We meet neighbors, talk with coworkers, go on dates, and join church groups. Porcupines have been exterminated in populated parts of Africa because they eat root crops. Then there is the screaming. A greasy coating on porcupine quills contains antibiotics, possibly to protect the animal from infection if it is accidentally pricked by its own quills. The porcupine gives off a warning when alarmed – although it could be mistaken for a strange dance. The victor then whines and stomps his tail to impress his lady. Their unique features have generated great interests from some humans but a majority of us wouldn't be looking to keep porcupines as pets. Porcupines mate in a very bizarre way. It isn’t that porcupines are interested in the electrical system of your car. Porcupines have ro… 1. The next step is to waggle its tail from side to side. Salt! The porcupine Erethizon dorsatum is one of Canada’s best-known mammals, both in life and in legend. Females from at least 50 species also get into the act, and they can get creative: for example, female orangutans and capuchin monkeys have both been observed using sticks and other plant parts as makeshift dildos. Smaller, rigid quills that are 8 inches (20 centimeters) long are densely packed over the Old World porcupine’s rump and back. For example, the fact that they are classified as rodents.They are the 3rd largest of all rodents in the world. ... they run and chase one another. Everybody’s Normal Till You Get To Know Them, The Church and Media: Blogging Converts, Online Activists, and Bishops Who Tweet, Before and After: Blessed Sacrament in Lawton, Oklahoma, and More! We have had porcupines in our collection since our earliest days, Porcupines have been exterminated in populated parts of Africa, http://zoonooz.sandiegozoo.org/zoonooz/the-point-of-porcupines/. Like all hairs, quills do shed, and when the porcupine shakes, loose quills can fly off (but without deadly force). By the fall, most young porcupines live apart from their mothers. And those were just my dysfunctions. In rural areas, they may eat farmed crops, such as groundnuts, potatoes, pumpkins, and melons. All porcupines have a few traits in common. But the problem is not just them. Today I found out how porcupines have sex….very carefully!. There are more than 20 different species of porcupines. You can help us bring species back from the brink by supporting the San Diego Zoo Global Wildlife Conservancy. The art of self-pleasure has been observed in males from about 80 species from ape to monkey to lemur, making it one of the most common and widespread primate sexual behaviors. Which means there really is an answer to the ancient question, how do porcupines make love? Life expectancy: Porcupines live as long as 10 to 12 years in the wild, and up to 18 years in captivity. Yeah … about that. New World porcupines’ predators include martens, wolverines, pythons, eagles, and great-horned owls. They are considered pests primarily for this very reason, gnawing on and destroying anything that has salt on or in it. New World porcupines live in North, Central, and South America; some examples are the Canadian porcupine, Mexican hairy dwarf porcupine, and Brazilian porcupine. Porcupines patrol their territory nightly and defend their feeding areas. Description. Ortberg notes something interesting: Wolves run in packs, sheep huddle in flocks, and we speak of herds of elephants and gaggles of geese. We try to stay away from particularly prickly people. When sitting hunched high up in a tree, a porcupine could be mistaken for the nest of a squirrel or a crow, but close to the ground it is easily recognized. So, how do porcupines breed without injuring each other? I’m someone’s porcupine. Like all hairs, quills do shed, and when the porcupine shakes, loose quills can fly off (but without deadly force). Running and fighting tend to be pretty unromantic. Having quills does not mean that the porcupine's life is trouble free. Porcupines are not the most graceful of animals – they do sometimes fall out of trees despite having sharp claws. 