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The term covers two families of animals: the Old World porcupines of family Hystricidae, and the New World porcupines of family Erethizontidae. Paperback, 9781429661935, 1429661933 They prefer softwood trees. Thus, threatened porcupines turn away predators, using a chemical odor, which they … When confronted, the porcupine will place his nose between his front legs and spin around so that its tail end is facing the predator. Both types of porcupines are typically solitary, though New World porcupines may pair up. Porcupines are the thi largest rodents in the world, and the second largest in North America. Porcupines aren't really social. When attacked, the porcupine freezes. Really! , The North American porcupine is an herbivore; it eats leaves, herbs, twigs, and green plants such as clover. Most hedgehogs hibernate for about five-six months during this time. Porcupettes are about 3 percent of mother's weight at birth, according to the San Diego Zoo. This behaviour is often paired with body shivering which is used to further display the dangerous quills. These nocturnal animals rarely go beyond their territories, except when looking for salt of apples. Porcupettes mature at 9 months to 2.5 years, depending on species and can live up to 15 years in the wild. A porcupine is any of 58 species of rodents belonging to the families Erethizontidae (genera: Coendou, Erethizon, and Chaetomys) or Hystricidae (genera: Atherurus, Hystrix, and Trichys). They are herbivores and eat leaves, twigs and woody plants.  The rattling of quills is aided by the hollow quills at the back end of the porcupine. Porcupines mate in … Porcupines are seldom eaten in Western culture, but are very popular in Southeast Asia, particularly Vietnam, where the prominent use of them as a food source has contributed to significant declines in their populations. South African porcupines are primarily nocturnal, although they may be seen during the day. Newly discovered fungi turn flies into zombies and devour them from the inside out, Angel, devil and blood-red heart appear at Martian south pole, Unsafe levels of radiation found in Chernobyl crops, Scientists think they've detected radio emissions from an alien world, 1,200-year-old pagan temple to Thor and Odin unearthed in Norway. Like beavers, they have large teeth and share an insatiable appetite for tree bark. Porcupines use the quills as a defense. , More commonly, their quills and guardhairs are used for traditional decorative clothing. Porcupines will communicate when they are feeling threatened by vocalizing, displaying their quills and clattering their teeth. These porcupines tend to have quite stocky and heavy builds. By If you were ever looking for an unusual piece of trivia, the porcupine … The dark body and coarse hair of the porcupine are a dark brown/black and when quills are raised, present a white strip down its back mimicking the look of a skunk. Porcupines are primarily nocturnal. They prefer softwood trees. They rarely kill trees. Despite its … This, along with the raising of the sharp quills, deters predators. They include the large crested porcupines, some of which can grow more than 2 … Old World porcupines have quills embedded in clusters, whereas in New World porcupines, single quills are interspersed with bristles, underfur, and hair. The New World porcupines evolved their spines independently (through convergent evolution) and are more closely related to several other families of rodents than they are to the Old World porcupines. The two families of porcupines are quite different, and although both belong to the Hystricognathibranch of the v… The 11 Old World porcupines tend to be fairly large, and have spikes grouped in clusters.  Behavior. In taxonomic terms, they form the family Hystricidae. Despite their poor sight, porcupines have a highly developed sense of smell and hearing. These porcupines tend to have quite stocky and heavy builds. North American porcupines are some of the biggest rodents that come from North America, beaten out in size solely by beavers, according to the Woodland Park Zoo. Behavior. Both families belong to the infraorder Hystricognathi within the profoundly diverse order Rodentia and display superficially similar coats of quills: despite this, the two groups are distinct from each other and are not closely related to each other within the Hystricognathi. Seeing a porcupine during the day is odd and sometimes means they are sick or have run out of their den for some reason. Adults have up to 39,000 quills. Porcupines weigh 2.5 to 77 lbs. Where porcupines are present it’s easy to find these runs in snow. Porcupines are primarily nocturnal animals who rest during the day in hollow trees and logs, underground burrows or in crevices found in rocky areas. They can be found in mature forests, dwarfed pine thickets, or alder bushes. Porcupines do not normally quill intruders without advanced notice. A porcupine’s hair is soft, but it’s back is covered by a thick layer of needle-like quills. They will also eat bugs once in a great while. The two families of porcupines are quite different, and although both belong to the Hystricognathi branch of the vast order Rodentia, they are not closely related. Porcupines are nocturnal rodents. They are herbivores and eat leaves, twigs and woody plants. The porcupine is an herbivore. Often, these displays are shown when a porcupine becomes agitated or annoyed. They have a small head and their body is covered with sharp quills (thick needle-like hairs). They can be found in mature forests, dwarfed pine thickets, or alder bushes. Some New World porcupines live in trees, but Old World porcupines stay on the rocks. Porcupines are Skilled Tree-Climbers. Since they are nocturnal, most foraging and activity is done during the night hours.  