Hystricidae – Old World porcupines

They don’t bite, neither they run away. Prepare to get spiked if you mess with a porcupine!

The Old-world porcupines evolved first in the warmer areas of Asia and then in Europe and Africa and are still found here today. They are nocturnal animals with poor eyesight and rely on their acute sense of smell and hearing. Porcupines are characterized by long (40 cm/16 in), sharp-pointed spines/quills that cover their body and tail.

When threatened, the porcupine raises its quills and rattles them as a warning. If this sound is not heeded, the porcupine charges backward or sideways into the predator so that its spines become embedded in the flesh of its hunter. The porcupine then regrows the quills it has lost and lives to fight another day.