5. I am thinking it may work for us too. In fact, it is so common for a porcupine to fall out of a tree that their quills possess special antibiotic properties that protect them against infection – a special adaptation they’ve acquired in case the poke themselves with their own quills. Some surprising points about porcupines... Porcupines are a type of rodent found in two main regions of the world. The most obvious trait is the long, sharp quills that cover their bodies. Instead, the porcupette's quills are soft and bendable, gradually hardening in the first few days after birth. They can be from 25 to 36 inches long. The young are suckled for 6 to 8 weeks, when they begin to eat vegetable matter. A Brazilian tree porcupine, Canadian porcupine, and southern crested porcupine live in the Children’s Zoo. But getting close without getting hurt is tough business for a porcupine. In the wild, they can live 10-15 years, … The porcupine is a rodent. One or two very well developed young are born in a chamber within the burrow that is usually lined with grass, after a 66-day gestation period, on average. The girl’s “no” is one of the most respected turn-downs in the animal kingdom for hell hath no anger like a female with quills. When a porcupine senses danger, it lifts its quills into the vertical position. The common name has nothing to do with fish, but instead derives from French and Dutch words for the pelt of a European polecat, to which it is distantly related. There are two families or porcupines, Hystricidae (Old World Porcupines) and Erethizontidae (New World Porcupines). It appears to be a natural, hereditary behavior. And so are you. Each quill is marked with black and white bands. Porcupines cannot shoot their quills! Amazingly, the males and females remain together for some days before mating. Even the undersides of cars pick up salt from roads. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. your support is more crucial now than ever before. Notes: Contrary to popular belief, porcupines can't throw their quills. To make matters worse for the males, girl porcupines are only “in the mood” once a year, in late Autumn, and they’re notoriously difficult to court. Since porcupines love salty flavor, they can consume axe handles, canoe paddles, outhouses and even automobile radiator … Porcupines are considered exotic pets because they are wild animals and not typically kept as pets. One porcupine predator, the fisher, is able to flip the North American porcupine onto its back, exposing its unprotected belly. Tom Brakefield/Stockbyte/Getty Images. Car wiring? Porcupines are in constant need of salt and will stop at nothing to get at it. The smallest porcupine is the Rothschilds Porcupine from South America which weighs only 1 kilogram (2.2 pounds). Examples of stereotypic behaviour include: repetitive pacing, swaying, head-bobbing, bar-biting, over-grooming or excessive licking. After reading this far, you know that is not true! ... “I don’t know of … They are the third largest rodents in the world. Their estrus cycle is about 35 days and gestation is from 93 … Without visitors to offset our ongoing costs, Edited by Doreen Winona Logeot, 2010-11-29 20:55:23. They are well known for their dangerous quills that they can come out easily upon contact with the unknown visitor. 15 years in the wild; 20 or more years in zoos, Gestation: 16 to 31 weeks, depending on species, Number of young at birth: 1 to 3, depending on species, Weight at birth: About 3 percent of mother's weight, Age of maturity: 9 months to 2.5 years, depending on species, Length: Largest - North African crested porcupine Hystrix cristata, up to 36 inches (90 centimeters); smallest - Bahia hairy dwarf porcupine Sphiggurus insidiosus, up to 15 inches (38 centimeters), Tail length: 8 to 12 inches (20 to 30 centimeters), Weight: 2.5 to 77 pounds (1.2 to 35 kilograms), depending on species. Ortberg’s book, however, helped me work through some of that by again looking to the porcupines. The quills are hairs with barbed tips on the ends. bears, for example, do pretty well in good zoos. they can be perfectly happy in a large exhibit with enough enrichment and environmental diversity since they don't need to search for food because it will be provided in one way or another, … It looks something like this (sans hardcore rock): Only God could conceive a solution to community that involves two porcupines, fox-trotting paw-to-paw. Reply Quote Report. Loading... Autoplay When autoplay is enabled, a suggested video will automatically play next. The greater stings included veiled jealousy, deep-seated selfishness, and piercing words. Males vie for a female during noisy battles. They make shake them, which makes them rattle, as a warning to potential predators. Well getting to know the facts and data about Siberian Tigers is just a glimpse of what these beautiful animals have to undergo in terms of Siberian animal conservation, protection and education. They have hands, after all. While it’s unlikely to find one in Danville, we do have porcupines in California. They have learned how to get along. The quills do not cover the underside of the porcupine. That includes axe and shovel handles, gloves, rope and the like. At the San Diego Zoo and the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, porcupines eat variable vegetables and greens, corn, and low-starch, high-fiber biscuits. These spiny and … It's highly likely that primate masturbation occurred