Hair is a defining feature of mammals: it is only found in mammals, and every mammal has hair at some point in its life. Over the course of mammalian evolution, hairs have been modified and specialized to perform many functions, including insulation, camouflage, signaling to potential mates or potential predatorssensing via whiskers or vibrissaeand defense. Some mammals have modified hairs that are enlarged, stiffened, and strengthened to form spikes of different shapes and sizes.
Porcupines are large rodents with a coat of sharp spinesor quills, that protect against predators. The term covers two families of animals, the Old World porcupines of family Hystricidaeand 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 this, the two groups are distinct from each other and are not closely related to each other within the Hystricognathi.
Porcupines are the second-largest rodent in North America the largest is the beaverand the third-largest overall after the South American capybara. They can weigh as much as 40 pounds. An adult porcupine has about 30, quills, which cover its entire body except for its belly, face, and paws.
All rights reserved. Some quills, like those of Africa's crested porcupine, are nearly a foot long. Porcupines have soft hair, but on their back, sides, and tail it is usually mixed with sharp quills.
Porcupines are large, slow-moving rodents with sharp quills on their backs. They are found on every continent except Antarctica. All porcupines have a few traits in common.
This animal. Its fame stems from its coat of quills, which keeps most enemies at a respectful distance. 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.
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The North American porcupine Erethizon dorsatumalso known as the Canadian porcupine or common porcupineis a large rodent in the New World porcupine family. The beaver is the only rodent in North America that is larger than the North American porcupine. The porcupine is a caviomorph rodent whose ancestors rafted across the Atlantic from Africa to Brazil over 30 million years ago [ citation needed ]and then migrated to North America during the Great American Interchange after the Isthmus of Panama rose 3 million years ago. The word "porcupine" comes from the middle or old French word porcespinwhich means thorn pig.
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The African crested porcupine is the largest species of porcupine in the world and one of the largest rodents in the world. These names come from the fact that the porcupine is coated in long sharp quills. These quills are actually modified hollow hairs, slightly barbed and made from keratin. When alarmed the porcupine will run backwards and embed its quills into the predator.