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What are some interesting porcupine facts?

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Quick Answer

Porcupines are rodents with sharp quills that cover their entire bodies. One porcupine has as many as 30,000 quills on its back, sides and tail.

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The quills of the porcupine are used as a body of armor against potential predators. Porcupines cannot shoot their quills, but they are able to release them if a threat gets too close to them. The lost quills are replaced by new ones.

Porcupines are nocturnal and sleep in dens during the day. As excellent climbers, porcupines have strong feet and curved claws that allow them to scale trees to search for food and avoid predators in the process. Porcupines are herbivores that like to eat leaves, fruit and bark. They can live solitary lives or in small groups of up to six porcupines.

During mating season, the female porcupine is the one who initiates the male. A female usually gives birth to two babies, or porcupettes, each year. Porcupettes are born with soft quills that harden just a couple hours after birth. Young porcupines only stay with their parents for a few months before they set off to live on their own. The average lifespan of a porcupine is between 15 and 18 years.

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