in the Stone Age just as it does today. The most recognizable feature of the porcupine is its quills. Most of what is known about reproduction in the crested porcupine comes from individuals in captivity. They may travel outside their home range in pursuit of a mate or in search of a nice salt lick. Porcupines are lumbering, rotund rodents with needle-like spikes, called quills, covering their back, sides, and tail. It has a round body, small ears and a small head. Any animal with a quill lodged in its skin will have a hard time removing it if it doesn't have fingers and thumbs! The youngsters stay with their mother for just a few months before they are ready to live on their own. Apparently people keep porcupines in captivity. Porcupines generally have two methods for handling relationships: withdrawal and attack. Old World porcupines eat bark, roots, fruits, and berries. and provide a sustainable lifeline for endangered species worldwide. Submit a … They first begin their ludicrous lovemaking with some nose rubbing. Where Do Porcupines Live in America? During this romantic period, they touch paws, flatten their barbs, and they walk on their hind feet in the so-called “dance of the porcupines”. A single porcupine can have more than 30,000 quills, which are actually sharp bristles of fused hair. They either scurry away, looking for the nearest tree, or they stick out their quills and unleash hell. … Which means there really is an answer to the ancient question, how do porcupines make love? most others don't have so great a range and only travel in the wild to escape danger or to find food. Old World porcupines spend their life on the ground. Porcupines patrol their territory nightly and defend their feeding areas. If persisted, it will ram the attacker, running into it backwards. Porcupines – A Brief Overview. Some quills can get up to a foot (30 centimeters) long, like those on the Africa's crested porcupine, according to National Geographic. The quills of New World porcupines are much smaller (about 4 inches or 10 centimeters long) but work just as well. Quite recently, a number of research projects have focused on not only whether primates masturbate, but also why they do so. Why would a porcupine want to eat the handles of tools like axes and shovels? This Porcupine was dancing for about five minutes at least before we started recording the video. Large cats, especially lions, and human hunters (bushmeat trade) threaten Old World porcupines. Contrary to what a lot of us believe, animal “instincts” don’t cover everything necessary to survive. If the female accepts the nose rubbing and, after the initial nose rubbing test, the female is still keen on the male, the male will then stand on its hind legs and the female allows him to urinate all over her body (kinky). It’s easy to tell when porcupines are mad: They stomp … They become friends, they learn to keep their quills to themselves, and they eventually figure out how to get along at least long enough to make sure that another generation will come along. At the base of the tail, the porcupine has blunt, hollow quills that rattle when shaken, serving as a warning to potential predators. When I read Ortberg’s book, I was living with seven other guys in a small Christian community. Again, it may take some God given grace, but instead of exploding, let’s dance a bit. All porcupines are nocturnal and quite adaptable, found in a variety of habitats, as long as there is vegetation. The Fascinating Story Behind Why We Dance! We first started in porcupines in 2012. There are many similarities between the two families, but for this text, we will consider only the African Crested Porcupine. Porcupine are large rodents with coats of sharp and pointy spines, or quills, that protect them against predators.The term covers two families of animals: the Old World porcupines of family Hystricidae, and the New World porcupines of family Erethizontidae.Both families belong to the infraorder Hystricognathi within the profoundly diverse order Rodentia and display superficially similar coats of quills: despite … They travel alone. The Diet of the Porcupine It looks something like this (sans hardcore rock): Both species are also hunted as food. They display their weaponry for all to see. What about boat oars? Biologists say they have the same communal urges we do. Around people, though, they frequently gnaw on anything and everything touched by sweaty hands. They tend to forage alone rather than in groups, except for a mother with her young. They sometimes rest in abandoned aardvark holes, which they may change to suit their own needs. New World porcupines spend most of their time alone or in pairs moving through the trees. The general coat coloration for North American porcupines is black