Needle-pillows that move

What are porcupines

Who would even need a pillow that is all needles. Ha! gotcha! We are talking about porcupines :). Porcupines are rodents that have a coat of sharp needles and pins also know as quills. This helps them hide and protect themselves from their enemies.

Porcupines are generally shy and peaceful animals. They mostly run away when they are in danger. But if some predator attacks, the quills stand out from their body. The quills are so loosely attached to their body that they stand out when they press again anything else. The pointed end sticks into the skin of any unlucky animal that tries to catch it.

Porcupines are herbivores – that is they eat leaves, herbs, twigs and green plants. They are mostly found in America, Asia and Africa. Today, some people consider porcupines to be pests, but in reality these shy creatures are very helpful to other animals. By feeding mostly on common tree species and nibbling on treetop leaves, they bring more sunlight to dense forests.

cute porcupine babiesDid you know that

  • They are also known as “quill pigs“.
  • The name porcupine means “one who rises up in anger”. How apt!
  • Babies known as porcupettes are born with soft quills, which get hard within hours.
  • Porcupines do not hibernate.


  1. I would be interested to know where the information comes from that “porcupine means ‘one who rises up in anger,'” as the only etymology I have found for the word indicates that the name comes from the Latin for “spiny pig”. I’ve not been able to find any reputable evidence for your given meaning, though I have found many sites like yours that assert this meaning. I have not been able to find any that cite the source. Do you know where I can find this information?

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