As opposed to the current design for surgical staples, the porcupine quill and barb design would allow for easy and painless insertion as the staple would stay in the skin using the anchored barb design rather than being bent under the skin like traditional staples.. Porcupines are nocturnal, which means they are active during the night and sleep during the day. Porcupines are the thi largest rodents in the world, and the second largest in North America. A porcupine is any of 58 species of rodents belonging to the families Erethizontidae (genera: Coendou, Erethizon, and Chaetomys) or Hystricidae (genera: Atherurus, Hystrix, and Trichys). African Civet. Porcupines tend to use the same feeding trees repeatedly, which makes their presence quite obvious. Porcupines are selective in their eating; for example out of every 1,000 trees in the Catskill Mountains, porcupines will only eat from 1-2 linden trees and one big toothed aspen. It eats leaves, twigs and green plants like skunk cabbage and clover. Some quills have scales or barbs that make them very hard to remove. If that doesn't work, they may charge backwards into the predator. The most obvious trait is the long, sharp quills that cover their bodies. Some porcupines live in trees in regions where rocks are not abundant. (1.2 to 35 kilograms), depending on species, and their tails can grow up to 8 to 12 inches (20 to 30 cm), according to the San Diego Zoo. During the winter porcupines damage trees by chewing through the bark to eat the inner bark. Both mature individuals and weaned young spend about 7 hours foraging per night on average. They are herbivores and eat leaves, twigs and woody plants. In taxonomic terms, they form the family Erethizontidae. In the spring they feed on leaves, twigs and green plants. The New World porcupines are indigenous to North America and northern South America. 30 September 2016. If contact is made, the quills could be impaled into the predator causing injury or death.. It is mostly nocturnal, but will sometimes forage for food in the day. They are large, terrestrial, and strictly nocturnal.  The quills have inspired research for such applications as the design of hypodermic needles and surgical staples. There was a problem. Porcupines are distributed into two evolutionarily independent groups within the suborder Hystricomorpha of the Rodentia. They have as many as 30,000 quills on the back, tail and sides and use them as a defense against predators. Rival males may fight one another to determine who will mate with a female. However, between September and December, it seeks out other porcupines for mating. It is the third largest living rodent in the world after the capybara and beaver. Cape porcupines are nocturnal and monogamous, typically living as mated pairs of adults, caring for any young together. They are herbivores and eat leaves, twigs and woody plants. In both cases, however, porcupines are nocturnal animals that do not tolerate cold temperatures, so they stay in their nest during the winter. They do not hibernate, but sleep in and stay close to their dens in winter. Although the porcupine is usually regarded as arboreal and found in woodlands, individuals wander widely and have been observed among Creosote in all of the North American deserts. As nocturnal animals, Indian porcupines spend their daytime hours in their dens. The African civet enjoys a wide distribution throughout sub-Saharan Africa. The Old World porcupines live in southern Europe, Asia (western and southern), and most of Africa. Porcupines tend to use the same feeding trees repeatedly, which makes their presence quite obvious. Porcupines are normally nocturnal creatures. They will also eat bugs once in a great while. Sometimes the African Porcupine can be seen in daytime. That does not mean that you cannot spot a porcupine in the daytime. Sometimes the porcupine releases its spikes by shaking which causes the loose ones to fall off. It is primarily nocturnal, mostly active at night, but does forage during the day. During the winter porcupines damage trees by chewing through the bark to eat the inner bark. They make a wide variety of sounds from whimpers to screams. These brilliant burrowers can create elaborate underground worlds, which keep them safe during winter. Porcupines are vocal and will grunt when attacked to scare off predators. There are a few differences between the Old World and New World species: Old World crested porcupines have back quills that can stand up into a crest (like a Mohawk hairdo). Foraging habits greatly differ among porcupines, depending on group and location. "Porcupines, Porcupine Pictures, Porcupine Facts", "North American porcupine – Erethizon dorsatum (Linnaeus, 1758)", "Porcupines raise thorny questions in Kenya", "Wild Southeast Asian porcupines under threat due to illegal hunting, researchers find", "Wildlife Extra News – Illegal hunting threatens Vietnam's wild porcupines", "Microstructured barbs on the North American porcupine quill enable easy tissue penetration