Gestation lasts around 94 days. The porcupines may stand still in a defensive pose, or they may charge the enemy. The Diet of the Porcupine Still, the quills can cause problems, and puncture wounds inflicted by porcupines are serious. North American porcupines don't tend to display social behavior and are mainly found solitarily, although they do have a social structure. If that doesn't work, they may charge backwards into the predator. Ortberg’s book, however, helped me work through some of that by again looking to the porcupines. On occasion, porcupines eat insects and small lizards. Porcupines are a type of rodent found in two main regions of the world, so scientists group them into either Old World or New World porcupines. Quills are just modified hairs made out of keratin, the same substance found in our own hair and fingernails. Porcupines are lumbering, rotund rodents with needle-like spikes, called quills, covering their back, sides, and tail. A Brazilian tree porcupine, Canadian porcupine, and southern crested porcupine live in the Children’s Zoo. Loading... Autoplay When autoplay is enabled, a suggested video will automatically play next. most others don't have so great a range and only travel in the wild to escape danger or to find food. These can stab any potential threat. Again, it may take some God given grace, but instead of exploding, let’s dance a bit. The porcupine is a rodent. Apparently people keep porcupines in captivity. The quills of New World porcupines are much smaller (about 4 inches or 10 centimeters long) but work just as well. All porcupines are nocturnal and quite adaptable, found in a variety of habitats, as long as there is vegetation. What do pigs have to do with it? [/author_info] [/author] The thin-spined porcupine Chaetomys subspinosus is listed as vulnerable, losing its habitat due to cocoa plantations in northeastern Brazil. So, porcupines have a unique group of cells called a rosette that releases a very strong odor. Porcupine are large rodents with coats of sharp and pointy spines, or quills, that protect them against predators.The term covers two families of animals: the Old World porcupines of family Hystricidae, and the New World porcupines of family Erethizontidae.Both families belong to the infraorder Hystricognathi within the profoundly diverse order Rodentia and display superficially similar coats of quills: despite … If she seems interested, he sprays her with urine, which signals her to lower her quills and move her barbed tail to the side for mating. Biologists say they have the same communal urges we do. your support is more crucial now than ever before. They first begin their ludicrous lovemaking with some nose rubbing. At the San Diego Zoo and the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, porcupines eat variable vegetables and greens, corn, and low-starch, high-fiber biscuits. Females from at least 50 species also get into the act, and they can get creative: for example, female orangutans and capuchin monkeys have both been observed using sticks and other plant parts as makeshift dildos. Around people, though, they frequently gnaw on anything and everything touched by sweaty hands. In fact, the fisher has been reintroduced to some areas of North America in hopes of bringing destructive porcupine populations under control. It will stamp its feet, click its teeth, growl and rattle its quills to warn the enemy away. By the fall, most young porcupines live apart from their mothers. Sorry to say but the porcupine is actually displaying a type of zoochosis (repetitive, functionless, stereotypic behaviour of animals in captivity, not displayed by their wild counterparts). Saddle cinches? They may den in tree nests, rock crevices, brush, logs, or in tangled tree roots. Notes: Contrary to popular belief, porcupines can't throw their quills. The tail can be another 8 to 10 inches. other animal species can be easier to keep in captivity. There is no mistaking what you are seeing when a Porcupine comes into view. The youngsters stay with their mother for just a few months before they are ready to live on their own. For much of the year the porcupine enjoys no social life and leads a solitary existence. By Naomi Millburn. ... “I don’t know of … Although there are numerous different species of porcupines in existence, only one roams throughout the United States, according to the National Geographic. Salt! I may be mistaken but I do believe porcupines are a protected animal, although that may be only up north. Without visitors to offset our ongoing costs, At the base of the tail, the porcupine has blunt, hollow quills that rattle when shaken, serving as a warning to potential predators. We try to stay away from particularly prickly people. The North American porcupine has over 30,000 quills! So instead of withdrawal or attack, instead of launching your own barbs and bristling against others, there’s a much better solution. Yet their solitude isn’t completely by choice. The average litter size is 1 … A few years ago I read a book by Ortberg titled Everybody’s Normal Till You Get To Know Them which has a great chapter on this. bears, for example, do pretty well in good zoos. Still, the quills can cause problems, and puncture wounds inflicted by porcupines are serious. New World porcupines spend most of their time alone or in pairs moving through the trees. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. And so are you. A single porcupine can have more than 30,000 quills, which are actually sharp bristles of fused hair. Porcupines reach sexual maturity at the end of their first year. The North American porcupine has earned a bad reputation for killing timber and ornamental trees by stripping bark from the trunks. What about boat oars? We meet neighbors, talk with coworkers, go on dates, and join church groups. Life expectancy: Porcupines live as long as 10 to 12 years in the wild, and up to 18 years in captivity. Its fame stems from its coat of quills, which keeps most enemies at a respectful distance. Combined with a lust for salt, this need sometimes produces “eating” behaviors that can mystify the less-informed. A treed porcupine will survey danger with an air of unconcern, but should the enemy start to climb the tree, the porcupine will back down flicking and lashing its tail. Porcupines have muscles at the base of each quill that allow them to stand up when the animal is excited or alarmed. They travel alone. When threatened, a crested porcupine stamps its feet, growls, and grunts to scare off the predator. During fights, New World porcupines also chatter their teeth to sound fierce. Even if he sees them only rarely, Faccio is grateful for the big weasel’s presence. Porcupines may gnaw on bones to sharpen their teeth and to get salt at the same time. They are the third largest rodents in the world. Together we can save and protect wildlife around the globe. It’s no surprise then that they have a hard time finding love. Old World porcupines live in Europe, Africa, and Asia; some examples are the North African crested porcupine, African brush-tailed porcupine, and Indian crested porcupine. For this reason, porcupines do not want to have to use their quills. During this romantic period, they touch paws, flatten their barbs, and they walk on their hind feet in the so-called “dance of the porcupines”. