Porcupines

Porcupines

About Porcupines

Porcupines are rodents with a coat of sharp spines, or quills, that defend and camouflage them from predators. They are indigenous to the Americas, southern Asia, and Africa. Porcupines are the third largest of the rodents, behind the capybara and the beaver. Most porcupines are about 2536 in (6391 cm) long, with an 810 in (2025 cm) long tail. Weighing between 1235 lb (5.416 kg), they are rounded, large and slow. Porcupines come in various shades of brown, grey, and the unusual white. Porcupines' spiny protection resembles that of the unrelated erinaceomorph hedgehogs and monotreme echidnas. The common porcupine is a herbivore. It eats leaves, herbs, twigs and green plants like skunk cabbage and clover and in the winter it may eat bark. The North American porcupine often climbs trees to find food. The African porcupine is not a climber and forages on the ground. It is mostly nocturnal, but will sometimes forage for food in the day.

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