Skip to main content




Erethizon dorsatum

  • Habitat: Forests, grasslands, desert shrub communities and even tundra
  • Status: Least concern
  • Population Trend: Stable
  • Diet: The winter diet of these herbivorous animals mainly consists of tree bark. During the rest of the year, they feed upon green vegetation such as leaves, twigs, and fruits, supplementing their diet by gnawing on occasional bones and antlers that are rich in mineral nutrition
  • Weight: 20 - 40 lbs.
  • Size: 13" - 17" tall, 24" - 35" long
  • Lifespan: 5 - 7 years in the wild; up to 18 years in human care
  • Wild population in Arizona: Unspecified
  • Interesting Facts:
    • North American porcupines breed between October and November. A single young is born after a gestation of 210 days.
    • Quills of North American Porcupine possess a topical antibiotic, which helps prevent infection. This antibiotic is mainly intended for self-defense, in case the porcupine is accidentally pricked by its own quills.
    • Since porcupines love the salty flavor, they can consume axe handles, canoe paddles, outhouses, and even automobile radiator hoses.