Erethizon dorsatum


Found statewide in hardwood/hemlock forests. Mostly nocturnal, resting by day up on tree branches. In the winter, they will find a den in rocks or a hollow tree, and rarely venture far.

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Herbivores with strong chewing teeth, porcupine eat the buds and leaves of trees, but are particularly fond of the soft inner bark of trees, especially fruit trees.

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Distinctive Characteristics

A chunky body about three feet long, with a waddling gait and grayish-colored fur covered in spikey quills. It cannot throw its 20,000+ quills, but swats attackers with its strong tail and embeds the quills.

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Reproduction & Family Structure

One young is born in late spring with soft quills that harden.

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