These quills usually protect the porcupine from their predators. These rodents split into two families: the Erethizontidae family that has 12 new world species and Hystricidae family that has 11 old world species. The only difference between the two kinds is of weight and size, wherein former tends to be smaller and weigh lesser and latter tends to be more prominent. Porcupines come in various sizes, shapes, and colors. Their colors differ from shades of brown, gray, and curious white. They are the excellent tree climbers. Their quills have happened used as the power of a superhero; for instance, in the Marvel comics known as X-Men, the superhero is called spyke.
They’re rodents having a coat of sharp spines, or quills, which protect themselves from any predators. The name covers two families of animals, the New World porcupines, and Old World porcupines. Both families belong to a Hystricognathi branch of the large order Rodentia and display same coats of quills, though they are still entirely different and aren’t closely related.
The Old World porcupines located in southern Asia (southern and western), Europe, and most regions of Africa. They are big, terrestrial, and firmly nocturnal. Taxonomically, they form the family Hystricidae.
The new World porcupines are indigenous to northern South America and North America. They are found mostly in wooded areas and can climb trees, where some species spend their whole lives. They’re less sternly nocturnal than their relatives of the Old World and often smaller. Taxonomically, they form the family Erethizontidae.
Porcupines are known to be the 3rd-biggest of the rodents, behind the beaver and the capybara. Many porcupines are nearly 64–91 cm (25–36 inches) long, with a 20–25 cm (8–10 in) long tail. Weighing 5.4–15.9 kg (12–35 lb), they’re rounded, massive, and slow. They occur in different shades of gray, brown, and white. Spiny protection of porcupines resembles that of the unrelated Australian spiny anteaters or monotreme echidnas and erinaceomorph hedgehogs.
Porcupines are only infrequently eaten in Western culture, but are so famous in Southeast Asia, specifically Vietnam, where the important use these animals as a source of food has contributed to substantial declines in their present populations.
More popularly, their guard hairs and quills used for traditional decorative clothing. For instance, their guard hairs are used in the making of the Local American ‘porky roach’ headdress. The significant quills may be dyed and applied in with thread to embellish leather accessories like leather bags and knife sheaths. The Lakota women would collect the quills for the quillwork by just throwing a blanket over the porcupine and then retrieving the quills left stuck in the blanket.
Porcupine quills have lately inspired a modern kind of hypodermic needle. Due to the backward-facing barbs on the quills, when used as needles, they are predominantly good at two things – piercing the skin and staying in place. The barbs’ presence acting as anchors makes it so painful to remove a quill which has penetrated the surface of a predator.
Porcupines can be considered a prickly bunch, but they are quite attractive once you learn more about them. For instance, did you know when baby porcupines are born their quills are so soft, but within one hour they harden? Porcupine interesting facts are sufficiently available. As some of the nature’s most amazing creatures, there has been much research on their life cycle and, of course, the quills which cover their bodies.
Porcupines are classified as rodents. They live in Africa, America, Asia, and Europe. Apart from all porcupine species, only one porcupine (Philippine Porcupine) is known to be vulnerable. Therefore, it can become an endangered species soon. All porcupine species are same at first glance. They can live in grasslands, forests or deserts.
Well, let us learn some more interesting facts about this fascinating creature!
1. Couple often gets two babies, and both parents look after their babies
2. Their babies are known as porcupettes, and they are born with smooth quills. Soft quills will toughen in the some hour’s afterbirth.
3. Young porcupine will leave its parents entirely after some months and start a solitary life.
4. Native Americans did use the quills of the porcupine to decorate themselves in the past. Also, they used porcupines as a food source.
5. Porcupines can live up to 15-18 years.
6. The body of the porcupines discovered with sharp quills and spines.
7. Some porcupines have about 30,000 quills on their body
8. Porcupines cannot shoot out their quills, but they will be naturally released when predators get it touch with it.
9. Porcupines are nocturnal animals. So, they always sleep during the day and are very active at night.
10. Home of the porcupine is called a den.
11. They use their curved claws and strong feet to climb the tree. They are superb at climbing.
12. They eat plants only (herbivorous animals).They like to eat stem, leaves, fruits, bark and much more.
13. They can live private life (solitary life) or in small groups of about six members.
14. Females initiate close contact with males during mating season.