Porcupine Facts . Their most noticeable feature is the quills and spines which extend from their back. The North American porcupine uses its quills as defense against predators. North American Porcupine Facts At A Glance. Crest of long hair from top of head to top of shoulders. They are hunted by farmers when they dig up crops. They are herbivorous animals (eat only plants). Porcupines do not throw or cast their quills into a potential predator; instead, quills penetrate a predator's body on contact with the porcupine's prickly body. 7. You have to pull them out which is not an easy or painless task. They are very vocal animals and make shrill screeches, whines and low grunts. A porcupine's prickly coat of quills is its first line of defence. Baby porcupines are known as porcupettes. If these threats fail, the animal releases a pungent odor. Each quill has a topical antibiotic, so an attack will not necessarily lead to infection. See the fact file below for more information on the porcupine or alternatively, you can download our 26-page Porcupine worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment. Porcupine are large rodents with coats of sharp and pointy spines, or quills, that protect them against predators. Rodents like porcupines are usually easy prey to a range of predators. A porcupine has approximately 30,000 quills on its body. The base of the tail contains shorter quills that appear white in color, with longer, hollow quills that the porcupine can rattle to produce a warning sound when threatened. Our next quiz will be on Nov 30. Old World Porcupines have cluster quills and the single quills of New World Porcupines are interspersed with hair, under fur and bristles. The Latin name of the porcupine joins the word porcus meaning hog or pig, with spina meaning thorn or spine. Length: (head and body) between 2.0 and 3.0 ft (60 to 90 cm), tail: 5.7 to 11.8 in (14.5 to 30 cm) Key Facts & Information Physical Features. The quills cover the porcupine’s body and tail. When a porcupine has babies, they are called porcupettes. Did you know? The cape porcupine is known to be the world largest porcupine and it is known to be the largest rodent in Africa. Do They Shoot Their Quills? They are hollow and were once used as containers for gold dust. Porcupine Quills are dangerous to dogs because once they make contact with the skin, the quills can migrate further in and cause internal damage. At the base of the tail, the porcupine has blunt, hollow quills that rattle when shaken, serving as a warning to potential predators. Yeah, these thorny rodents can quickly detach their quills. Baby porcupines are called Porcupette irrespective of their gender or species. Unlike needles, however, the quills of New World porcupines have small, backwards-facing barbs on the tip that catch on the skin making them hard and painful to pull out. Porcupine quills have long been a favourite ornament and good-luck charm in Africa. Key Facts & Information Physical Features. The belief that porcupines can shoot their quills may come from the fact that when threatened a porcupine may quickly jump at their attacker to skewer it with it’s protruding bristles. Fun Facts. 3. There are black and white quills on the neck and back. Lost quills are replaced with new quills. It is more common to find porcupines’ quills used for decoration in Native American clothing and headdresses. Porcupine quills are modified hair that has a thick coat and of keratin that is the same as the human nail. Porcupines are nocturnal animals. These smaller quills are used to stab at potential threats. They can only see markings of black and white! Porcupines chatter their teeth as a warning sound and shiver their bodies to display their quills. They like to eat leaves, stem, bark, fruit…. Fun porcupine facts. Agile and armed, although they may seem slow, a porcupine is quick to make its point with its defensive quills. The following account deals about porcupine quills in a cat. Some porcupines have up to 30,000 quills on their body. The belief that porcupines can shoot their quills may come from the fact that when threatened a porcupine may quickly jump at their attacker to skewer it with it’s protruding bristles.. The diameter, length and location of the quills varies from species to species, but all porcupine quills are made from keratin. This rodent is 25 – 29 inches long (63-73 cm) and weighs about 18 – 51 pounds (8-23 kg). The diameter, length and location of the quills varies from species to species, but all porcupine quills are made from keratin. The black and white quills make the porcupine resemble a skunk, particularly when it's dark. Fast Facts: Porcupine. See the fact file below for more information on the porcupine or alternatively, you can download our 26-page Porcupine worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment. They spend the h If a predator were to attack a porcupine, the slightest touch can lodge dozens of quills in the predator’s body. They also used porcupines as a source of food. These circular quills can range up to 20 inches in length. Quills are not barbed. All rights reserved. Weight: Both males and females weigh 20kg to 25kg. Physiology. Porcupine babies are called Porcupette. A porcupine has approximately 30,000 quills on its body. In fact, most people will just burn them off. When another animal attacks the porcupine, its quills detach, burrowing into the adversary’s flesh and inflicting painful, potentially deadly wounds. Although porcupines can’t shoot their quills like arrows, the quills do detach easily. They are one of the dangerous species of rodents. In fact, Vietnam is famous for having a massively declining porcupine population as a result. © Copyright 2020 Wisdom Biscuits. Keratin is a common substance in the bodies of most mammals and forms hardened, generally nerve-less structures like fingernails, hair and feathers. Porcupine Quills Porcupines have soft hair, but on their back, sides, and tail it is usually mixed with sharp quills. When threatened, a crested … A baby porcupine