Species of the Week: The North American Porcupine

Photo by Mark Read

This week’s #SpeciesOfTheWeek is the North American Porcupine (Erethizon dorsatum). It is the second-largest rodent in North America after the beaver, and also has the most northerly range of any rodent species. The characteristic 3” barbed quills on the back and tail can number up to 30,000, and each has yellowish colour with black tips. The North American Porcupine is mostly a solitary creature, though in the winter they may den with up to 8 individuals. They are mostly nocturnal and communicate using a system of chemical, tactile, visual and acoustic signals. A porcupine’s diet mainly consists of vegetation such as leaves, twigs and fruits, but during the winter they switch to mainly eating tree bark. Murphys Point Provincial Park is a great place to observe this species in its natural habitat. Have you ever seen one here at the park?

This entry was posted in Friends of Murphys Point, Murphys Point, Murphys Point Provincial Park, Species of the Week. Bookmark the permalink.

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