Males are larger than females. It lives in hilly, rocky habitats in sub-Saharan Africa, North Africa and Italy. The North American porcupine is a rodent. In addition, the range of this species is the northernmost of all porcupines. North American Porcupine. Porcupines are selective in their eating; for example out of every 1,000 trees in the Catskill Mountains, porcupines will only eat from 1-2 linden trees and one big toothed aspen. The North American porcupine is solitary for most of its life, only seeking the company of other porcupines in the fall for the purpose of mating. Being hollow, the quills also provide buoyancy, which enables a porcupine to swim well. You can find out more about rodents on this page. It is North America’s second-heaviest rodent, weighing only slightly less on average than the North American beaver. The animal has short legs and heavy built. The North American porcupine (Erethizon dorsatum) is the second-largest rodent in North America, beat out only by the beaver, according to the University of Michigan, Museum of Zoology. Gestation is 210 days, after which a female gives birth to a single offspring. North American Porcupines live up to 18 years. Porcupines start in their moms stomach, just like us. The North American porcupine’s coat consists of three distinct layers; an inner, woolly layer is closest to the skin, followed by a layer of longer guard hairs. The second-largest rodent in North America, this porcupine species grows to be around 20 pounds and 2-3 feet in length. North American porcupine Synonyms Erethizon dorsatum Lifespan, ageing, and relevant traits Maximum longevity 23.4 years (captivity) Source ref. Rodent Facts: The Ultimate Guide To The Order Rodentia, A to Z Animals List With Pictures, Facts & Information for Kids & Students, North American Bird ID Quiz App For Android: Available Now From The Play Store, American Crocodile Facts, Pictures & In-Depth Information, Axolotl Facts For Kids: Information, Pictures & Video, Animals That Start With W: List With Pictures & Facts, Bobcat Facts, Pictures, Video & Information. (Kurta, 1995; Roze, 1989) Kingdom: Â Animalia Currently, seven different subspecies of the North American porcupine are recognized. It is also an excellent tree-climber and spends much of its time in trees. Some predators are known to have died from wounds caused by a porcupine’s quills. Porcupines are relatively long-lived animals that can live up to 18 years in the wild. With an extensive range, they can be found in varied climates, and at varied elevations. The porcupine is North America’s second largest rodent; only the beaver is bigger. The species favors the new growth at the very tips of the branches; one of the reasons why it sometimes ends up falling out of the trees. The North American porcupine is the second-largest rodent found in North America (the largest is the North American beaver). Mating itself takes place on the ground. The Pocupines Life Cycle. Follow the link below to find out more and to sign up! Even though they are docile and gentle creatures, they can only suffer population declines as humans continue to encroach into their habitats. Apart from the strong, curved claws on its feet, the North American porcupine has few specialized adaptations to enable it to grasp branches or move about in the tree tops. 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 porcupin… The North American porcupine is a member of the family Erethizontidae, a diverse group of rodents otherwise known as “New World porcupines”. The hollow quills allow porcupines to stay afloat in water. A receptive female advertises her availability by secreting a special scent. In some regions, however, the porcupine spends as much, or even more, time on the ground. Here they compete for dominance. If that doesn't work, they may charge backwards into the predator. A family of porcupines is called a prickle—really! This slow-moving mammal spends much of its life in the trees, and is mainly active at night. The North American Porcupine is best known for and made distinguishable by its spiny quills that cover its body. The conservation status of the North American porcupine is Least Concern. Porcupines have an average lifespan of 6 to 18 years. The North American porcupine (Erethizon dorsatum) has the most northerly range of all porcupines.After the beaver the the North Amerincan porcupine is the second largest rodent in North America. Though porcupines spend most of their time on the ground, they are good climbers and swimmers. Copyright © 2020 ActiveWild.com. Fantastic Fact Despite the sharp, spiny quills of a North American porcupine, they are still preyed upon by mountain lions, cougars, foxes and fishers. The family currently consists of around 18 species. The North American porcupine is strictly herbivorous and depends on trees for its food. Genus: Â Erethizon The larges would be male ane the smalls would be female. If threatened it will turn its back to the predator and raise its quills. RANGE: Porcupines are found across most of the forested areas in Alaska, with the exception of Prince of Wales Island in Southeast Alaska, and the neighboring islands to the west. Males respond and will join her in the tree where she is perched. Buford came to Zoo Idaho from Idaho Fish and Game after he was found in Pocatello. Most New World Porcupines are found in South America. It makes its den in caves, decaying logs and hollow trees. Long, yellowish guard hairs cover the front half of its body while up to 30,000 quills are interspersed among the dark, coarse guard hairs of the back and tai… They are hollow and provide insulation against the cold. The North American porcupine is a slow moving, stoutly-built animal. The New World porcupines are more closely related to other New World families of rodents, such as guinea pigs, chinchillas, agoutis and coypus, than they are to the Old World porcupine species of Africa, southern Europe, India and southeast Asia. All Rights Reserved. The North American porcupine is one of the few New World porcupines found in North America, and the only one found north of Mexico. Active Wild Pinterest Active Wild Facebook. North American Porcupines have a typical lifespan of 10-15 years in the wild and up to 15-30 years in captivity. North American porcupines are sexually dimorphic, with males being larger than females. Adult porcupines wei… (If seen at all during the day, the North American porcupine is often only visible as a dark ball high up in the branches). Their fur ranges in color from brownish-yellow to black, and they