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North American Porcupine

Erethizon dorsatum
Weighing up to 40 pounds it’s hard to imagine that this strict vegetarian can climb onto small branches to feed on the new bark. The strong, curved claws, rough foot pads and quills located on the underside of the tail aid the porcupine to be a skilled and agile climber. Generally slow and lumbering, the porcupine uses its quills, modified hairs with barbed tips, for defense. This animal is mostly nocturnal in its habits and can be hard to view on a visit to the refuge.

Facts About North American Porcupine

Baby porcupines are called “porcupettes” and are born with soft spines that harden within one hour of birth

Have 30,000 quills

Can stay in the same tree or bush for days

Page Photo Credits — North American porcupine - ©Suzy Whittey
Last Updated: Mar 14, 2014
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