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Porcupine

Porcupine (Erethizon Dorsaum)Porcupine (Erethizon Dorsaum)Porcupine (Erethizon Dorsaum)Porcupine (Erethizon Dorsaum)Porcupine (Erethizon Dorsaum)
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Porcupine Facts

Kingdom:
Five groups that classify all living things
Animalia
Phylum:
A group of animals within the animal kingdom
Chordata
Class:
A group of animals within a pylum
Mammalia
Order:
A group of animals within a class
Rodentia
Family:
A group of animals within an order
Erethizontidae
Genus:
A group of animals within a family
Erethizon
Scientific Name:
Comprised of the genus followed by the species
Erethizon Dorsaum
Type:
The animal group that the species belongs to
Mammal
Diet:
What kind of foods the animal eats
Omnivore
Size:
How long (L) or tall (H) the animal is
50-90cm (20-35in)
Weight:
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
Lifestyle:
Whether the animal is solitary or sociable
Solitary
Conservation Status:
The likelihood of the animal becoming extinct
Least Concern
Colour:
The colour of the animal's coat or markings
Brown, Grey, Black, Yellow
Skin Type:
The protective layer of the animal
Spikes
Favourite Food:Roots
Habitat:
The specific area where the animal lives
Dense forests and grassland
Average Litter Size:
The average number of babies born at once
1
Main Prey:Roots, Leaves, Berries
Predators:
Other animals that hunt and eat the animal
Owl, Eagles, Wolves
Special Features:Broad, stout body and toxic spikes

Porcupine Location

Map of Porcupine Locations

Porcupine

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 has a mainly herbivorous diets but occasionally also feeds on insects, small reptiles and eggs.

The porcupine has a coat of long spikes to protect itself from danger. The porcupine spikes are much longer than the spines of the hedgehog.

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 not born with functional quills as they are soft and take time to harden. The porcupine pup will stay with its mother for about 6 months.

Porcupine Comments

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First Published: 8th November 2008, Last Updated: 9th January 2017 [View Sources]

Sources:
1. David Burnie, Dorling Kindersley (2008) Illustrated Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 08 Nov 2008]
2. David Burnie, Kingfisher (2011) The Kingfisher Animal Encyclopedia [Accessed at: 01 Jan 2011]
3. David W. Macdonald, Oxford University Press (2010) The Encyclopedia Of Mammals [Accessed at: 01 Jan 2010]
4. Dorling Kindersley (2006) Dorling Kindersley Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 08 Nov 2008]
5. Richard Mackay, University of California Press (2009) The Atlas Of Endangered Species [Accessed at: 01 Jan 2009]
6. Tom Jackson, Lorenz Books (2007) The World Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 08 Nov 2008]

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