Erethizontidae – New World porcupines

There are a total of twelve species in the family across four different genera. North American and South American porcupines are expert tree climbers and spend the majority of their time there. Although porcupines are typically solitary, they will congregate in the winter to share the cold and to woo a potential mate.

The term “prickle” is used to describe a cluster of porcupines.

The New World porcupine relies mostly on plant matter for its diet. While the hair of a porcupine’s head and forelimbs is soft, it often contains sharp quills. Predators are reminded in no uncertain terms by the sharpness of the quills that these animals are not easy prey.