Sweat is salty and found on tools and oars. Your tax-deductible gift will care for wildlife at the Zoo and Safari Park 0 Comments. 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. So, how do porcupines breed without injuring each other? Background Many captive chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) show a variety of serious behavioural abnormalities, some of which have been considered as possible signs of compromised mental health. I sting people every day with rejection, arrogance, and contempt. Around people, though, they frequently gnaw on anything and everything touched by sweaty hands. Porcupines are lumbering, rotund rodents with needle-like spikes, called quills, covering their back, sides, and tail. Might look very funny, but it works for them. They first begin their ludicrous lovemaking with some nose rubbing. In fact, the fisher has been reintroduced to some areas of North America in hopes of bringing destructive porcupine populations under control. Life expectancy: Porcupines live as long as 10 to 12 years in the wild, and up to 18 years in captivity. Yeah … about that. Ortberg’s book, however, helped me work through some of that by again looking to the porcupines. Their love of salt. They pull in their quills and learn to dance. Both species are also hunted as food. There are still many myths and misunderstandings about porcupines, just as there were in ancient times. Porcupine babies, called porcupettes, are not born with sharp or barbed quills, thank goodness! Examples of stereotypic behaviour include: repetitive pacing, swaying, head-bobbing, bar-biting, over-grooming or excessive licking. 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 tail can be another 8 to 10 inches. They are somewhat social, sometimes traveling in pairs. Since porcupines love salty flavor, they can consume axe handles, canoe paddles, outhouses and even automobile radiator … While it’s unlikely to find one in Danville, we do have porcupines in California. A greasy coating on porcupine quills contains antibiotics, possibly to protect the animal from infection if it is accidentally pricked by its own quills. 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. Porcupines generally have two methods for handling relationships: withdrawal and attack. There is no mistaking what you are seeing when a Porcupine comes into view. Most of what is known about reproduction in the crested porcupine comes from individuals in captivity. By the fall, most young porcupines live apart from their mothers. If that doesn't work, they may charge backwards into the predator. Apparently people keep porcupines in captivity. But the problem is not just them. The porcupine Erethizon dorsatum is one of Canada’s best-known mammals, both in life and in legend. You can help us bring species back from the brink by supporting the San Diego Zoo Global Wildlife Conservancy. Which means there really is an answer to the ancient question, how do porcupines make love? When threatened, New World porcupines erect quills that jut out in various directions, like a pincushion. 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. This problem forms what writer John Ortberg calls “the porcupine’s dilemma”. New World porcupines live in North, Central, and South America; some examples are the Canadian porcupine, Mexican hairy dwarf porcupine, and Brazilian porcupine. I realized that like the porcupines, I have a huge arsenal of barbs. Why do they Siberian Tigers have he name Siberia? The thin-spined porcupine Chaetomys subspinosus is listed as vulnerable, losing its habitat due to cocoa plantations in northeastern Brazil. New World porcupines’ predators … When we had them in captivity they growled or made purring sounds,” said Faccio. People also collect quills for ornaments. They can be from 25 to 36 inches long. And so are you. They are considered pests primarily for this very reason, gnawing on and destroying anything that has salt on or in it. Car wiring? In the wild, they get it from eating things like shed deer antlers. Currently, the San Diego Zoo has an exhibit of Indian crested porcupines along Park Way. 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”. They pull in … Old World porcupines spend their life on the ground. 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. Old World porcupines eat bark, roots, fruits, and berries. When I read Ortberg’s book, I was living with seven other guys in a small Christian community. Porcupines are in constant need of salt and will stop at nothing to get at it. Your email address will not be published. most others don't have so great a range and only travel in the wild to escape danger or to find food. We first started in porcupines in 2012. The provision of environmental enrichments aimed at reducing the performance of abnormal behaviours is increasing the norm, with the housing of individuals in (semi-)natural social … They may den in tree nests, rock crevices, brush, logs, or in tangled tree roots. Like all hairs, quills do shed, and when the porcupine shakes, loose quills can fly off (but without deadly force). Edited by Doreen Winona Logeot, 2010-11-29 20:55:23. They most likely do not want to repeat that painful experience again. Porcupines patrol their territory nightly and defend their feeding areas. When a porcupine senses danger, it lifts its quills into the vertical position. … But getting close without getting hurt is tough business for a porcupine. The most recognizable feature of the porcupine is its quills. Because of their dangerous anatomy, females initiate copulation by presenting to the males. 1. It will stamp its feet, click its teeth, growl and rattle its quills to warn the enemy away. If these warnings are ignored and the threat continues, the porcupine whirls around and presents its prickly backside to the enemy. 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. SO many people do not understand them and think they are vicious beasts, when the reality is that they are just a giant guinea pig with a great defense mechanism and ALL they want is for you (and your dog!) The porcupine is a rodent. 