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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Story Time for Little Porcupine (ExLib)Story Time for Little Porcupine (ExLib) $4.18 Remembering the Porcupine MountainsRemembering the Porcupine Mountains $39.09
Disneyland Gallery 1987 Nature's Wonderland 6"x5" Greeting Card Porcupine/JaysDisneyland Gallery 1987 Nature's Wonderland 6"x5" Greeting Card Porcupine/Jays $6.95 Porcupine in Green Hat by Dakin Pillow Pets - Stuffed Animal Plush - 1982 - 9"Porcupine in Green Hat by Dakin Pillow Pets - Stuffed Animal Plush - 1982 - 9" $7.20 Was: Previous Price $18.00
Solid Pewter By Jane Lunger The Porcupine 1981 1.75" FigurineSolid Pewter By Jane Lunger The Porcupine 1981 1.75" Figurine $9.95 Swarovski Crystal Hedgehog Small Porcupine In BoxSwarovski Crystal Hedgehog Small Porcupine In Box $29.99
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Purple And Pink Porcupine Stuffed Animal Genentech PromotionalPurple And Pink Porcupine Stuffed Animal Genentech Promotional $1.87 Was: Previous Price $3.75 Mackenzie & Co Original 1870 Antique Print of Coypu, Porcupine & Hare'sMackenzie & Co Original 1870 Antique Print of Coypu, Porcupine & Hare's $24.99
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Authentic Trollbeads Silver 11325 Porcupine BeadAuthentic Trollbeads Silver 11325 Porcupine Bead $24.00 Sing Sing Plush Ash Porcupine 6.3 inches Japan New TohoSing Sing Plush Ash Porcupine 6.3 inches Japan New Toho 00004000 $25.80
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Used (Gd) Who Painted The Porcupine Purple? by Lael LittkeUsed (Gd) Who Painted The Porcupine Purple? by Lael Littke $20.47 Porcupine Beaver Gnawing Log Patagonian Cavy c.1810 antique engraved printPorcupine Beaver Gnawing Log Patagonian Cavy c.1810 antique engraved print $29.96 Was: Previous Price $39.95
Vintage Swarovski Crystal Large Porcupine S Block MarkVintage Swarovski Crystal Large Porcupine S Block Mark $9.99 Democratic Principles Illustrated by Example. by Peter Porcupine. Part the FirstDemocratic Principles Illustrated by Example. by Peter Porcupine. Part the First $15.48
Rare!Lp Pan Ride Porcupine Wat Bangnomcol Old Wat Thai Amulet Buddha AntiqueRare!Lp Pan Ride Porcupine Wat Bangnomcol Old Wat Thai Amulet Buddha Antique $599.99 Porcupine Tree Bar Ads Led Light Sign BPorcupine Tree Bar Ads Led Light Sign B $27.07 Was: Previous Price $28.49
Spornette Porcupine Tail Handle Round Brush, SmallSpornette Porcupine Tail Handle Round Brush, Small $8.89 Trending at $9.12 sweetest Porcupine Bubble Gum Necklace, Chunky Bubble Gum Necklace, Necklacesweetest Porcupine Bubble Gum Necklace, Chunky Bubble Gum Necklace, Necklace $10.00
Tim Easton - Porcupine [New Cd]Tim Easton - Porcupine [New Cd] $13.86 List price: Previous Price $17.98 Porcupine Plush A Porcupine In A Pine TreePorcupine Plush A Porcupine In A Pine Tree $19.95
Purple Portia Porcupine Get Along Gang Cup Mug Vintage Never Used 1 Tiny ChipPurple Portia Porcupine Get Along Gang Cup Mug Vintage Never Used 1 Tiny Chip $22.50 Antique German Dollhouse or Roombox Accessory, Large Paper Mache PorcupineAntique German Dollhouse or Roombox Accessory, Large Paper Mache Porcupine $9.99
Club Room New Porcupine Brown Mens Size 3Xl V-Neck Cashmere Sweater $150 268Club Room New Porcupine Brown Mens Size 3Xl V-Neck Cashmere Sweater $150 268 $29.99 Classic Rock Shine On Cd 2006 12 Tracks Porcupine Tree Spocks Beard Flower KingsClassic Rock Shine On Cd 2006 12 Tracks Porcupine Tree Spocks Beard Flower Kings $9.30
Menagerie Gum Polar Bear Lion Bear Porcupine Dockman & SonMenagerie Gum Polar Bear Lion Bear Porcupine Dockman & Son $24.00 Tales to Astonish #48 ~ Ant-Man & The Wasp Battle 1st Porcupine ~ 1963 (F-) WhTales to Astonish #48 ~ Ant-Man & The Wasp Battle 1st Porcupine ~ 1963 (F-) Wh $78.00
Vintage Ussr Porcelain porcupine figurine pencil holder Lomonosov Lfz ussr russiVintage Ussr Porcelain porcupine figurine pencil holder Lomonosov Lfz ussr russi $44.99 Vintage Porcupine Gold tone Pierced Earrings & Brooch SetVintage Porcupine Gold tone Pierced Earrings & Brooch Set $18.03 Was: Previous Price $21.99
Mats Jonasson Glass Crystal Hedgehog Porcupine Miniature Paperweight signedMats Jonasson Glass Crystal Hedgehog Porcupine Miniature Paperweight signed $9.50 Inktastic Porcupine Infant Creeper - KiniArt Pickles Art Cute Cartoon Quill PigInktastic Porcupine Infant Creeper - KiniArt Pickles Art Cute Cartoon Quill Pig $18.99
100% Natural Boar Bristle Hair Styling Brush, Wood Handle Porcupine Paddle Brush100% Natural Boar Bristle Hair Styling Brush, Wood Handle Porcupine Paddle Brush $15.68 Vinyl Pop Animal Hedgehog Porcupine Set of 2Vinyl Pop Animal Hedgehog Porcupine Set of 2 $24.95
1988 Reedley High School Year Book , Reedley, California - Porcupine1988 Reedley High School Year Book , Reedley, California - Porcupine $74.03 Porcupine ValentinePorcupine Valentine $4.99
Kent Brushes pf02 Small Porcupine BrushKent Brushes pf02 Small Porcupine Brush $20.50 Porcupine Tree Trains 2 track Cd promoPorcupine Tree Trains 2 track Cd promo $48.00
Russ Berrie Plush Hedgehog Porcupine Couple Bride Groom Mini 3" Plush StuffedRuss Berrie Plush Hedgehog Porcupine Couple Bride Groom Mini 3" Plush Stuffed $12.08 Was: Previous Price $12.99
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Prices current as of last update, 10/15/17 7:40pm.

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