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The porcupine is one of the worlds largest rodents, with porcupines weighing around 12 kg. The porcupine is thought to be from the same family as the hedgehog but the DNA of the porcupine is not as old as that of the hedgehog.

The porcupine is found inhabiting the forests and jungles of Asia, Europe, parts of Africa, and both North and South America. The porcupine feeds on insects and occasionally small reptiles and eggs.

Like its ancestor the hedgehog, the porcupine has a coat of long spikes to protect itself from danger. The porcupine spikes are much longer than those of the hedgehog, with the spikes from a porcupine often containing poison.

There are nearly 30 different species of porcupine found in their native habitats around the world. The porcupine can vary in size from a tiny 1 kg porcupine in South America to the enormous 10 kg porcupine in Africa. Porcupines tend to be brown and grey in colour, but some of the rarer porcupine species can be found in white.

The sharp, needle-like quills of the porcupine are about 7 cm long and can be detached very easily. The attacker of a porcupine can easily end up with sharp quills in their skin which are venomous and very difficult (not to mention painful) to extract. It has been known for large predators be die as a result of the quills of the porcupine, generally from infection.

Porcupines are very vocal during mating season and the gestation period is about 7 months, when only one porcupine pup is born. Newborn porcupine pups weigh around 450 g and are about 25 cm (10 inches) long. The young porcupines are born with fully functional quills and the porcupine pup will stay with its mother for about 6 months.

Porcupine Comments (9)


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"Porcupine quills are not poisonous. The infections that animals get are from quills imbedded under the skin that have not been removed. "

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Porcupine Facts

Five groups that classify all living things...
A group of animals within the animal kingdom...
A group of animals within a pylum...
A group of animals within a class...
A group of animals within an order...
A group of animals within a family...
Scientific Name:
Comprised of the genus followed by the species...
Erethizon Dorsaum
The animal group that the species belongs to...
What kind of foods the animal eats...
How long (L) or tall (H) the animal is...
50-90cm (20-35in)
The measurement of how heavy the animal is...
5.4-16kg (12-35lbs)
Top Speed:
The fastest recorded speed of the animal...
3km/h (2mph)
Life Span:
How long the animal lives for...
8-12 years
Whether the animal is solitary or sociable...
Conservation Status:
The likelihood of the animal becoming extinct...
Least Concern
The colour of the animal's coat or markings...
Brown, Grey, Black, Yellow
Skin Type:
The protective layer of the animal...
Favourite Food:Roots
The specific area where the animal lives...
Dense forests and grassland
Average Litter Size:
The average number of babies born at once...
Main Prey:
The food that the animal gains energy from...
Roots, Leaves, Berries
Other animals that hunt and eat the animal...
Owl, Eagles, Wolves
Special Features:Broad, stout body and toxic spikes

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