the best science on the web about
porcupines

Porcupine
Image: San Diego Zoo

Porcupine

The porcupine is famous for its unique defense system: needle-sharp quills that can intimidate lions. These long spines — specialized hair made of keratin, like your fingernails — can easily penetrate flesh and are hard to remove.

Did you know a family of porcupines is called a prickle? Investigate this nocturnal rodent charges backward and grunts when foraging for food.

San Diego Zoo
What’s the Best Way to Remove Porcupine Quills?

What’s the Best Way to Remove Porcupine Quills?

Learn the tell-tale signs of a threatened porcupine...so you'll never need the answer to this question! And find out how these clumsy creatures protect themselves from their own quills. More...

Article
HowStuffWorks
How Tough Critters Survive Alaska Winters

How Tough Critters Survive Alaska Winters

Discover what inspired biologist Jessy Coltrane to study porcupines in Alaska. And read about her “prickly” encounters with these spiny rodents. More...

Profile
Alaska Department of Fish and Game
Porcupine’s Prickly Defense Mystery Solved

Porcupine’s Prickly Defense Mystery Solved

Microscopic barbs help porcupine quills penetrate tissue — and make them difficult to remove. Discover how this unique design could revolutionize medical equipment. More...

Article
BBC
Herbivores: Precious Porcupines Quiz

Herbivores: Precious Porcupines Quiz

Do you know what porcupines eat, how they attack, and what its Latin name means? Then you’re ready for this quiz. More...

Interactive
FunTrivia.com
Hystricidae: Porcupine

Hystricidae: Porcupine

Want a good look at the prickly porcupine? Browse through this huge gallery containing more than 200 images. More...

Images
Encyclopedia of Life
Jigsaw Break: Porcupine

Jigsaw Break: Porcupine

Create your own online jigsaw puzzle! Choose the number of pieces and a picture, then see how quickly you can piece it together. More...

Game
Jigsaw Break
New World & Old World Porcupines

New World & Old World Porcupines

There are 25 porcupine species — not one of which can throw its quills. Explore the differences between Old World (Hystricidae) and New World (Erethizontidae) porcupines. More...

Article
Encyclopedia Britannica
North American Porcupine

North American Porcupine

The North American porcupine is one of the largest rodents on the continent. Take a look at a slideshow of this species in its natural habitat. More...

Images
ARKive
Porcupine

Porcupine

An angry porcupine stomps its feet, hisses, and shakes its quills. Find out why you don't want to make a porcupine mad — and gather more facts about his herbivore. More...

Article
National Geographic
Porcupine Videos

Porcupine Videos

Can a porcupine fend off a pride of lions? Can it get the hiccups? Is it possible to catch one of these prickly beasts? Watch these videos to find out. More...

Video
Kidport
Porcupine: Erethizon Dorsatum

Porcupine: Erethizon Dorsatum

When threatened, a porcupine raises its quills. Those brave enough to ignore this warning may get stuck with needle-like spines that are hard to remove. Ouch! Learn more about the “quill pig.” More...

Article
National Geographic

You Also Might Like

  1. toothed whales

    toothed whales

  2. skunks

    skunks

  3. animal communication

    animal communication

  4. chimeras & hybrids

    chimeras & hybrids

  5. antelope

    antelope