Erethizon dorsatum • Mammals
The porcupine looks deceitfully cuddly! Their face has short black hair and small dark eyes. Their long guard hairs lay over their specialized hairs so they appears to be soft, but those special hairs are better known as quills. There are up to 300,000 quills covering the porcupine’s body. Their legs are short, with long curved claws on their toes, which help in gripping large tree trunks.
Porcupines cannot shoot their quills, but a SLAP of the tail will send many quills into their attacker. They live in woodland and forest areas. They prefer to escape up a tree rather than face an attacker. They will den in a hollow tree, underground burrow, crevice or tree.
Solitary and nocturnal, the porcupine is a slow, but excellent climber. An herbivore, they feed on leaves, twigs, green plants and inner bark, and they are fond of salt. They can kill trees by stripping bark; they will sometimes gnaw on and damage buildings, furniture and tools with their orange teeth.
One porcupette per year is born in May or June and weighs 1 lb.