PorcupineBrush-tailed porcupine
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Porcupine

Porcupines are rodents best known for their coat of sharp spines, or quills, that defend them from predators. The porcupines include the third largest rodent, after the capybara and the mara. Most porcupines are about 60-90 cm (25-36 inches) long, with a 20-25 cm (8-10 inch) long tail. more...

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Weighing between 5-16 kg (12-35 pounds), they are rounded, large and slow. Porcupines come in various shades of brown, grey, and the unusual white. The name "porcupine" comes from combining the Latin for pig and French for spine, hence the nickname "quill pig" for the animal.

In parts of Africa, porcupines are eaten as a form of bush meat.

Quills

The porcupine's chief defense is its quills, sharp spines distributed across the rodent's back, sides, legs, tail and head. They may be as dense as 150 per square inch, giving one animal as many as 30,000 quills. Contrary to popular belief, porcupines do not throw their quills; unfortunate victims approach closely enough to be swatted by the tail or brush against the animal. Like the related ordinary hairs, porcupine quills grow back when they come out.

When threatened, a porcupine will raise its quills. This is the piloerection reflex, the same as the goose bump reflex in humans.

A porcupine can defend itself by hiding its bare face from an attacker and keeping its bare belly to the ground. It may swat its tail at an assailant. The quills are not poisoned, but animals may die from a porcupine encounter if the quills prevent eating. Porcupines often fall on their own quills. Likely as an evolutionary result, the quills possess mild antibiotic properties.

Quills are sharp-pointed, fitted with microscopic barbs, and expand on contact with warm flesh. Muscle contractions in a quill victim work the quill deeper, as much as 2 cm per day unless the quills are removed promptly.

Male porcupines use urine to soften the females' quills before mating.

Fishers sometimes successfully attack porcupines by biting their faces.

Habitat

Porcupines occupy a wide range of habitats in tropical and temperate parts of Asia, Italy, Africa and the Americas. Porcupines live in forests, deserts and grasslands. Some live in trees, others stay on the ground.

Porcupines in search of salt sometimes encroach on areas inhabited by people and eat tool handles, clothes and other items that have been coated in salty sweat.

Species

A porcupine is any of 23 species of rodent belonging to the families Erethizontidae and Hystricidae. All defend themselves with sharp spines (which are actually modified hairs) rather like those of the hedgehogs, which are part of the order Insectivora and more closely related to shrews and moles than they are to the rodents, and the echidnas, which as monotremes are very distantly related indeed.

Porcupines vary in size considerably: Rothschild's Porcupine of South America weighs less than a kilogram; the African Porcupine can grow to well over 20 kg.

