Mammals of Pennsylvania Online Resource

Common Name: Porcupine




Scientific Name:
Erethizon dorsatum  

Woodlands, preferring stands of white pine, hemlock, and a variety of hardwoods near rocky outcroppings that can be used for dens.

Herbivorous—summer diet includes a wide range of vegetation; winter food is almost exclusively the inner bark of trees.

Interesting Facts:
Porcupines cannot throw their quills, but as the tail is swished violently to threaten an enemy, loosely attached quills may fall off the body. Young are born with soft, short quills that dry and stiffen within a few hours.

Further Reading:
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