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SHOWING RECORD: 4 of 12   North American Porcupine
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image: North American Porcupine
Photograph from Bettmann/Corbis
North American Porcupine

Erethizon dorsatum epixanthum

Subspecies of Common Porcupine



First Noted by Expedition
May 3, 1805, near the mouth of the Porcupine (now Poplar) River, Montana.
 

Description
Large, chunky body, with short legs. Long guard hairs on front half of body; black or brown in the East, yellowish in the West. Quills on rump and tail. Length: 2637 in (6593 cm); tail: 5.911.8 in (14.830 cm). Weight: 7.840 lb (3.518 kg).
 

Habitat
Deciduous, coniferous, and mixed forests; also, in West, dry, scrubby areas with scattered trees.
 

Range
Most of Canada and western U.S. south to Mexico; in East, south to Wisconsin, northern half of Michigan, and most of Pennsylvania, New York, and New England.
 

Note
The common porcupine has about 30,000 quills on its body, which it uses to defend itself against more agile predators.

Species information from enature.com
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