North American porcupine

(Erethizon dorsatum)

Conservation Status
North American porcupine
  IUCN Red List

LC - Least Concern

     
  NatureServe

N5 - Secure

SNR - Unranked

     
  Minnesota

not listed

     
           
           
 
Description
 
 

 

 
     
 

Size

 
 

Total length: 24 to 29

Tail: 6¼ to 8¾

 
     
 

Sign

 
 

 

 
     
 

Similar Species

 
  No similar species  
     
 
Habitat
 
 

Deciduous, coniferous, and mixed forests.

 
     
 
Biology
 
 

Behavior

 
 

 

 
     
 

Lifespan

 
 

6 to 18 years

 
     
 

Life Cycle

 
 

 

 
     
 

Food

 
 

 

 
     
 
Distribution
 
 

Distribution Map

 

Sources

7, 15, 29, 76.

 
  12/31/2015      
         
 

Occurrence

 
 

Common

 
         
 
Taxonomy
 
  Class Mammalia (mammals)  
  Subclass Theria  
  Infraclass Eutheria (placentals)  
  Magnorder Boreoeutheria  
  Superorder Euarchontoglires  
  Clade Glires (rodents and rabbits)  
  Order Rodentiia (rodents)  
  Suborder Hystricomorpha (hystricognath rodents)  
 

Infraorder

Hystricognathi (hystricognath rodents)  
  Superfamily Erethizontoidea (New World porcupines)  
  Family Erethizontidae (New World porcupines)  
 

Subfamily

Erethizontinae (Neotropical and New World porcupines)  
 

Genus

Erethizon (New World porcupines)  
       
 

Subordinate Taxa

 
 

Alaska porcupine (Erethizon dorsatum myops)

Arizona porcupine (Erethizon dorsatum couesi)

Canada porcupine (Erethizon dorsatum dorsatum)

dusky porcupine (Erethizon dorsatum nigrescens)

Labrador porcupine (Erethizon dorsatum picinum)

Nebraska yellow-haired porcupine (Erethizon dorsatum bruneri)

North American porcupine (Erethizon dorsatum doani)

Rocky Mountain porcupine (Erethizon dorsatum epixanthum)

 
       
 

Synonyms

 
 

Erethizon dorsatus

 
       
 

Common Names

 
 

Canadian porcupine

common porcupine

North American porcupine

porcupine

 
       

 

 

 

 

 

 

       
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  North American porcupine    
       
       

 

Camera

     
Slideshows
   
  Porcupine
Andree Reno Sanborn
 
  Porcupine  
     
  North American Porcupine (Erethizon dorsatum)
Bill Keim
 
  North American Porcupine (Erethizon dorsatum)  
     
  North American Porcupine
Victor Fazio
 
  North American Porcupine  
     
  Porcupines (Order Rodentia, Family Erethizonidae)
Don Delaney
 
  Porcupines (Order Rodentia, Family Erethizonidae)  
     
  Porcupines - Caviidae
Gerry
 
  Porcupines - Caviidae  

 

slideshow

       
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Other Videos
 
  MyNature Apps; Porcupine Sign, Erethizon dorsatum
MyNatureApps
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on May 7, 2011

Identifying Porcupine Sign including girdled trees, den site and scat. .www.mynatureapps.com

   
       
  Mammals of the World: North American Porcupine
cre8ivmind
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on Dec 28, 2010

The North American Porcupine (Erethizon dorsatum) is the 87th species in my Mammals of the World series.

   
       
  Porcupine vs Bulldog
Epic Wildlife
 
   
 
About

Published on Jun 21, 2013

Curious bull dog attacked by American Porcupine. Poor Bulldog with 500 porcupine quills in his face. Animals vs porcupines always in danger of an attack.

Its hot in Oklahoma this summer which is pushing a variety of wild animals to leave their natural habitat in search of water. One family's pet was unfortunate enough to encounter one of these wild animals.

Bella, a bulldog, went face to face with a wild porcupine in families back yard pond. The bulldog took 500 porcupine quills to the face, neck, legs, chest, and feet.

The family rushed Bella to the vet where they were able to begin removing the quills from the dog. It took over 2 hours fro the doctor and nurses to remove the majority of the needles and instructed the family to rub Bella's face and chest over the next few days as there may still be smaller pieces still stuck in their dog.

Porcupines are the 3rd largest rodent next to the capybara and beaver.

They move slowly and have few threats in its natural environment which would give it the need to flee quickly. Its natural predators include wolverines, coyotes, wolves, bears and cougars as well as humans. Due to its dangerous quills, the North American Porcupine is often avoided as prey and even regular predators may be harmed or killed by their quills. Most predators of the porcupine will attempt to stun or cause massive blood loss with an attack to the face. To avoid an encounter, porcupines often climb trees at the sign of danger, since most of their natural predators cannot pursue there.

Their quills can be bought online and are used to make different types of jewelry or sometimes used to make clothing.

And then of course in some countries especially in Southeast Asia, they EAT! porcupines as these rodents are considered a delicacy

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  The north American Porcupine
deepwondermedia
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on Feb 6, 2008

The North American Porcupine in its habitat. How a porcupine will defend its self from an attacker.

   
       
  Friendly porcupine
Andrew Krueger
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on Feb 21, 2011

A friendly porcupine in the woods at Jay Cooke State Park near Duluth, Minnesota, May 2010.

   
       

 

Camcorder

         
Visitor Sightings
   

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Steve
6/3/2018

Location: Gull Lake (East side) Crow Wing County

Wandered across lawn at 5PM


Andrea Aubin
12/29/2015

Location: Minnesota Discovery Center – Trolley Barn


     
     
 
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