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Porcupine Gifts

Porcupines are rodents with a coat of sharp spines, or quills, that defend them from predators. They are indigenous to the Americas, southern Asia, and Africa. Porcupines are the third largest of the rodents, behind the capybara and the beaver. Porcupines' quills, or spines, take on various forms, depending on the species, but all are modified hairs coated with thick plates of keratin, and they are embedded in the skin musculature.


Porcupine are spiny covered rodents.

Porcupine Classification:

Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Rodentia

Other Names: Hedgehogs, Quill Pigs or Quillers

Porcupine in Foreign Languages:

Albanian: ferrëgjatë
Armenian: porcupine
Azerbaijani: kirpi
Basque: porcupine
Catalan: porc espí
Croatian: dikobraz
Czech: dikobraz
Danish: hulepindsvin
Dutch: stekelvarken
Estonian: okassiga
Filipino: porkyupayn
Finnish: piikkisika
French: porcépic
Galician: porcoespińo
Georgian: porcupine
German: Stachelschwein
Haitian Creole: epik
Hungarian: tarajos sül
Icelandic: Porcupine
Indonesian: landak
Irish: torcáin
Italian: porcospino
Latvian: dzeloncuka
Lithuanian: dygliakiaule
Macedonia: Porcupine
Malay: landak
Maltese: Porcupine
Norwegian: Porcupine
Polish: jezozwierz
Portugese: porcoespinho
Romanian: porc spinos
Slovak: dikobraz
Slovenian: ježevec
Spanish: puerco espín
Swahili: porcupine
Swedish: piggsvin
Turkish: kirpi
Welsh: porcupine


Conservation Status:

Size: Porcupines measure, 25 to 36 inches long aand have a tail that measures 8 to 10 inches long. Porcupines weigh 2.5 to 70 lbs. The largest porcupine is the North African crested porcupine which measures up to 36 inches long. The smallest porcupine is the Bahia hairy dwarf porcupine which measures up to 15 inches long.

Habitat: Porcupines are found in North America, Central America, South America, southern Europe, southern Asia, Southeast Asia, and Africa. Porcupines inhabit areas with forests, rocky areas, mountainous area, desert, rain forest, and prairies.

Description: Porcupines are quill covered rodents that vary in size depending on the species. Porcupines have approximately 30,000 quills covering their backs.

Behavior: Porcupines are nocturnal.

Did You Know?

A baby porcupine is called a porcupette.

Senses: Porcupines have a well developed sense of smell.

Diet: All porcupines are herbivores have sharp, chisel-like front teeth. Old World porcupines eat bark, roots, fruits, and berries. In rural areas, they may eat farmed crops, such as groundnuts, potatoes, pumpkins, and melons. New World porcupines eat primarily pine needles and bark, roots, stems, leaves, berries, meadow grass, seeds, flowers, nuts, aquatic vegetation, fruits, and tubers.

Communication: The vocal repertoire of a porucpine is extensive. Porucpines make noises that include: tooth-chattering, low-pitched grunts, screeches, snarls, and high-pitched cat like shrieks. Porcupines also use scent marking to communicate.

Did You Know?

Porcupines do not "shoot" their quills. The quills will stand up on end when the animal is alarmed or frightened creating a "protective armor".

Gestation: Porcupines carry their young for approximately 16 to 31 weeks depending on the species.

Birth: Porcupines give birth to litters of 1 to 3 babies. A newborn baby porcupine typically weighs about 3 percent of it's mother's body weight.

Sexually Mature: Porcupines sexually mature between 9 months to 2.5 years of age depending on the species.

Life Span: Porcupines live in the wild for 7 to 9 years. Pythons, leopards, and large owls all prey on porcupines.

Did You Know?

A porcupines quill length varies depending on it's location on it's body. A porcupine's quills can range from 1 inch up to 12 inches on the back.

Social Structure: Porcupines are social creatures with the exception of the winter when as 12 porucpines may share a den.

Porcupine Gifts




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