What Makes a Porcupine Float in Water?

Julia | 06 - 05 - 2021
Porcupine

Porcupines are also known as quill-pig. They are considered as slowly moving rodents with sharp quills on their backs. These quill pigs are found in every part of the world and are classified into old-world porcupines and new world porcupines. 

The old-world porcupines are found in regions like Africa, Europe, and Asia. The new world porcupines are found in North, Central, and South America. The North American porcupines are the only species found in the United States and Canada. Mostly all the porcupines have some similarities, and all the porcupines float in water. Discover more amazing facts about floating porcupines through our blog.

Astonishing Facts about Floating Porcupines 

Quill pigs are buoyant due to the hollow structure of their quills, which help the porcupine to float in water easily. But not all porcupines are fond of water. North American brush-tailed porcupines are keen swimmers.

Can Porcupines Shoot Their Quills?
  • A. Yes
  • B. No

Porcupines have sharp quills about 30 centimeters long which cover all over their body and they use their quills as a defense by shooting them back into their predators. Once their quill is lost they will grow back in overtime. Some quills will have scales and barbs that are hard to remove. Each porcupine has about 30,000 quills, and it varies depending on its species.

Porcupine can grow up to 36 inches long, and the largest porcupine in the North African crested porcupine and the smallest is Bahia hairy dwarf porcupine. They can grow up to 15 inches long. Depending on their species, their tails can grow up to 8 to 12 inches, and they can weigh up to 2.5 to 7.7 lbs. 

Porcupines are considered nocturnal animals as they sleep during the day and be active during the night. The new world porcupines spend their time in trees and the old world porcupines stay on the ground.

Porcupines live on any terrain, deserts, grasslands, mountains, forests, and rainforests. Some of the porcupine homes are dens in tree branches, rock crevices, logs, and tangles of the roots. 

Porcupines are herbivores as they eat mostly vegetation. Some porcupines eat nuts, tubers, seeds, grass, leaves, fruit, wood, a lot of barks, stems, and buds. Porcupines don’t eat meat, rather they chew bones to sharpen their teeth, and they also contain minerals, calcium, and salt, which keeps them healthy.

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