Porcupine Erithizon dorsatum
Order Rodentia Rodents
- Animals with 2 upper & 2 lower incisors and no canines
- Of all mammals, has the most number of worldwide species
Family Erethizontidae American porcupines (1 native family member in U.S.)
Heavy-bodied, short-legged slow moving, with a waddling gate. Usually solitary. Den in caves, hollow logs, ground burrows
Color varies: black to light yellowish brown.
Quills: sharp barb-tipped that cover most of body, that easily detach after contact with flesh or fur. Quills provide buoyance, so porcupines can swim to get aquatic plant foods.
Habitat mostly in forests.
Food: Herbivores. In summer, eat buds, twigs, leaves, flowers, berries, nuts. In winter eat evergreen needles & inner bark of trees and woody shrubs.
Body length: 24-36 inches, Tail 6-9 inches