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New World porcupines


The New World porcupines is a group of large rodents found throughout North and South America. There are 12 species of New World porcupine. Most (11 species) are found in Central and South America. Only 1 species is found throughout northern North America, the North American porcupine. All New World porcupines have hairs that have been modified into sharp spines as a defensive mechanism. New World porcupines are mostly solitary and are active at night. They eat leaves and other plant materials, including coniferous tree needles, bark, roots, stems, berries, grass, flowers, and nuts. All are capable of climbing well and many of the neotropical New World porcupines are almost exclusively found in trees.

University of Michigan Museum of ZoologyNational Science Foundation

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. "Erethizontidae" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 17, 2024 at

BioKIDS is sponsored in part by the Interagency Education Research Initiative. It is a partnership of the University of Michigan School of Education, University of Michigan Museum of Zoology, and the Detroit Public Schools. This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant DRL-0628151.
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