sport white highlights in their quills. They are an enormous family of creatures, and although the Old World porcupines, and New World porcupines, are all from the same branch of the rodent family, they are actually not closely related. Flying Squirrels Facts: Meet The Gliding Rodents Of North America! A common myth is that porcupines can "shoot" their quills at a predator; but they can't. In the winter, they mainly eat conifer needles and tree bark. A porcupine … North American Porcupine Life Cycle. The most obvious trait is the long, sharp quills that cover their bodies. In addition, they are hunted in some places, and chased away in others. The North American porcupine is mostly arboreal (tree-dwelling), spending much of its life foraging for food in the trees. In the spring/summer porcupines eat berries, seeds, grasses, leaves, roots, and stems. A single animal may have 30,000 or more quills. It has a small head, a large, chunky body with a high arching back and short legs. Porcupine longevity is probably limited by the life of their grinding teeth. Porcupines leave at around 12 months of age and they start mating at around 18 months of age. It has hairless soles on its feet that help it climb trees. Weight: Â 11-20 lbs (5-14 kg) with females being smaller They have ever-growing teeth that are worn down by chewing on wood. Porcupines are relatively long lived and can live up to about 18 years in the wild. Scientific Name: Erethizon dorsatum. North American Porcupine Range and Habitat. The North American porcupine is found from northern Mexico to Alaska. The quills cover the porcupine’s body and tail. Porcupines may be active in the day but are mostly nocturnal. Porcupines breed only once a … Female porcupines reach sexual maturity at around 2 years and males at 2.5 years. The white patches in the quills can be easily seen at night. In Maryland, for example, the species is considered to be in need of conservation, while in Mexico it is listed as an endangered species. Dens are made in hollow logs, caves, tree stumps, or disused burrows. The porcupine doesn’t hibernate, but it may stay in its den during bad weather. The quills are barbed and easily detached, meaning that the would-be predator can quite easily find itself with either a face-full or paw-full of quills. The North American Porcupine is the second largest of all rodents. The fisher is the only habitual predator of the porcupine, and may suppress populations of this rodent. Quills extend from head to tail on the dorsal surface. The African crested porcupine is the largest porcupine in the world. The potential life span is 10 years. (Kurta, 1995; Roze, 1989) Range lifespan Status: wild 18 (high) years; Average lifespan Its skull is heavily constructed; the small, rounded head h… In the wild, a porcupine's average lifespan is 5-7 years. Porcupines over 12 years show diminished feeding and are usually smaller in size. North American Porcupine Facts At A Glance, What Does A North American Porcupine Look Like. 671 Sample size Medium Data quality Acceptable Observations. It is an herbivorous animal with pines, or quills, as they are called, all across their body, except the face, underbelly and limbs. Family: Â Erethizontidae Lifespan/Longevity. Predators can get through the porcupine’s defenses by flipping the rodent onto its back, thereby exposing its soft belly, which is not protected with quills. If they are unable to wear down their teeth, they will continue to grow inward and eventually result in the animal’s starvation. This slow-moving porcupine is the second North American rodent in size only to beaver. LIFE SPAN: 15 years under human managed care. Scientific Classification Kingdom Animalia Phylum Chordata Class Mammalia Order Rodentia Family Erethizontidae Subfamily Erethizontinae Genus Erethizon Scientific … Pocupines hive a live birth. All of our animal products are sourced from other industries. All porcupines have a few traits in common. Phylum: Â Chordata Newborns weigh between 14 and 18 oz. It is distinguished by its stout, slow, lumbering form and by its spiny coat. Buford was considered too imprinted to be released so Idaho Fish and Game collected the animal and found placement for him at Zoo Idaho. The New World porcupines first appeared on the fossil record about 30 million years ago. A receptive female advertises her availability by secreting a special scent. Click the picture above for more details & to view free sample pages! Order: Â Rodentia Porcupines are also common from Wisconsin to New York and New England. The porcupine inhabits a diverse range of habitats, including deciduous forests, coniferous forests, woodlands, scrublands, grasslands, and even tundra. (It’s completely free, you can unsubscribe at any time, and we’ll never share your details.). During the summer, they eat twigs, roots, stems, berries, and other vegetation. Porcupines are generalists, eating a wide range of plant material depending upon season. Being a rodent, the North American porcupine has large incisor teeth, with which it gnaws its food. These include the coyote, red fox, black bear, bobcat, mink, marten, long-tailed weasel, ermine, and great horned owl. Are New World Porcupines Related To Old World Porcupines? It is a very vocal animal and has a wide-variety of calls including moans, grunts, coughs, wails, whines, shrieks and tooth clicking. In one museum collection of porcupine skeletons, a researcher recorded that 30 per cent of the individuals had evidence of fractured bones; no doubt sustained from falling out of trees. We have a small an a large porcupine skull this size difference is likely sexual dimorphism. In addition, predatory birds such as eagles and owls prey on porcupines. Reproduction. They are found throughout Canada and the western United States south to Mexico. Young are nursed for about 127 days and become independent of their mothers at approximately 5 months of age, but are not sexual mature until the age of 25 months for females, and 29 months for males. This is an adaptation to warn other animals that the porcupine is well protected and won’t be an easy meal! The North American porcupine is a solitary animal, although it may den with other porcupines in the winter. Tall:Â 6-12 in (15-30 cm). 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About rodents on this page forests, and the needles of coniferous trees ;. Kurta, 1995 ; Roze, 1989 ) the North American beaver.. Just like us, and relevant traits Maximum longevity 23.4 years ( captivity Source.
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