July 16, 2012 | In: Animal facts for kids
Imagine a hedgehog. Now take his spines and put them on a pig. Add some fur, and there you have it: the porcupine.
Porcupines are small mammals, also called quill pigs. They inherit more than 30.000 spiny quills. If you search hard enough, you can find one in the coniferous forests in Canada and North America. And be careful; try to search in the trees, because they love sleeping in them. You won’t have to bother being afraid, because porcupines are herbivores. But they will bite, if provoked.
The porcupine can weigh up to 40 pounds, and measure more than 36 inches.
The porcupine eats lots of leaves, forest berries, tress like fir, hemlock (their favorite), maple, oak, cherry and willow.
When not sitting in trees, the porcupine like to sleep in dens, caves, hollow logs and so on.
If you go on a search for porcupines at daytime, you probably won’t have any success. That is because the porcupines are nocturnal animals. And if you see one at night, chances are that in the next second, it will disappear. Jut like a little boy in a candy store. The tens of thousands of quills provide protection from predators. And this doesn’t stop all the predators from trying to make a meal out of a porcupine. The owl, coyotes and cougars will not say know to it. But that doesn’t mean the porcupine will throw its quills. It would, of course, to protect itself, but sadly, it doesn’t have the ability to do so.
The porcupine males help the female to raise their cubs. And how do you think the cubs are called: porcupettes. Quite, eh?