How Do Porcupine’s Mate…?


…Very carefully.  Actually they can extend their 30,000 quills or leave them flat against their body, so it’s not as big of a concern as we may think.  But look at that face.  Look at that painfully adorable face!  Despite it’s cute appearance, it is in fact a rodent.  The second largest rodent in North America, actually (second to the beaver).  They can weigh between 10 to 30 lbs, although I don’t recommend picking it up to test that.  Their quills have microscopic barbs at the ends which snag in a predators muscle tissue.  Some recipients of the “porcupine butt bite” have been know to die from their injuries if not die from infections from the quills.  But that formidable backside isn’t all bad, they use their tails to help them climb trees, where they spend most of their time.  I found this one (female, likely since she was on the small side) in a spruce tree in which it has been spending the better part of three days.  Napping during the day, waking only to leisurely snack on some branches.  The porcupine with stab it’s tail into the tree to add as extra support, freeing up one of it’s very dexterous hands to grab a new set of needles.  When looking for a porcupine keep an eye on the bark of the trees.  They tend to strip the bark from a tree trunk making a continuous ring of bare wood.  Both the males and females are territorial so if you see that on a tree you are bound to see a porcupine in the area soon.  They are incredible animals with some of the most unique adaptations in the world.  As long as you don’t try to take a bite out of them they are perfectly safe to be around.  If you see one sit back and enjoy, just don’t try to touch it.


Gear: Canon 60D, Sigma 50-500 mm f/4.0-6.3

Settings: 1/200 sec, f/11, ISO 400


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: