivores and porcupines are herbivores, which constitutes a huge distinction between the two. They display their weaponry for all to see. They live in wooded areas and can climb trees, where some species spend their entire lives. They have a large body that is round and they move at a very slow pace. Your email address will not be published. Porcupines grow new quills to substitute the ones they lose. They occur in various shades of brown, gray, and white. Porcupines are, however, not related to pigs. Their tails can be another 8 to 10 inches long. All have short, stocky legs, but their tails range from short to long, with some being prehensile. If two adults are together, it is usually a mated pair or siblings. The Largest Porcupine Grows to Roughly 90 Centimetres. At about two months of age, most young porcupines are ready to live on their own. The lifespan of wild Indian crested porcupines is unknown, but the oldest known captive individual was a female that lived to be 27.1 years old. 1. The end of each quill has a small barb (like a fish hook) that snags the flesh, keeping the quill stuck in the enemy’s skin. The porcupine's most famous featurethe quillis hollow, 2 to 3 inches (5 to 7 centimeters) in length, and lightly attached to the porcupine's skin. They’re typically solitary, though New World porcupines may pair up. Their body (from the nose to the base of the tail) measures between 70 and 90 cm, with the tail adding an additional 8–10 cm. Some quills are nearly a foot long, like those of Africa’s crested porcupine. New World porcupines are part of the Erethizontidae family, which has four types and 12 species. A porcupines’ attack will not lead to infection because each quill has a topical antibiotic. They are found in two main regions of the world, so scientists group them into either Old World or New World porcupines. Porcupines are 2 to 3 feet long in their head and body. These predators kill a porcupine by biting its unprotected face or by flipping it over to expose the vulnerable underside. Follow us on Twitter When threatened, a crested porcupine stamps its feet, growls, and grunts to scare off the predator. Porcupines aren’t social animals. They are generally nocturnal, but are occasionally active during daylight. Some porcupines love wood and eat a lot of bark and stems. It is this lust for tender greenery that finds porcupines tumbling from the tree tops on a surprisingly regular basis. Porcupine Facts. The average life expectancy of a wild porcupine is 5 to 6 years, while their captive counterparts have been known to live up to 10 years. That is why some of them are gray and others are brown. If you’re ever lucky enough to see a porcupine in person, you’ll note how big they can actually be. A group of porcupines is called a family. A family of porcupines is called a prickle — really! The animal has the nickname in parts of North America of quill pig. The Word Porcupine Means 'Thorn Pig' The English word for porcupines can be traced back about 600 years, when the animal was known as " … Porcupines are very vocal during mating season and the gestation period is about 7 months. All porcupines (and the Cape porcupine is no exception) have banded quills which are essentially their hairs. New World porcupines pass their time in trees, while the Old World ones prefer the ground. Porcupines can live in any terrain, including deserts, grasslands, Porcupines are active during the night and. They may look cute, but don't let that fool you. They have curved claws and powerful curved feet to grasp and climb. Prehensile-tailed porcupines are eaten in many regions of South America. Find us on Facebook Some porcupines grow up to 36 inches (90 centimeters) long. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Smaller, rigid quills that are 20 centimeters (8 inches) long are densely packed over the Old World porcupine’s rump and back. These quills usually lie flat until a porcupine is in danger when they come to attention as a persuasive warning. The Indian crested porcupine is a large rodent, weighing 11–18 kg. Porcupines are the largest rodents in Africa, and the second-largest in North America (after the beaver). They also eat animal bones, from which they extract calcium. This means that no matter the temperature of the environment that the porcupine is in, their internal temperature will always be the same. Porcupines are lumbering, rotund rodents with needle-like spikes, called quills, covering their back, sides, and tail. Porcupines have natural antibiotics in their skin and are the only mammals native to North America to have such protection. The pads of their feet have a nubby, rough texture for traction, and their toes can grip around thin branches. 7. The needles are not too firmly fixed in … Porcupines are mostly nocturnal, spending their evenings foraging for dinner. At the base of the tail, the porcupine has blunt, hollow quills that rattle when shaken, serving as a warning to potential predators. There are 29 different species of porcupine found in their native habitats around the world. Few of the species are found roaming in daylight. The porcupine has a small face, small ears, short legs and a thick, small tail. Bones also give them important minerals, like salt and calcium, to keep them healthy. – Source. Porcupines form colonies and the young ones spend their time up to maturity in the group. The impact may shake nu… Depending on species porcupines weigh 2.5 to 77 lbs. It’s a derivative of the Middle French word “porc d’espine”, meaning “thorny. Porcupine babies, called porcupettes, are not born with sharp or barbed quills.

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