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”. We have had porcupines in our collection since our earliest days, and quite a variety, too! Some of these porcupines have been trained as animal ambassadors; they often meet guests up close and make television appearances. Porcupines – A Brief Overview. It’s us. 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. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, Brandon Vogt is a Catholic writer and speaker who blogs at. 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. It’s easy to tell when porcupines are mad: They stomp … The weig… So, let’s make it a dancing week! A single porcupine can have more than 30,000 quills, which are actually sharp bristles of fused hair. Porcupines use the quills as a defense. Porcupine quills may be as dense as 150 quills per square inch (6.4 square centimeters). The Phillipine porcupine Hystrix pumila is also vulnerable, due to the rapid loss of its forest habitat and the pet trade. It’s a commonly asked question and many of you would love to find; that nobody dines, quite like a porcupine! Their unique features have generated great interests from some humans but a majority of us wouldn't be looking to keep porcupines as pets. Any animal with a quill lodged in its skin will have a hard time removing it if it doesn't have fingers and thumbs! 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. Porcupines patrol their territory nightly and defend their feeding areas. For example, the fact that they are classified as rodents.They are the 3rd largest of all rodents in the world. We all want to get close without getting hurt. Their fur ranges in color from brownish-yellow to black, and they sport white highlights in their quills. They may even perform the "love dance of the porcupines," standing up, … Porcupines are considered exotic pets because they are wild animals and not typically kept as pets. 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). It’s extremely useful to know the animals that exist in the wild and … 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. Learn how your comment data is processed. To make quick work of available food, these herbivores have sharp, chisel-like front teeth. It’s no surprise then that they have a hard time finding love. This is not true, but it is easy to understand why the idea persists. There are many similarities between the two families, but for this text, we will consider only the African Crested Porcupine. We try to stay away from particularly prickly people. There are two families or porcupines, Hystricidae (Old World Porcupines) and Erethizontidae (New World Porcupines). On rare occasions, one porcupine will share space with another. Or at least they interact with porcupines on very friendly terms. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. I could really relate to the porcupines. 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. 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. Each quill is marked with black and white bands. 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. Large cats, especially lions, and human hunters (bushmeat trade) threaten Old World porcupines. Quite recently, a number of research projects have focused on not only whether primates masturbate, but also why they do so. This is because the quills on its back are longer and more effective in an attack. The greater stings included veiled jealousy, deep-seated selfishness, and piercing words. 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). They don’t wake up with excitement over the fact that they won’t see another porcupine that day. Porcupines are lumbering, rotund rodents with needle-like spikes, called quills, covering their back, sides, and tail. What about boat oars? It looks something like this (sans hardcore rock): In rural areas, they may eat farmed crops, such as groundnuts, potatoes, pumpkins, and melons. Instead of running counter to reproduction, studies indicate that masturbation may play an important evolutionary role. New World porcupines’ predators include martens, wolverines, pythons, eagles, and great-horned owls. Dirty cups, borrowed clothes, and missing electronics were just the surface. The young are born in litters of up to 3 young. Click edit button to change this text. The youngsters stay with their mother for just a few months before they are ready to live on their own. Again, it may take some God given grace, but instead of exploding, let’s dance a bit. They find shelter in caves, rock crevices, holes, or burrows that they may have dug. Horses sweat, too, and the rigging of saddles and other tack will be permeated with salt. Fishers are one of the few predators that will eat the thorny little beast. They tend to forage alone rather than in groups, except for a mother with her young. So, porcupines have a unique group of cells called a rosette that releases a very strong odor. Together we can save and protect wildlife around the globe. 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). “I don’t know of any reputable information that fishers scream. It's highly likely that primate masturbation occurred in the Stone Age just as it does today. During the winter months, up to 8 individuals may live in the same den. (Image Credit: Squidoo and Tumblr). Its fame stems from its coat of quills, which keeps most enemies at a respectful distance. The quills are hairs with barbed tips on the ends. They either scurry away, looking for the nearest tree, or they stick out their quills and unleash hell. They hear some kind of beat, wiggle their arms and legs, stomp out a tune and life goes on. ( They do not have a mean bone in their entire body. ) A porcupine may have as many as 30,000 quills. For much of the year the porcupine enjoys no social life and leads a solitary existence. ... they run and chase one another. Porcupines do successfully mate. During fights, New World porcupines also chatter their teeth to sound fierce. If persisted, it will ram the attacker, running into it backwards. The largest porcupine is the African Porcupine which can weigh over 20 kilograms (44 pounds). 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. 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