on October 7, 2010



The porcupine does not throw its quills, but it uses its strong tail to push its quills into an attacker. However, a porcupine’s quills were not used as defensive weapons until after the Fall. The limbs of the porcupine are designed for climbing and feeding in trees. The pads on its feet are textured to grab the tree surface, and it uses its quills as hooks that prevent the porcupine from sliding backward while it is feeding with its front feet.


  • The porcupine is most known for the thousands of quills that cover its body. All but the snout, belly, throat, and feet pads are covered with these barbed quills.

Fun Facts

  • The porcupine lives in trees if dens are unavailable, and it is primarily nocturnal.
  • It likes salt.
  • The porcupine is a good swimmer.

Created Kind Members

Hairy dwarf porcupine, Brazilian porcupine

CLASS: Mammalia (mammal)
ORDER: Rodentia (rodents)
FAMILY: Erethizontidae (New World porcupines)
GENUS/SPECIES: Erethizon dorsatum

Size: 3–4 ft (1–1.2 m)
Weight: 10–40 lbs (4.5–18 kg); normally between 7–15 lbs (3–7 kg)
Original Diet: Plants
Present Diet: Bark of trees and plants
Habitat: Timbered areas in Alaska, Canada, the United States, and northern Mexico

Zoo Guide

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