or deep brown. All porcupines have a great sense of smell. They find shelter in caves, rock crevices, holes, or burrows that they may have dug. The end of each quill has a small barb (like a fish hook) that snags the flesh, keeping the quill stuck in the enemy's skin. When threatened, a crested porcupine stamps its feet, growls, and grunts to scare off the predator. This problem forms what writer John Ortberg calls “the porcupine’s dilemma”. Porcupines have muscles at the base of each quill that allow them to stand up when the animal is excited or alarmed. Fishers are one of the few predators that will eat the thorny little beast. Click edit button to change this text. It’s no surprise then that they have a hard time finding love. The philosopher Aristotle warned of the dangers of getting too close to a porcupine: the quilled beast could "shoot its deadly needlelike darts" over great distances at hunters and dogs alike. Porcupines tend to live alone and are quite shy and non-aggressive. Combined with a lust for salt, this need sometimes produces “eating” behaviors that can mystify the less-informed. Porcupine quills may be as dense as 150 quills per square inch (6.4 square centimeters). If these warnings are ignored and the threat continues, the porcupine whirls around and presents its prickly backside to the enemy. It will stamp its feet, click its teeth, growl and rattle its quills to warn the enemy away. North American porcupines don't tend to display social behavior and are mainly found solitarily, although they do have a social structure. Some of these porcupines have been trained as animal ambassadors; they often meet guests up close and make television appearances. Many people don’t know much else about them though. The thin-spined porcupine Chaetomys subspinosus is listed as vulnerable, losing its habitat due to cocoa plantations in northeastern Brazil. Fishers are famous for screaming. Breeding normally takes place from March to December in the wild but in captivity, it takes place all year round. I may be mistaken but I do believe porcupines are a protected animal, although that may be only up north. Still, the quills can cause problems, and puncture wounds inflicted by porcupines are serious. When we had them in captivity they growled or made purring sounds,” said Faccio. – christian-99.com, John the Baptist: An Ordinary Person with an Unpopular Message, Responding to Evil | ROMAN CATHOLIC TODAY. When threatened, New World porcupines erect quills that jut out in various directions, like a pincushion. Up next New World porcupines eat pine needles and bark, roots, stems, leaves, berries, meadow grass, seeds, flowers, nuts, aquatic vegetation, fruits, and tubers. “I don’t know of any reputable information that fishers scream. The North American porcupine has earned a bad reputation for killing timber and ornamental trees by stripping bark from the trunks. The young are born in litters of up to 3 young. They pull in … It has hairless soles on its feet that help it climb trees. The tail can be another 8 to 10 inches. Dirty cups, borrowed clothes, and missing electronics were just the surface. … Usually, female crested porcupines have one litter every year. Before the main question can be answered accurately, it’s a good opportunity to get to know exactly what makes a porcupine and what role they play in their ecosystems. We seem to be born to do it and it may even be a key to our success as a species! Your tax-deductible gift will care for wildlife at the Zoo and Safari Park A single porcupine can have more than 30,000 quills, which are actually sharp bristles of fused hair. What do Porcupines Eat? Because of their dangerous anatomy, females initiate copulation by presenting to the males. The average litter size is 1 … There is no mistaking what you are seeing when a Porcupine comes into view. The North American porcupine has over 30,000 quills! It’s us. There are still many myths and misunderstandings about porcupines, just as there were in ancient times. Sorry to say but the porcupine is actually displaying a type of zoochosis (repetitive, functionless, stereotypic behaviour of animals in captivity, not displayed by their wild counterparts). This is a whole new level of adorable… and true! During this romantic period, they touch paws, flatten their barbs, and they walk on their hind feet in the so-called “dance of the porcupines”. Old World porcupines live in Europe, Africa, and Asia; some examples are the North African crested porcupine, African brush-tailed porcupine, and Indian crested porcupine. Some quills can be up to 20 inches (51 centimeters) long. He’s also the author of The Church and Media: Blogging Converts, Online Activists, and Bishops Who Tweet and the top hit on Google for “greatest evil in the world”. On rare occasions, one porcupine will share space with another. Large cats, especially lions, and human hunters (bushmeat trade) threaten Old World porcupines. North American porcupines are some of the biggest rodents that come from North America, beaten out in size solely by beavers, according to the Woodland Park Zoo. Porcupine babies, called porcupettes, are not born with sharp or barbed quills, thank goodness! Porcupines group together for winter denning or food rather than social reasons. It’s extremely useful to know the animals that exist in the wild and … By Naomi Millburn. