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Monday, 10 April 2017

Porcupine

A porcupine is a rodent with a coat of sharp spines, or quills, that defend them from predators. The name porcupine means ‘one who rises up in anger.’


History's oldest porcupine died at the National Zoo in Washington on January 12, 1966 aged 27 years 3 months old. The Sumatran crested porcupine was also the oldest known rodent.

Porcupines have over 30,000 quills. The quills are about 75 mm long and 2 mm wide.

The quills of New World porcupines have microscopic, backwards-facing barbs on the tip that catch on the skin making them hard and painful to pull out.


They're excellent swimmers because the hollow quills keep them afloat.

All porcupines float in water.

Most porcupines are about 60–90 cm long, with a 20–25 cm long tail. They are the third-largest of the rodents, behind the capybara and the beaver.

Their diet consists of leaves, herbs, twigs, and green plants such as clover. In the winter, the porcupine may eat bark. It often climbs trees to find food.



A group of porcupines is called a prickle.

A male porcupine urinates on the female to let her know that it's time for mating.

Porcupines have antibiotics in their skin that prevent infection when they fall out of trees and are stuck with their own quills.

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