Read more at Wikipedia.org


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Littlest Pet Shop Hamster & Porcupine #1321 & #1322 New W/ 1 Free Random PetLittlest Pet Shop Hamster & Porcupine #1321 & #1322 New W/ 1 Free Random Pet $14.99 Porcupine Wooden Wood Gift Tag SetPorcupine Wooden Wood Gift Tag Set $8.99
Webkinz Plum Porcupine Plush New with sealed Code tagWebkinz Plum Porcupine Plush New with sealed Code tag $19.99 PorcupinePorcupine $8.42
Littlest Pet Shop Porcupine #1959Littlest Pet Shop Porcupine #1959 $6.46 Was: Previous Price $6.80 Porcupine's Pajama PartyPorcupine's Pajama Party $7.63
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Cascade Toys Hand Puppet Porcupine 12" Mint! New! With Tags Never Played WithCascade Toys Hand Puppet Porcupine 12" Mint! New! With Tags Never Played With $34.99 Green Tones 3792 Porcupine ShakerGreen Tones 3792 Porcupine Shaker $10.99 List price: Previous Price $19.99
Porcupine Abstract Watercolor 11" x 14" Art Print by Artist Dj RogersPorcupine Abstract Watercolor 11" x 14" Art Print by Artist Dj Rogers $39.00 Porcupine Massage Ball 8cm (3.2in) 12 Pack - NewPorcupine Massage Ball 8cm (3.2in) 12 Pack - New $40.99
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Echo & the Bunnymen Porcupine Japan Cd w/obi Wpcr-1311Echo & the Bunnymen Porcupine Japan Cd w/obi Wpcr-1311 $12.99 Porcupine T Shirt Funny Animals Tees Vintage Retro Graphic Mens Womens Kids CoolPorcupine T Shirt Funny Animals Tees Vintage Retro Graphic Mens Womens Kids Cool $13.49 to $15.99
.686 g Porcupine Creek Alaska Gold 6/8/10/12 mesh.686 g Porcupine Creek Alaska Gold 6/8/10/12 mesh $28.50 Arno Bernard Knives Porcupine Fixed Blade Knife Spalted Maple Handles 5514 NewArno Bernard Knives Porcupine Fixed Blade Knife Spalted Maple Handles 5514 New $135.00
Wishpets 13" Porcupine Plush ToyWishpets 13" Porcupine Plush Toy $13.19 Hagen Living World Sm Animal Porcupine Brush Rabbit,Chinchilla,Guinea Pig,FerretHagen Living World Sm Animal Porcupine Brush Rabbit,Chinchilla,Guinea Pig,Ferret $11.29
Bobby Rush - Porcupine Meat [New Vinyl]Bobby Rush - Porcupine Meat [New Vinyl] $24.97 List price: Previous Price $30.98 Louis Garneau Men's Porcupine Cycling Shorts Size Small NwtLouis Garneau Men's Porcupine Cycling Shorts Size Small Nwt $67.49
Zuni Fetish Brown Marble Porcupine - Herbert HustitoZuni Fetish Brown Marble Porcupine - Herbert Hustito $30.00 Riley The porcupine and his magic quillsRiley The porcupine and his magic quills $7.62
Authentic Pandora Sterling Silver Hedgehog Porcupine Charm 790333 RetiredAuthentic Pandora Sterling Silver Hedgehog Porcupine Charm 790333 Retired $25.00 Pp1825 Beware of Porcupine Plate Rustic Chic Sign Home Store Wall Decor GiftPp1825 Beware of Porcupine Plate Rustic Chic Sign Home Store Wall Decor Gift $19.95
Victorian Glass Magic Lantern Slide Porcupine C1890 In Captivity ZooVictorian Glass Magic Lantern Slide Porcupine C1890 In Captivity Zoo $19.28 Porcupine Tree ‎- The Sky Moves Sideways Cd C&S 1995 OopPorcupine Tree ‎- The Sky Moves Sideways Cd C&S 1995 Oop $9.99
Hedgehog Russian Metal Stacking Porcupine Dishes Ashtray Urchin Vintage Black OlHedgehog Russian Metal Stacking Porcupine Dishes Ashtray Urchin Vintage Black Ol $52.45 Vintage Hedgehog Porcupine Animal Salt and Pepper Shake SetVintage Hedgehog Porcupine Animal Salt and Pepper Shake Set $3.00
Littlest Pet Shop #861 PorcupineLittlest Pet Shop #861 Porcupine $5.40 Was: Previous Price $6.75 7.8" Xlrg Porcupine Quartz Crystals 2 Generations Sharp Terminated Peru for sale7.8" Xlrg Porcupine Quartz Crystals 2 Generations Sharp Terminated Peru for sale $300.00
30 Untrimmed Porcupine Grass Native Grass Seeds - Gold Vault Jumbo Seed Packet30 Untrimmed Porcupine Grass Native Grass Seeds - Gold Vault Jumbo Seed Packet $2.50 Lot Of 7 Webkinz Plush No Codes Bunny Porcupine Snowman Bunny Dog Free ShippingLot Of 7 Webkinz Plush No Codes Bunny Porcupine Snowman Bunny Dog Free Shipping $13.00
Ganz Webkinz Porcupine plush stuffed animal 10" No CodeGanz Webkinz Porcupine plush stuffed animal 10" No Code $3.40 Was: Previous Price $4.00 Sweet Woodland Animals Cotton Flannel Fabric Squirrel Deer Porcupine YardSweet Woodland Animals Cotton Flannel Fabric Squirrel Deer Porcupine Yard $6.96
Eric and Lani small S porcupine gray long sleeve dress light weightEric and Lani small S porcupine gray long sleeve dress light weight $26.99 Kohls Hedgehog Porcupine Plush Stuffed Hand Puppet by Marcus Pfister 8"Kohls Hedgehog Porcupine Plush Stuffed Hand Puppet by Marcus Pfister 8" $7.99
Little Porcupine's Winter DenLittle Porcupine's Winter Den $3.99 Porcupine Tree "Nil Recurring" Japan Cd Digipak Iecp-10123 *Sealed*Porcupine Tree "Nil Recurring" Japan Cd Digipak Iecp-10123 *Sealed* $39.99
Lot Of 35+ Porcupine Quills - Crafts, Weaving, BeadingLot Of 35+ Porcupine Quills - Crafts, Weaving, Beading $2.60 Porcupine quill earrings Turquoise /black arrow top Hand crafted NewPorcupine quill earrings Turquoise /black arrow top Hand crafted New $5.35
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Prices current as of last update, 08/16/17 9:20am.

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