The African civet enjoys a wide distribution throughout sub-Saharan Africa. The short answer is yes. Porcupine are large rodents with coats of sharp and pointy spines, or quills, that protect them against predators. A porcupine's tail is also able to swing in the direction of the predator. Porcupines are primarily nocturnal. The North American porcupine is the only species found in the United States and Canada. Where porcupines are present it’s easy to find these runs in snow. Cape porcupines are nocturnal and monogamous, typically living as mated pairs of adults, caring for any young together. They prefer softwood trees.  The quills have inspired research for such applications as the design of hypodermic needles and surgical staples. The rodent is almost always found in a forested area, though the type of tree coverage may vary. If you were ever looking for an unusual piece of trivia, the porcupine … Foraging habits greatly differ among porcupines, depending on group and location. The two subfamilies of New World porcupines are mostly smaller (although the North American porcupine reaches about 85 cm or 33 in in length and 18 kg or 40 lb), have their quills attached singly rather than grouped in clusters, and are excellent climbers, spending much of their time in trees. Dens in tree branches or tangles of roots, rock crevices, brush or logs are the porcupine's home. Please deactivate your ad blocker in order to see our subscription offer. A porcupine’s hair is soft, but it’s back is covered by a thick layer of needle-like quills. The major difference between Old and New world species is that the Old World porcupines live on the ground and often in small groups, while the New World porcupine… Porcupines are distributed into two evolutionarily independent groups within the suborder Hystricomorpha of the Rodentia. All porcupines are nocturnal and quite adaptable, found in a variety of habitats, as long as there is vegetation. Why did the porcupines pick my house and yard? Over the winter, their normally nocturnal nature altes allowing them to take advantage of any dry period, night or day, for feeding. North American porcupines are some of the biggest rodents that come from North America, beaten out in size solely by beavers, according to the Woodland Park Zoo. "Porcupines, Porcupine Pictures, Porcupine Facts", "North American porcupine – Erethizon dorsatum (Linnaeus, 1758)", "Porcupines raise thorny questions in Kenya", "Wild Southeast Asian porcupines under threat due to illegal hunting, researchers find", "Wildlife Extra News – Illegal hunting threatens Vietnam's wild porcupines", "Microstructured barbs on the North American porcupine quill enable easy tissue penetration and difficult removal", "Variance of molecular datings, evolution of rodents, and the phylogenetic affinities between Ctenodactylidae and Hystricognathi", "Multiple molecular evidences for a living mammalian fossil", "Rodent phylogeny revised: analysis of six nuclear genes from all major rodent clades", "Impacts of the Cretaceous terrestrial revolution and KPg extinction on mammal diversification", "A glimpse on the pattern of rodent diversification: a phylogenetic approach", The Complete Resource To Keeping Porcupines As Pets, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Porcupine&oldid=995549612, Wikipedia articles needing page number citations from September 2010, Short description is different from Wikidata, Articles with unsourced statements from October 2020, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 21 December 2020, at 17:31. Unlike … Some porcupines love wood and eat a lot of bark and stems. The 11 Old World porcupines tend to be fairly large, and have spikes grouped in clusters. They are herbivores and eat leaves, twigs and woody plants. There are many species of porcupine, and they divide into two groups: The Old World porcupines live in southern Europe, western and southern Asia, and most of Africa. Porcupines are normally nocturnal creatures.  As opposed to the current design for surgical staples, the porcupine quill and barb design would allow for easy and painless insertion as the staple would stay in the skin using the anchored barb design rather than being bent under the skin like traditional staples.. , Fossils belonging to the genus Hystrix date back to the late Miocene of the continent of Africa.. The body of porcupine produces keratin - a material, from which its quills are made. They rarely kill trees. The largest porcupine is the North African crested porcupine. They have as many as 30,000 quills on the back, tail and sides and use them as a defense against predators. Porcupines are Skilled Tree-Climbers. But, they can occasionally be seen out during the day as well. Though they don't eat meat, porcupines chew on bones to sharpen their teeth. Along with the raising of the quills, porcupines clatter their teeth causing warning noise to let predators know not to come closer. This, along with the raising of the sharp quills, deters predators. Nevertheless, these solitary, nocturnal critters are well equipped to defend themselves. They are large, terrestrial, and strictly nocturnal. Porcupines average 13 to 20 pounds. South African porcupines are primarily nocturnal, although they may be seen during the day. Parker, SB (1990) Grzimek's Encyclopedia of Mammals, vol. Thus, African porcupines usually forage on the ground, whereas those, native to North America, forage in trees. A porcupine is any of 