is called a porcupette. Porcupines, on the other hand, have a much more severe weapon: quills. In was once thought that porcupines can propel their quills at an attacker (or unfortunate bystander) to defend themselves. If these threats fail, the animal releases a pungent odor. 6. The Latin name of the porcupine joins the word porcus meaning hog or pig, with spina meaning thorn or spine. Scientific name: Erethizon dorsatum Type of Animal: Mammal, Rodent (Order Rodentia) Animal Family: Erethizontidae (the New World porcupine family) Where Found: Canada; western United States; northeastern United States; northern Mexico. Interesting porcupine facts: can they shoot their quills? If threatened it will turn its back to the predator and raise its quills. Middle and rear upperbody covered in bristly hairs, long spines, and defensive quills. The Porcupine looks most like a prickly beaver! Porcupines use an innovative defense strategy. The outermost layer comprises around 30,000 sharp quills. Legs relatively short (Barthelmess 2006, 2016b). The quills have scales and barbs at the tips that make them hard to remove. As a result, it’s quite common to find porcupine quills lying on the ground in the wild. Porcupine Facts Cape Porcupine Latin Name: Hystrix africaeaustralis Derivation of Name: The name or word “Porcupine“ comes from the French word “porc- ѐpique” (thorny pig). Porcupines release an odor to alert predators to their presence. Porcupines use the quills as a defense. If the noise doesn't work, the porcupine may try to charge backward into the predator. Interesting Facts: • Like other rodents, they have a single pair of sharp, continually growing incisor teeth that they use to gnaw and rip tough plant material. Couple usually gets 2 babies and both parents take care of their babies. If that doesn't work, they may charge backwards into the predator. Gestation Period: 3 Months. At any given time, a porcupine has up to 30,000 quills covering its body. 2. 4. The tips of the quills on the tail are narrow and hollow. When baby porcupines are born their quills are soft, but within an hour they harden. Let's have a look at how they do this. Can Porcupines Shoot Their Quills? Just roast the porcupine over an open fire to burn the hair and the quills. Each quill is hollow – it is yellowish in colour, with a black tip and is covered in tiny barbs. Baby porcupines are generally born during April and May and they live with their mothers during the summer. Once a predator is within reach they simply push their quills into their body and … Porcupine encounters that aren’t treated quickly and properly can even be fatal. Porcupine quills have long been a favourite ornament and good-luck charm in Africa. The Latin name of the porcupine joins the word porcus meaning hog or … Buoyant. Most of the porcupines are round. Quills are about 75 mm long and 2 mm wide. Some porcupines have up to 30,000 quills on their body. Habitat: Porcupines are found in woodland, savannah and forest biomes as well as rocky outcrops. The porcupine is any of 58 species of large, quill-coated rodents in the families Erethizontidae and Hystricidae. Finally, a porcupine runs backwards or sideways into the threat. This makes it difficult for the porcupine to actually aim its quills at any target due to the fact that it just flings its tail aimlessly into the air with no sense of specific aim. This is because whenever the porcupine shoots its quills, it is frightened and usually does that with its back turned and its eyes facing the ground. – Source. Bite-sized knowledge for the hungrily curious. All porcupines have a few traits in common. In fact, these rodents are amazing to learn about! So if you see a porcupine, better beware of this fact instead of hurting yourself. In fact, Vietnam is famous for having a massively declining porcupine population as a result. Porcupines are sometimes colloquially known as quill pigs. Luckily, the … Lost quills are replaced with new quills. The answer is no; they cannot shoot their quills. Porcupines are lumbering, rotund rodents with needle-like spikes, called quills, covering their back, sides, and tail. A porcupine's prickly coat of quills is its first line of defence. If you burn a porcupine quill you get the same smell as if you are burning a human nail. When a porcupine is threatened be it an adult or a young one that’s only a few days old they will stretch those quills outwards. Porcupines are herbivores that eat fruit, leaves, buds, and lots of wood, bark, and stems. These can stab any potential threat. Porcupine Facts . The Porcupine: Porcupines are most active at night (nocturnal) but are often found foraging for food during the day. The New World porcupines are in family Erethizontidae and the Old World porcupines are in family Hystricidae. Interesting Facts: • Like other rodents, they have a single pair of sharp, continually growing incisor teeth that they use to gnaw and rip tough plant material. They make shake them, which makes them rattle, as a warning to potential predators. Learn more about porcupines, quills, and dogs and what you need to do if your dog is "quilled" by a porcupine. This makes it difficult for the porcupine to actually aim its quills at any target due to the fact that it just flings its tail aimlessly into the air with no sense of specific aim. Source = Dailymail . An illustration of an American porcupine climbing a tree. 7. This is because whenever the porcupine shoots its quills, it is frightened and usually does that with its back turned and its eyes facing the ground. All Porcupine quills are actually modified hairs that are coated with thick plates of keratin and are embedded in the musculature of the skin. They can live solitary life (left on their own) or in the small groups of up to 6 members. Porcupine Quills are dangerous to dogs because once they make contact with the skin, the quills can migrate further in and cause internal damage. Life ( left on their own ) or in the muzzle, face, small.... 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