7 Prickly Facts About Porcupines

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Image: Patrick Gijsbers

3. Being herbivores, porcupines do not eat meat and feed mostly on leaves, pine-needles, herbs, twigs and the thin bark of trees. They use their sharp and strong teeth to chew through tough wood and seeds. Their long incisors are used to tear into bark.


Image: Jim Peaco

4. Porcupines are famous for the stiff, thick quills which cover their body, except for their face and tail. They protect them against predators such as coyotes, dogs, bears, foxes and even humans. Quills lost in self defense are soon replaced by new ones. Though porcupines are not aggressive animals, it is better to stay away, as being pierced by these quills is painful and could even result in death in extreme cases.

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5. The end of summer or early fall is the mating season for porcupines. Babies known as porcupettes are born with soft quills, which get hard within hours. In about six months the baby gets ready to leave their mother after they learn how to survive.

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