North American porcupines are herbivores that feed a lot on herbs, grasses, wood, tree bark, foliage, buds and apples. Porcupines average 13 to 20 pounds. What Does a Harris's Antelope Squirrel Eat? The new world porcupines are mainly found in North America and some parts of northern South America. These yellowish-brown creatures also reside in the northeast -- think Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and New York -- although in significantly smaller numbers. They live in forests and deserts, rocky outcrops, and hillsides. Our North American version may reach 2 1/2 feet in length, with their rotund bodies weighing up to 40 lbs, making them second to the beaver as the largest rodent in North America. They are generally nocturnal, but are occasionally active during daylight. All porcupines look very similar. Geographic Range. Porcupines can be found on rocky areas up to 3,700 m (12,100 ft) high. Shape The World. The general coat coloration for North American porcupines is black or deep brown. Porcupines are a widespread group of animals and inhabit almost every continent in the world except for Antarctica. They inhabit the rugged mountains of northcentral Pennsylvania, the timbered land in the northwest and northeast corners, and the wooded sections of the ridge-and-valley region. Porcupines weigh 8 to 30 lbs. They spend a lot of time in the tops of trees. The North American porcupine is a solitary animal, although it may den with other porcupines in the winter. New World porcupines, including the well-studied North American porcupine (Erethizon dorsatum), live in trees and eat leaves, fruits and bark. Rodents make up about 40% of all the mammal species on Earth. During the day they sleep in a tree, a hollow log or among rocks or tree root-wads; they do not build a nest. North American porcupines have over 30,000 modified hairs called quills covering their bodies. In the United States, they roam throughout both western and northern regions. As it is mentioned earlier, the New World porcupines live in trees. Well, porcupines could live anywhere where the weather isn't cold. The porcupines have a small range of habitats across the world. Porcupines are found throughout 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. Do porcupines live in the Bay Area, ... For many millions of years, South America was an island continent disconnected from North America, Africa, Australia, and Antarctica. The porcupines found in North and South America are good climbers and spend much of their time in trees. Porcupine attains its greatest abundance in mixed coniferous and hardwood forests. Where do porcupines live? Porcupines live in a variety of areas like forests, deserts, rocky regions, and hillsides. Tourists on safari in Kruger National Park in South Africa captured footage of the big cat facing the quilled defenses of its prey. Having the northernmost range of all porcupines, these rodents occur throughout much of North America, from the Arctic Ocean to northern Mexico. Equipped with a coat of long quills, porcupines are very distinctive in appearance. The tail is thick and muscular and 6 to 12 inches long. Porcupines have soft hair, but on their back, sides, and tail it is usually mixed with sharp quills. The major difference between Old and New world species is that the Old World porcupines live on the ground and often in small groups, while the New World porcupin… Many animals come away from a porcupine encounter with quills protruding from their own snouts or bodies. In general, porcupines live in just about any terrain, including deserts, grasslands, mountains, rainforests and forests. These spiny and robust rodents also often live on Canadian soil, as well. Lancelot is the name of the North American porcupine who resides in the Ralph Perkins II Wildlife Center & Woods Garden (presented by KeyBank) at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History.. Lifespan Wild: 5-7 years Captivity: 15-20 years Fun Facts. Where do porcupines live? Although there are numerous different species of porcupines in existence, only one roams throughout the United States, according to the National Geographic. Adults have up to 39,000 quills. Alaska is also home to a sizable North American porcupine population. WATCH: Leopard vs. Porcupine—A Prickly Standoff, https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/mammals/group/porcupines.html. Porcupines occupy a wide range of habitats in tropical and temperate parts of Asia, Italy, Africa, and North and South America. 2020 National Geographic Partners, LLC. Empower Her. And guess what? The “Old World” porcupines live mainly in southern Europe, Asia, and Africa. It is a large rodent encountered equally in the “Old World” and in North America and northern South America. Other porcupine species live in Africa, Europe, and Asia. That species is the North American porcupine ( Erethizon dorsatum), which is also frequently referred to as the common porcupine. Female porcupines have between one and four young, depending on the species. North American porcupines are native to the coniferous and mixed-forest habitats of Canada, the northeastern and western regions of the United States and northern Mexico. The North American porcupine is the only species that lives in the U.S. and Canada, and is the largest of all