North American Porcupine
A North American Porcupine.
Scientific Classification
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Mammalia
Order Rodentia

Hystricomorpha is a suborder from the Rodentia order.


Porcupines have stiff, thick quills that cover their entire body, they can have more than 30,000 spiny quills. These quills are flat until threatened in which the porcupine will raise and spread them. Porcupines are short and fat. Their head is roundish with a blunt muzzle, small ears and small eyes. Porcupines can weigh up to 20 kg.


Porcupines unlike most mammals don't hibernate. When threatened porcupines will not only show of their quills but they will also stomp their feet, click their teeth, growl and hiss. Sometimes porcupines will rattle their hollow quills making a distinctive rattling sound through no one is sure why they do this. Porcupines mate either at the end of summer or the beginning of fall, their babies are known as porcupettes. The babies quills are soft when they are born but turn hard within hours.


Leaves, pine needles, herbs, roots, fallen fruits, twigs and tree bark make up a porcupines diet. When hunting for this food porcupines will make grunting sounds.


Porcupines usually live to the age of twenty.


  • The Porcupine is a rodent.


  • A predator of the porcupine is the Fisher.
  • The quills of a North American porcupine have barbs on them, making then harder to remove and more fatal than the quills of an African porcupine.
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