North American Porcupine

(Erethizon dorsatum)

CHARACTERISTICS

Origin
North America: Canada, northern
and western USA to Mexico

Habitat
forests

Diet
Leaves, shoots, berries, bark

Size
60 to 90 cm (tail of 14.5 to 30 cm)

Weight
up to 9kg

Gestation time:
128 days

Achievable age
up to 14 years

There’s a catch …
Many an assailant that comes too close to a North American porcupine will say this. Its long quills are provided with many tiny little barbs on the tip – also on the tail. If it strikes with this, the barbs bore into the assailant’s esh. A painful experience …

Did you know that?

  • Adult animals have up to 30,000 quills.
  • Offspring are born with soft quills which become hard within one hour.