Friday, November 14, 2008

A Porcupine Sighting!

It was the coolest thing! On our way home from our children's orchestra concert this evening, a porcupine waddled across the road right in front of our van! I've never seen a porcupine out in the wild before, have you?

These large, nocturnal rodents can tip the scales at 30 to 40 lbs. They are peaceful animals that curl up when threatened, protecting their vulnerable bellies while exposing up to 30,000 thorny quills that cover them from head to tail. If attacked, they will whack their predator with their spiny tails. These painful weapons fall off and become embedded in the attacker's skin.

Porcupines live in wooded areas, making their homes in hollow logs, underground dens, and caves. They can also be found climbing around in trees. They dine on clover, grass, fruit, seeds, tender leaves, twigs, and the bark of trees. Like beavers, they also crave salt and will eat things like canoe paddles and tool handles that contain human sweat.


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