porcupines. Trees are an important component of porcupine habitat, as are the shrubs and herbaceous vegetation underneath. North American porcupines are some of the biggest rodents that come from North America, beaten out in size solely by beavers, according to the Woodland Park Zoo. The beaver is the only rodent in North America that is larger than the North American porcupine. In Oregon, the porcupine is found throughout most of the state east of the Cascade Range. These quills typically lie flat until a porcupine is threatened, then leap to attention as a persuasive deterrent. Quills have sharp tips and overlapping scales or barbs that make them difficult to remove once they are stuck in another animal's skin. Porcupines are relatively long lived and can live up to about 18 years in the wild. Meet Our Porcupine. Some even have prehensile (gripping) tails to aid in climbing. The North American porcupine is a good swimmer, its hollow quills help keep it afloat. But around 3 million years ago, the Isthmus of Panama formed, connecting North and South America. A single animal may have 30,000 or more quills. Porcupines may be active in the day but are mostly nocturnal. The species thrives in a variety of forest, terrain and climate types across the continent and has few enemies in the wild. 0 0. buehler. Geography of the North American Porcupine. Porcupines prefer coniferous and deciduous forests with food-rich understories and can live into their late twenties. Porcupines are the thi rd largest rodents in the world, and the second largest in North America. In California, porcupines are most common in montane conifer and wet meadow habitats, and can be found in the Coast Ranges, Klamath Mountains, southern Cascades, Modoc Plateau, Sierra Nevada, and Transverse Ranges. Habitat: Porcupines occupy a variety of habitat types. In the United States, they roam throughout both western and northern regions. Depending on what specific area of North America a porcupine lives in, he may spend most of his time up in trees or on the ground. Babies have soft quills at birth, which harden within a few days. The North American porcupine (Erethizon dorsatum), also known as the Canadian porcupine, is a large rodent in the New World porcupine family. It is most common where there are rocky ledges and rock piles suitable for dens and stands of aspen, hemlock, and other trees. Most young porcupines are ready to live on their own at about two months of age. Some New World porcupines live in trees, but Old World porcupines stay on the rocks. The old world porcupine is brush-tailed generally live in parts of Africa and India whereas the new world porcupine lives in Canada, North and Central America. They inhabit most of Alaska and Canada, the northern part of the Great Lakes region as well as the west and northeast regions of the United States. Some species of New World porcupines live in trees, however, Old World porcupines are exclusively terrestrial (ground dwellers). In the northwestern region of the United States, however, they tend to keep their bodies planted squarely on terra firma. They make a wide variety of sounds from whimpers to screams. They are divided into two families, old World porcupines, and new world porcupines. Although the species of porcupine found in North America always lives among trees, it does not always live in mature forests and may be found in alder thickets along rivers and in dwarfed pine scrub along ridge crests. Other porcupine species live in Africa, Europe, and Asia. How Do the Honey Bears Live in the Amazon Rainforest? Porcupines occupy a small range of habitats in tropical and temperate parts of Asia, Southern Europe, Africa, and North and South America. © 2020 WILD SKY MEDIA. The porcupine is the second largest rodent in North America, second only to the beaver. Wildlife officials say porcupines are extending their range south into more counties in West Virginia. Be Her Village. Biodiversity Heritage Library , Flickr // CC BY 2.0 That's right behind the second - … In Pennsylvania, most porcupines live in areas of extensive forests. North American porcupines, Erethizon dorsatum, have the northern most range of all porcupines. The North American Porcupine has a very large range. They can be found in mature forests, dwarfed pine thickets, or alder bushes. They are active year-round and are mostly nocturnal, but may be seen out in daylight. There is a small population in the eastern United States. In Washington State, porcupines occur mostly in forested areas, but also thrive along riparian zones, in brushy wetlands, and even in the shrub-steppe region of eastern Washington. The porcupine is the prickliest of rodents, though its Latin name means “quill pig.” There are more than two dozen porcupine species, and all boast a coat of needle-like quills to give predators a sharp reminder that this animal is no easy meal. Range: The porcupine occurs in North America in a wide range. Dens in tree branches or tangles of roots, rock crevices, brush or logs are the porcupine's home. © 1996-2015 National Geographic Society, © 2015- Some typical living environments for these solitary porcupines are desert shrublands, chaparral, mountains, grasslands, woodlands, sagebrush, swamps, tundra and thick forests -- whether deciduous, coniferous or mixed. What Are the Five Species of