Porcupine one of the most recognizable animals of our planet. Black and white long, sharp needles their business card.
At the moment, zoologists have five genera in the family of porcupines that belong to the rodent detachment. The porcupine has the longest needles among all mammals of our planet. The longest and not very strong needles have a length of up to 50 centimeters. They can easily and unnecessary discomfort for the animal. The middle needles have a length of 15 to 30 centimeters, and about 7 millimeters thick. The porcupine with the fur of the porcupine is covered with the head, neck and stomach, has a brownish-gray color. But not all porcupines have needles only on their backs. Rothschild porcupine is completely covered with small needles. The weight of the porcupine varies from two to seventeen kilograms.
The porcupines have only 20 teeth and two pairs of front incisors that grow throughout life, and the enamel has an orange-yellow color.
The habitat of these needle rodents is quite large. They can be found in Asia and Africa, in both America, Australia. Also, porcupines can be found in Europe, but the scientists still leave an open question whether the southern part of Europe is their natural environment or if a person brought them there.
The entire porcupine diet consists of plant foods. They enjoy eating a variety of roots (these can be the roots of plants, shrubs, trees). In the summer, the beast prefers the juicy greens of young plants. In the autumn period, the diet is significantly expanded by various fruits and berries (for example, apples, grapes, watermelons and melons, alfalfa and much more). The porcupines often penetrate garden and agricultural land and destroy the crop of cucumbers, potatoes, and especially pumpkin. During the eating of pumpkin, porcupine enjoy its taste so much that they can quietly squeak and even grunt.
Porcupines are attributed to pests, not only for their penetration on the lands of agriculture, but also for the forest mass, they cause quite serious harm. Porcupines are very fond of wood bark with young branches, which they feed in the winter. By the beginning of spring, an adult porcupine can destroy more than a hundred healthy trees.
The adult porcupine does not have many enemies in the wild. Its sharp needles perfectly protect against predators (leopards and cheetahs, as well as tigers). As soon as the porcupine feels the danger, he begins to warn his opponent with a loud clatter and threateningly thunder with needles. If the enemy does not retreat, porcupine at a lightning speed runs to the enemy and hobs with needles that remain in the enemy’s body. It is the needles of porcupine that sometimes they force formidable predators (tigers, leopards) to attack people.
Perhaps the most dangerous enemy for porcupine is a person. In some countries, it is hunting for him because of his needles, which later became jewelry, and meat is considered a delicacy.
- The needles of the porcupine are constantly growing. On the site of the fallen needles, new ones immediately begin to grow so that the animal does not remain without protection.
- About 120 thousand years ago, porcupines lived in the Urals. In the mountains of Altai, porcupines lived in the caves of terrible and robber. After the Cormation of the Cute (about 27 thousand years ago), the porcupine from the Altai land disappeared.
- Contrary to the established opinion, the porcupine needle does not contain poison. But since the needles can be dirty, you can deliver a lot of problems into the body of the offender, and in particular, lead to inflammation.
- Porcupines rarely live by. Basically, they form small groups that consist of a female, a male and their offspring. Cubs are born with open eyes and soft needles, which are very fast. At about a weekly age, the needles of the cub can significantly prick.
- Porcupines feel very well in captivity and with proper care can live up to 20 years. In wild, the age of the porcupine reaches a maximum of 10 years.