• : Function ereg() is deprecated in /home/moocow/moocowfanclub.com/httpdocs/includes/file.inc on line 646.
  • : Function ereg() is deprecated in /home/moocow/moocowfanclub.com/httpdocs/includes/file.inc on line 646.
  • : Function ereg() is deprecated in /home/moocow/moocowfanclub.com/httpdocs/includes/file.inc on line 646.
  • : Function ereg() is deprecated in /home/moocow/moocowfanclub.com/httpdocs/includes/file.inc on line 646.
  • : Function ereg() is deprecated in /home/moocow/moocowfanclub.com/httpdocs/includes/file.inc on line 646.
  • : Function ereg() is deprecated in /home/moocow/moocowfanclub.com/httpdocs/includes/file.inc on line 646.
  • : Function ereg() is deprecated in /home/moocow/moocowfanclub.com/httpdocs/includes/file.inc on line 646.
  • : Function ereg() is deprecated in /home/moocow/moocowfanclub.com/httpdocs/includes/file.inc on line 646.
  • : Function ereg() is deprecated in /home/moocow/moocowfanclub.com/httpdocs/includes/file.inc on line 646.
  • : Function ereg() is deprecated in /home/moocow/moocowfanclub.com/httpdocs/includes/file.inc on line 646.
  • warning: explode() expects parameter 2 to be string, array given in /home/moocow/moocowfanclub.com/httpdocs/modules/custom_pagers/custom_pagers.module on line 411.
  • warning: explode() expects parameter 2 to be string, array given in /home/moocow/moocowfanclub.com/httpdocs/modules/custom_pagers/custom_pagers.module on line 411.
  • warning: explode() expects parameter 2 to be string, array given in /home/moocow/moocowfanclub.com/httpdocs/modules/custom_pagers/custom_pagers.module on line 411.
  • warning: explode() expects parameter 2 to be string, array given in /home/moocow/moocowfanclub.com/httpdocs/modules/custom_pagers/custom_pagers.module on line 411.
  • warning: explode() expects parameter 2 to be string, array given in /home/moocow/moocowfanclub.com/httpdocs/modules/custom_pagers/custom_pagers.module on line 411.
  • warning: explode() expects parameter 2 to be string, array given in /home/moocow/moocowfanclub.com/httpdocs/modules/custom_pagers/custom_pagers.module on line 411.
  • warning: explode() expects parameter 2 to be string, array given in /home/moocow/moocowfanclub.com/httpdocs/modules/custom_pagers/custom_pagers.module on line 411.
  • warning: explode() expects parameter 2 to be string, array given in /home/moocow/moocowfanclub.com/httpdocs/modules/custom_pagers/custom_pagers.module on line 411.
  • warning: explode() expects parameter 2 to be string, array given in /home/moocow/moocowfanclub.com/httpdocs/modules/custom_pagers/custom_pagers.module on line 411.
  • warning: explode() expects parameter 2 to be string, array given in /home/moocow/moocowfanclub.com/httpdocs/modules/custom_pagers/custom_pagers.module on line 411.
  • warning: explode() expects parameter 2 to be string, array given in /home/moocow/moocowfanclub.com/httpdocs/modules/custom_pagers/custom_pagers.module on line 411.
  • warning: explode() expects parameter 2 to be string, array given in /home/moocow/moocowfanclub.com/httpdocs/modules/custom_pagers/custom_pagers.module on line 411.
  • warning: explode() expects parameter 2 to be string, array given in /home/moocow/moocowfanclub.com/httpdocs/modules/custom_pagers/custom_pagers.module on line 411.
  • warning: explode() expects parameter 2 to be string, array given in /home/moocow/moocowfanclub.com/httpdocs/modules/custom_pagers/custom_pagers.module on line 411.
Kiweenie's picture

We had a new friend come visit us the other day...a porcupine! We asked him to come inside (we were playing gin rummy) but he declined, ate lots of clover, and then wandered off in search of more food. (F.W. was making his famous oatmeal chocolate chip pancakes but the porcupine left before they were done. I guess he wasn't a pancake kind of guy!)


Kiweenie Greets a Porcupine
Porcupines are amazing creatures and often misunderstood. Their most obvious and unique feature is their quills. It might look like they are wearing a jacket full of nails, but porcupine quills are actually modified stiff hairs and their body is covered in thousands of them!

 

Contrary to popular belief, porcupines can't shoot their quills at an enemy. When a porcupine feels threatened it stretches a muscle on its back, which makes all of its quills stand up. That's usually a scary enough sight to frighten a predator away.
Kiweenie Flees Porcupine

 


But, if the porcupine still feels threatened, it goes into attack mode by backing up towards the predator. If a predator persists, the porcupine sticks it with quills, then releases the quills and walks away. This doesn't hurt the porcupine but is definitely painful for the animal that attacked it. The quills are hard for the animal to get out and they dig in deeper and deeper making big wounds that can lead to death. The porcupine meanwhile walks away from the fight only missing a few quills, which it re-grows quickly.

 

There's a reason porcupines have such a good defense system. It's because they aren't particularly fast. That might be putting it a bit nice. Are there any porcupines around here? No, okay, then I'll tell you. Porcupines are really slow! I didn't want to hurt their feelings. Not that there is anything wrong with that. They like to take life easy, sit and eat and enjoy the scenery. They are vegetarians and you can often find them sitting in a tree, munching on the leaves, twigs and bark while watching the world go by.

 

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Porcupines may remind you of other spiky animals like the hedgehog but they are actually part of the rodent family. Yep, that's right, this cute little guy is a cousin of the rat!

 

 

redsectora's picture

Spiny Norman

What great pictures and video! I happened to be at a zoo this weekend and they had a porcupine in their Rain Forest section. I don't remember what kind it was or what country it was from (sorry!). It looked very similar to this dude here, but was bigger, has very long quills on its back, and the quills were banded.

redsectora's picture

I'm looking over a 4 leaf clover....

It is interesting how he (she?) only eats the leaves and flowers of the clover, and leaves the stems.

So, what family is the hedgehog a member of?

Kiweenie's picture

Hedgehogs

Unlike porcupines hedgehogs have softer quills that don't come off when they are threatened. Instead a hedgehog curls up into a little ball with only the spikes showing!

Hedgehogs are related to animals like moles and shrews.

 

Very good question, extra credit for you!

redsectora's picture

Stickly-Prickly

Do hedgehogs live in this country?

Kiweenie's picture

Hedgehog Pets

Well, hedgehogs are not native to the United States or Canada, but in recent years they have become a popular pet and so there are domesticated hedgehogs living here now. Not every state allows keeping a hedgehog as a pet, but if it is something you might be interested in, make sure to do a lot of research and get it from a respectable breeder.

You sure seem to be intrested in hedgehogs! I'll give you "no homework" pass if you draw a picture of yourself and a hedgehog and send it in to me. I'll even add it to the class so everyone can see!

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