the Brush-Tailed Possum? West of the Cascades, it is found in only a few scattered localities. Porcupines do not hibernate and are active throughout the year. North American porcupines, as their names convey, live exclusively in North America -- in the United States, Canada and Mexico. Porcupines grow new quills to replace the ones they lose. Porcupines can be found on rocky areas up to 3,700 m (12,100 ft) high. Fewer porcupines live in the southwestern or southeastern parts of the state. Besides forests, porcupines can also be found in grasslands, desert shrub communities and even tundra. Porcupines seem to be holding their own. These animals usually live on the ground and can inhabit deserts, grasslands, and forests. During the winter porcupines damage trees by chewing through the bark to eat the inner bark. For example, porcupines that reside in the northeast usually spend most of their time in trees. Porcupines range through New England, much of the western half of the US, most of Canada, and Alaska. The North American tree porcupine seems like an easy-to-keep animal: it lives in North America, so there is no need for an indoor facility, it is a rodent, it feeds on any vegetables and fruits, and it is a slow-moving animal, it does not jump, it only climbs, therefore you can build it a simple enclosure. These New World porcupines usually weigh between 12 and 35 pounds, with full body lengths of between 25 and 36 inches. They rarely kill trees. Porcupine habitats range from deserts, forests and grasslands. Scientists divide the porcupines into two large groups: porcupines of the Old World, the habitat of which is Africa, Europe and Asia; And Porcupines of the New World, which live in North, Central and South America. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Porcupines live in many parts of North America, Africa, and South America. Porcupines can also be found living in rock crevices, hollow logs and small caves. Some quills, like those of Africa's crested porcupine, are nearly a foot long. Some porcupines inhabit rocky regions up to 3,500 metres (11,000 feet) high. As far as habitat goes, North American porcupines are very adaptable animals. North American porcupines, as their names convey, live exclusively in North America -- in the United States, Canada and Mexico. The porcupine is best known for its sharp spikes and fierce look, helping it shield itself from predators. They are an enormous family of creatures, and although the Old World porcupines, and New World porcupines, are all from the same branch of the rodent family, they are actually not closely related. A leopard gets itself into a prickly situation when it tries to hunt down a porcupine. Primary habitats include forests, deserts, and grasslands. Primarily they live in coniferous and mixed forested areas in Canada, Alaska, and much of the northern and western United States. North American porcupines also eat fruit, leaves, and springtime buds. Porcupines cannot shoot them at predators as once thought, but the quills do detach easily when touched. They mostly live in tropical and temperate parts of Asia, Africa, Southern Europe, and North and South America. In the lands of North America and Canada there is only one species of porcupine – North America. They prefer softwood trees. They are found throughout most of Alaska and Canada, in the northern part of the Great Lakes region, as well as throughout the west and northeast regions of the United States. A pleasant enough creature when left alone, the porcupine is quick to defend itself at the slightest threat. North American porcupines also eat fruit, leaves, and springtime buds. North American porcupines use their large front teeth to satisfy a healthy appetite for wood. It makes its den in caves, decaying logs and hollow trees. The porcupine is a caviomorph rodent whose ancestors crossed the Atlantic from Africa to Brazil 30 million years ago, and then migrated to North America during the Great American Interchange after the Isthmus of Panama rose 3 million years ago. Where Does the Golden Poison Dart Frog Live? In Washington State, porcupines occur mostly in forested areas, but also thrive along riparian zones, in brushy wetlands, and even in the shrub-steppe region of eastern Washington. North American porcupines, Erethizon dorsatum, have the northern most range of all porcupines.They inhabit much of North America between the Arctic Ocean and northern Mexico. They live in forests. They eat natural bark and stems, and have been known to invade campgrounds and chew on canoe paddles. Females usually weigh a little less than the males. Porcupines are nocturnal. The porcupine is found in Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, New York, and New England. PART OF WILD SKY MEDIA | FAMILY & PARENTING, Maryland Department of Natural Resources: North American Porcupine, Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History: North American Porcupine, The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: Erethizon Dorsatum, Natural History Museum: North American Porcupine, Characteristics of the Central American Spider Monkey. The North American porcupine doesn't hibernate, but it may stay in its den during bad weather. They can survive in a variety of climates and elevations. 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