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! These can stab any potential threat. All New World porcupines have long, curved claws that are excellent for climbing. Problems: What gets porcupines in trouble around people? When threatened, the skirt can be erected, making the porcupine appear two to three times bigger. Old World porcupines spend their life on the ground. Porcupines have soft hair, but on their back, sides, and tail it is usually mixed with sharp quills. valleyrimgirl Joined: Jan 2009 Posts: 491. valleyrimgirl. They may den in tree nests, rock crevices, brush, logs, or in tangled tree roots. For this reason, porcupines do not want to have to use their quills. Learn how your comment data is processed. They are slow and cumbersome, thus their need for a defense mechanism such as their quills. The Phillipine porcupine Hystrix pumila is also vulnerable, due to the rapid loss of its forest habitat and the pet trade. Yet their solitude isn’t completely by choice. Or, at least famous for being said to scream. In fact, the fisher has been reintroduced to some areas of North America in hopes of bringing destructive porcupine populations under control. A few years ago I read a book by Ortberg titled Everybody’s Normal Till You Get To Know Them which has a great chapter on this. For much of the year the porcupine enjoys no social life and leads a solitary existence. ... Vermont had a similar reintroduction program, said Faccio, which was partly prompted by the desire to control porcupine numbers. Its fame stems from its coat of quills, which keeps most enemies at a respectful distance. The young weigh about 1,000 g (2.2 lb) at birth, which is about 5% of the mother's weight. Porcupines do successfully mate. A porcupine may have as many as 30,000 quills. People also collect quills for ornaments. Some take fruit and corn from plantations. To make quick work of available food, these herbivores have sharp, chisel-like front teeth. Porcupines use the quills as a defense. So why was it that dancing became engrained in the fabric of being human? Pull in your quills and start dancing. It just so happens that the name porcupine comes from two words that mean “spiky pig” or “quill pig.” Porcupines are in the rodent family, along with rats, mice, and beavers. The weig… A family of porcupines is called a prickle—really! There are a few differences between the Old World and New World species: Old World crested porcupines have back quills that can stand up into a crest (like a Mohawk hairdo). What do pigs have to do with it? Posts: 491. porcupines are not a protected animal ... Bison kept in captivity and privately owned) Bison bison athabascae Plus Migratory Non … Very carefully, of course! And like the porcupines, it’s reciprocated–I constantly hurt and feel hurt by those I long to be closest to, which makes community difficult. Their love of salt. Old World porcupines do not climb or jump well, but they are excellent swimmers. 4. During fights, New World porcupines also chatter their teeth to sound fierce. The first thing that probably comes to your mind when you think of porcupine is; a creature with sharp needles likes spikes, waiting to throw them at you if you get closer. On the other hand, predators such as dogs or wolves may have tried to fight a porcupine sometime in the past and been stabbed by the sharp quills. (Image Credit: Squidoo and Tumblr). They most likely do not want to repeat that painful experience again. The crest starts from the top of the head and goes down to the shoulders. [/author_info] [/author] ... Lancelot, the Museum’s resident porcupine, was born in … We all want to get close without getting hurt. Why would a porcupine want to eat the handles of tools like axes and shovels? But there is no special name for groups of porcupines. Because porcupines are rodents, their two large, strong front teeth grow throughout their lives and must be kept worn down. They are excellent tree climbers and spend much of their time in the trees rather than on the ground. They don’t wake up with excitement over the fact that they won’t see another porcupine that day. 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