Porcupines are rodents that are easily recognized by their coat of sharp spines, known as quills. These are used as camouflage and as a defence against predators. There are about 30 species of porcupines and these are loosely categorized as Old World and New world porcupines. The different species vary in size quite considerably. However, the average size of a porcupine is about 60-90 cm (24-36 in.) long and 5-16 kg (11-35lbs) in weight. They also have a tail that is about 20-25cm (8-10 in.) long. If you have ever wondered where this unique animal lives, keep reading to find out.
Where do porcupines live?
Porcupines are found on the continents of Asia, Europe, Africa, and North and South America. They are generally restricted to temperate and tropical regions. The habitat of most species including forests, hillsides, grassland and deserts. However, some species will also live in wetlands and rocky areas. Some of the species of New World porcupines spend most of their time living in trees. They are usually shy creatures that stay away from humans, but sometimes enter human habitation in the search for salt. Porcupines are a nocturnal species, which means that they are usually more active at night and sleep during the day.
Did you know?
The porcupine is considered to be a pest in Kenya. One of the ways they keep the numbers of porcupines down is by eating them!