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North American Animals - mamals, birds, reptiles, insects

 North American Porcupine (Erethizon dorsatum)




North American Porcupine | Erethizon dorsatum photo
North American Porcupine photographed at Senneville, Quebec

Photograph by Eric Begin. Some rights reserved.  (view image details)

North American Porcupine | Erethizon dorsatum photo
North American Porcupine photographed at San Francisco Zoo, California.

Photograph by Gina Sanfilippo. Some rights reserved.  (view image details)

NORTH AMERICAN PORCUPINE FACTS

Description
The North American Porcupine is the second largest rodent in North America after the beaver. It has a distinctive spiny coat and moves in slow lumbering fashion. The porcupine has a dark brown or black appearance. The back is covered in spines (called quills) from head to tail. The spines have bands of yellow. There is a black line down the middle of the tail and lower back, with the quills on the black area edged with white. Porcupines are nocturnal,

Size
Length 60cm - 90cm. Weight 5 - 14 kg.

Environment
variety of habitats including open tundra, deciduous forests, grasslands, desert. Porcupines spend most of their time in trees.

Range
most of Alaska and Canada, in the northern part of the Great Lakes region, all throughout the west and northeast regions of the United States

Classification
Class:Mammalia
Order:Rodentia
Family:Erethizodontidae
Genus:Erethizon
Species:dorsatum
Common Name:North American Porcupine