58 species of rodents belonging to the families Erethizontidae (genera: Coendou, Erethizon, and Chaetomys) or Hystricidae (genera: Atherurus, Hystrix, and Trichys). When not seeking cover from the weather or fishers, the porcupine spends most of its time in the trees feeding and resting. They are herbivores and eat leaves, twigs and woody plants. They prefer softwood trees. , Defensive behaviour displays in a porcupine depend on sight, scent and sound. Bones also give them important minerals, like salt and calcium, to keep them healthy. During the night, they forage for food. The porcupine is an herbivore. The dark body and coarse hair of the porcupine are a dark brown/black and when quills are raised, present a white strip down its back mimicking the look of a skunk. New World porcupines spend their time in the trees, while Old World porcupines stay on the ground. Porcupines are primarily nocturnal. During the night, they forage for food. Having poor vision, porcupines rely primarily on their good sense of hearing and of smell, sometimes standing up on their hind legs to sniff the air. As nocturnal animals, Indian porcupines spend their daytime hours in their dens. Old World porcupines have quills embedded in clusters, whereas in New World porcupines, single quills are interspersed with bristles, underfur, and hair. But because they travel over the same trails repeatedly, finding a perfect, un-trampled track is a rare event. A mother and her young is considered a family group called a prickle. Seeing a porcupine during the day is odd and sometimes means they are sick or have run out of their den for some reason. The… They do not hibernate, but sleep in and stay close to their dens in winter. Crested porcupines, because they are nocturnal, mate during the night close to the burrow or even inside it. Porcupines will communicate when they are feeling threatened by vocalizing, displaying their quills and clattering their teeth. In case you haven’t picked it up yet, porcupines are fantastic … The general coat coloration for North American porcupines is black or deep brown. They live in forests and deserts, rocky outcrops, and hillsides. Porcupines are nocturnal. Sometimes the African Porcupine can be seen in daytime. If you’re looking for one in the winter, you won’t find a hedgehog. Porcupines are very vocal during mating season. Weighing 5–16 kg (12–35 lb), they are rounded, large, and slow, and use aposematic strategy of defence. Otherwise, the porcupine may retreat into its burrow, exposing only its quills and making it hard to dislodge. Otherwise, the porcupine may retreat into its burrow, exposing only its quills and making it hard to dislodge. They include the large crested porcupines, some of which can grow more than 2 … The typical porcupine diet consists mostly of plant matter -- think tubers, buds, fruit, bark, carrots, potatoes and cassava. Porcupines tend to use the same feeding trees repeatedly, which makes their presence quite obvious. They will also eat bugs once in a great while. Porcupines aren't really social. Porcupine Habitat and Behavior: Porcupines are nocturnal and make their homes in rocky areas for daytime slumber. The two families of porcupines are quite different, and although both belong to the Hystricognathi branch of the vast order Rodentia, they are not closely related. They are generally nocturnal, but are occasionally active during daylight. Adults have up to 39,000 quills. Native to Mediterranean Europe and North Africa, African crested porcupines are monogamous, so tend to live in small family groups with their mate. However, between September and December, it seeks out other porcupines for mating. This behaviour is often paired with body shivering which is used to further display the dangerous quills. They make shake them, which makes them rattle, as a warning to potential predators. Sometimes the porcupine releases its spikes by shaking which causes the loose ones to fall off. Porcupines are nearsighted and slow-moving. They communicate with conspecifics through a system of acoustic, chemical, visual and tactile signals. By During the winter, they tend to avoid moonlight in order to escape predators. The two families of porcupines are quite different, and although both belong to the Hystricognathibranch of the v… Alina Bradford - Live Science Contributor The word "porcupine" comes from Latin porcus pig + spina spine, quill, via Old Italian (Italian "porcospino", thorn-pig)—Middle French—Middle English. If you were ever looking for an unusual piece of trivia, the porcupine … Species listed as vulnerable include the Phillipine porcupine and the bristle-spined porcupine. Porcupines occupy a small range of habitats in tropical and temperate parts of Asia, Southern Europe, Africa, and North and South America. They are herbivores and eat leaves, twigs and woody plants. Porcupines aren't really social. All porcupines have a few traits in common. For other uses, see, Rodent with a coat of sharp and pointy spines, Old World compared with New World species. At night, but Old World porcupines spend their time in the creation of Rodentia! Aid a porcupine 's colouring aids in part of its defence as most of Africa porcupine ’ easy. A female, in three genera, of Old World porcupines live in trees territories, except when looking an. Create elaborate underground worlds, which harden in a variety of habitats, as long as there is.... 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