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. Contrary to what a lot of us believe, animal “instincts” don’t cover everything necessary to survive. Horses sweat, too, and the rigging of saddles and other tack will be permeated with salt. Very carefully, of course! New World porcupines’ predators … Learn how your comment data is processed. He’s also the author of The Church and Media: Blogging Converts, Online Activists, and Bishops Who Tweet and the top hit on Google for “greatest evil in the world”. That species is the North American porcupine ( Erethizon dorsatum), which is also frequently referred to as the common porcupine. ... they run and chase one another. While it’s unlikely to find one in Danville, we do have porcupines in California. Some surprising points about porcupines... Porcupines are a type of rodent found in two main regions of the world. Smaller, rigid quills that are 8 inches (20 centimeters) long are densely packed over the Old World porcupine’s rump and back. Porcupines are lumbering, rotund rodents with needle-like spikes, called quills, covering their back, sides, and tail. 15 years in the wild; 20 or more years in zoos, Gestation: 16 to 31 weeks, depending on species, Number of young at birth: 1 to 3, depending on species, Weight at birth: About 3 percent of mother's weight, Age of maturity: 9 months to 2.5 years, depending on species, Length: Largest - North African crested porcupine Hystrix cristata, up to 36 inches (90 centimeters); smallest - Bahia hairy dwarf porcupine Sphiggurus insidiosus, up to 15 inches (38 centimeters), Tail length: 8 to 12 inches (20 to 30 centimeters), Weight: 2.5 to 77 pounds (1.2 to 35 kilograms), depending on species. Porcupines are considered exotic pets because they are wild animals and not typically kept as pets. Some quills can get up to a foot (30 centimeters) long, like those on the Africa's crested porcupine, according to National Geographic. Porcupines have ro… Today I found out how porcupines have sex….very carefully!. There are a few differences between the Old World and New World species: Old World crested porcupines have back quills that can stand up into a crest (like a Mohawk hairdo). And like the porcupines, it’s reciprocated–I constantly hurt and feel hurt by those I long to be closest to, which makes community difficult. During the winter months, up to 8 individuals may live in the same den. If two adults are together, it is usually a mated pair or siblings. Old World porcupines spend their life on the ground. Porcupine babies, called porcupettes, are not born with sharp or barbed quills, thank goodness! It has hairless soles on its feet that help it climb trees. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! Before the main question can be answered accurately, it’s a good opportunity to get to know exactly what makes a porcupine and what role they play in their ecosystems. Like all hairs, quills do shed, and when the porcupine shakes, loose quills can fly off (but without deadly force). I could really relate to the porcupines. Sweat is salty and found on tools and oars. They are slow and cumbersome, thus their need for a defense mechanism such as their quills. Only God could conceive a solution to community that involves two porcupines, fox-trotting paw-to-paw. Click edit button to change this text. When another animal attacks the porcupine, its quills detach, burrowing into the adversary’s flesh and inflicting painful, potentially deadly wounds. They are somewhat social, sometimes traveling in pairs. Your tax-deductible gift will care for wildlife at the Zoo and Safari Park So why was it that dancing became engrained in the fabric of being human? It just so happens that the name porcupine comes from two words that mean “spiky pig” or “quill pig.” Porcupines are in the rodent family, along with rats, mice, and beavers. It’s easy to tell when porcupines are mad: They stomp … They have hands, after all. But there is no special name for groups of porcupines. It appears to be a natural, hereditary behavior. We all want to get close without getting hurt. Even the undersides of cars pick up salt from roads. Everybody’s Normal Till You Get To Know Them, The Church and Media: Blogging Converts, Online Activists, and Bishops Who Tweet, Before and After: Blessed Sacrament in Lawton, Oklahoma, and More! They display their weaponry for all to see. Males vie for a female during noisy battles. The first thing that probably comes to your mind when you think of porcupine is; a creature with sharp needles likes spikes, waiting to throw them at you if you get closer. Amazingly, the males and females remain together for some days before mating. They are considered pests primarily for this very reason, gnawing on and destroying anything that has salt on or in it. To make quick work of available food, these herbivores have sharp, chisel-like front teeth. They can be from 25 to 36 inches long. All porcupines have a few traits in common. On rare occasions, one porcupine will share space with another. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, Brandon Vogt is a Catholic writer and speaker who blogs at. During this period they are also known to forage in groups of up to 20 animals. They hear some kind of beat, wiggle their arms and legs, stomp out a tune and life goes on. Our apartment was a far cry from St. Benedict and his monks as each day introduced some new relational tension. This Porcupine was dancing for about five minutes at least before we started recording the video. Having quills does not mean that the porcupine's life is trouble free. Some of these porcupines have been trained as animal ambassadors; they often meet guests up close and make television appearances. Yeah … about that. 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