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Porcupine | Rio Wiki | FANDOM powered by Wikia

Section Navigation Section Navigation. Printer friendly. After a gestation period of about days, only a single young is born. The gestation period is extremely long for a rodent, and twice the time for a beaver. This stout, short-legged mammal is 25 to 31 inches cm long and is covered with hair except on the foot pads and nose and quills of varying length. The tips of the long guard hairs are lighter and give the coat hues of yellow or white. The hair on the belly is sparse and varies from black to brown.

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The hair and a thick layer of body fat helps keep the porcupine warm during the winter. The tail is extremely muscular and adapted to aid in climbing and defense. The upper surface of the tail is heavily covered with quills, while the underside is covered in bristle-like hairs used to aid in climbing. The quilled pelage of the porcupine makes it unique among North American mammals.

Quills cover the body, except on the legs and belly. The quills are modified hairs which have microscopic overlapping sheaths on the tips functioning like barbs are filled with a spongy matrix. Quills from different parts of the body vary in length, flexibility, color, shaft diameter, and barb length.


The average weight of an adult male porcupine ranges from 22 to 27 pounds about kg , but some individuals can weigh up to 30 pounds Adult females weigh 15 to 18 pounds The porcupine has excellent senses of smell, hearing, and taste. Porcupines make a wide variety of sounds ranging from whimpers to screams, depending upon the circumstance. Breeding takes place in the fall, usually in September in Alaska.

Males seeking receptive females expand their home ranges up to five times the normal size. If more than one male shows interest in the same female, they will fight for the opportunity to mate with the female. Males use their incisor teeth and quills when fighting, and usually the largest and heaviest male wins.

The breeding male then splashes the female with urine. If she is not ready to mate, she shakes off the urine and leaves. If she is ready, she stays and the male mounts in the traditional posture with the female in front and the male in the rear. She will curl her tail over her back, covering most of the quills. Males reach sexual maturity at 24 months and females at 12 months. The gestation period is extremely long for a rodent. At birth the young weighs between 1 and 2 pounds 0.

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Its eyes are open and its body covered with long grayish-black hairs and quills. Within a matter of hours the quills dry and serve as protection. The young porcupine is then capable of following its mother, although the young will not be able to climb large trees for several weeks. The young are able to eat some vegetation after a few weeks, but the female continues nursing the young for 3. During the summer the young stay close to their mothers, learning about den sites and food trees, but toward the end of summer they start to spend more time apart.

By October, when the female mates again, the young are fully weaned and wander off to face the winter alone.

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Porcupines are relatively long lived and can live up to about 18 years in the wild. Porcupines may be active in the day but are mostly nocturnal. During the day they sleep in a tree, a hollow log or among rocks or tree root-wads; they do not build a nest.

During severe winter weather they might den up with other porcupines, otherwise they are solitary except for mother and baby. A porcupine has a home range, the size varies in depending on the area, studies have shown home ranges varying from acres, to as much as 70 acres in others. Porcupines they learn the denning sites and seasonal food resources in the area. Porcupines utilize natural cavities, such as rock caves, hollow logs and trees, or even the thicker vegetation in a tree as dens.

Porcupines stay active throughout the winter. Porcupines are primarily arboreal, and spend most of their time in the winter feeding in trees. They are powerful climbers but do occasionally fall from trees. Thirty percent of the animals examined in one study showed evidence of healed fractures indicating that they had fallen out of trees.

When climbing, the porcupine uses the stiff bristles on the undersurface of the tail as support. The animal has long, curved front claws which also aid in climbing. Most carnivores would not pass up a meal of porcupine.

However, an encounter between a young inexperienced predator and a porcupine can be a very painful experience. Some unfortunate carnivores have starved to death because a mouthful of quills has prevented them from eating. In an effort to remove the quills, the predator can cause the barbed quills to work into the deep tissues. Predators have different means of killing and eating porcupines. In the Northeast United States, the fisher has learned to specialize on a diet of porcupine. The fisher circles around the porcupine until it can bite its nose.

They are less strictly nocturnal than their Old World relatives and generally smaller. In taxonomic terms, they form the family Erethizontidae.

Porcupines occur in various shades of brown, gray, and white. Game Announcers at the Pit of Doom in Rio 2. Porcupine's are mentioned couple time's through Rio 2. The second time we met a porcupine was in Pit of Doom , they were Game announcers and one of them was named Tapir. A regional American name for the animal is quill pig. In the winter, it may eat bark.

It often climbs trees to find food. The African porcupine is not a climber and forages on the ground.

Defense behaviour displays in a porcupine depend on sight, scent, and sound. Often, displays are shown when a porcupine becomes agitated or annoyed.

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There are four main displays seen in a porcupine which are quill erection, teeth clattering, emitting of odour, and attack. These displays are ranked from least aggressive to most aggressive respectively.

This, along with the raising of the sharp quills, deters predators. Along with the raising of the quills, porcupines clatter their teeth causing warning noise to let predators know not to come closer. The incisors vibrate against each other, the strike zone shifts back and the cheek teeth clatter.

This behaviour is often paired with body shivering which is used to further display the dangerous quills. The rattling of quills is aided by the hollow quills at the back end of the porcupine. The use of odor is when the sight and sound have failed. An invasive scent is produced from the skin above the tail in times of stress and is often seen with quill erection.

If the above processes fail, the porcupine will attack by running sideways or backwards into predators.