Porcupines are covered in sharp, thick spines that are called quills. These are used as a defense mechanism against predators. The quills can be released from the porcupine’s body and become imbedded in the skin of a predator. This can cause severe and painful injuries. Porcupines can also use their tails to fend off predators. This species of rodent is found throughout North America and parts of Europe and Asia. It is a member of the Erethizontidae or New World rodent family.
In the wild, porcupines live in many different types of environments. These include forests, deserts, and mountains. They are able to adapt to almost any type of environment. They spend a lot of their downtime inside rocky crevices, caves, tangles of roots and brush, hollow logs, or burrows. During the day, these animals wander around their territory looking for food. They can also be seen foraging on tree branches and twigs.
Unlike some other herbivores, porcupines are solitary creatures. They tend to stay close to their dens during the winter. During summer, these nocturnal creatures will forage for twigs, stems, leaves, and berries. However, they will switch to consuming bark and conifer needles in the winter.
During mating season, these animals are very vocal. They will also dance to attract a potential mate. They typically have a gestation period of 202 days. During this time, the female will give birth to a single baby. The baby’s quills will be soft during birth and will begin to harden within a few hours. The young will be able to forage for food after a few days.