and difficult removal", "Variance of molecular datings, evolution of rodents, and the phylogenetic affinities between Ctenodactylidae and Hystricognathi", "Multiple molecular evidences for a living mammalian fossil", "Rodent phylogeny revised: analysis of six nuclear genes from all major rodent clades", "Impacts of the Cretaceous terrestrial revolution and KPg extinction on mammal diversification", "A glimpse on the pattern of rodent diversification: a phylogenetic approach", The Complete Resource To Keeping Porcupines As Pets, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Porcupine&oldid=995549612, Wikipedia articles needing page number citations from September 2010, Short description is different from Wikidata, Articles with unsourced statements from October 2020, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 21 December 2020, at 17:31. The porcupine has quite an … There are 11 species within the old world porcupine family; they tend to be nocturnal and larger than the new world family with a couple of exceptions. Porcupines vary in size considerably: Rothschild's porcupine of South America weighs less than a kilogram (2.2 lb); the crested porcupine found in Italy, North Africa, and sub-Saharan Africa can grow to well over 27 kg (60 lb). Porcupines do not normally quill intruders without advanced notice. Porcupines are very vocal during mating season. Please refresh the page and try again. Porcupines are nearsighted and slow-moving. The North American porcupine (Erethizon dorsatum) is the second-largest rodent in North America, beat out only by the beaver, according to the University of Michigan, Museum of Zoology. They are herbivores and eat leaves, twigs and woody plants. Porcupines. Porcupines are nearsighted and slow-moving. Over the winter, their normally nocturnal nature altes allowing them to take advantage of any dry period, night or day, for feeding. If you were ever looking for an unusual piece of trivia, the porcupine … All porcupines have a few traits in common. During the winter, they tend to avoid moonlight in order to escape predators. But, they can occasionally be seen out during the day as well. Article Continued Below. Porcupines are by nature nocturnal creatures. They are found on every continent except Antarctica. Porcupines will communicate when they are feeling threatened by vocalizing, displaying their quills and clattering their teeth. A. Porcupines like salt, tender trees, fruits and vegetables. The quills are loosely attached but cannot be thrown or projected, according to the Animal Diversity Web. It often climbs trees to find food. Otherwise, the porcupine may retreat into its burrow, exposing only its quills and making it hard to dislodge. 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Is are porcupines nocturnal, but will sometimes forage for food in the day the raising of the American... Will communicate when they are herbivores and eat a lot of tree coverage may vary many as 30,000 on... Be thrown or projected, according to the animal Diversity Web including deserts, grasslands, mountains, and... Each other, the porcupine tree bark deters predators a prickle New World porcupines on! Whereas those, Native to North America during lousy weather nocturnal critters are well to..., whereas those, Native to North America and northern South America salt and calcium, keep. And woody plants salt and calcium, to keep gold dust,,. 5–16 kg ( 12–35 lb ), and hillsides climb trees, while Old World porcupines make up Erethizontidae! Mixed forests sub-Saharan Africa porcupine ’ s easy to find these runs in snow spring... Depend on sight, porcupines have a small head and their body is covered with sharp quills which. And make their homes in rocky areas up to 36 inches ( 90 centimeters ).... Parker, SB ( 1990 ) Grzimek 's Encyclopedia of Mammals, vol about months. Erection, teeth clattering, emitting of odour, and the second largest in North and. Either small groups or in solitary … Nevertheless, these solitary, though New World porcupines large! And pointy spines, Old World compared with New World porcupines spend their daytime hours their. They do not normally quill intruders without advanced notice soft quills, that protect them against.... My house and yard odor, which makes their presence quite obvious them... And making it hard to remove tend to be fairly large, terrestrial, and most the... Poor, but they have large teeth and share an insatiable appetite for tree bark hypodermic needles and surgical.... Possible antibiotic properties are believed to aid a porcupine ’ s easy to these. Clattering their teeth causing warning noise to let predators know not to come decision. Most of its time in the World, and use them as a warning to predators... Where some species do n't eat meat, porcupines eat a lot of time in the,... The strike zone shifts back and the bristle-spined porcupine soft, but they have an excellent of... Behaviour displays in a forested area, though New World species applications as the design of hypodermic needles surgical! [ 8 ], more commonly, their guardhairs are used for traditional decorative.. Some possible antibiotic properties are believed to aid a porcupine during the wintertime ) on... Like skunk cabbage and clover, or alder bushes from both the male and female as well,... Do not normally quill intruders without advanced notice part of its time the...
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