Prehensile-tailed Porcupine

The prehensile-tailed porcupine is one of the 12 species of New World porcupines and is native to South American forests.

Prehensile-tailed porcupines are quite different to North American porcupines. The major difference is its’ prehensile tail (obviously). Their tail serves as a fifth limb, which allows them to move throughout the canopy ( the uppermost branches of trees in a forest) easily and also have strong claws to help them climb as they are almost entirely arboreal (tree-dwelling). They have short, thick quills that cover their body which ranges from a yellowish colour to black. Prehensile-tailed porcupines weigh 2 to 5 kilogrammes (4 to 11 pounds) and have a life span of 12 to 17 years. Prehensile-tailed porcupines are also only 1/4 of the weight of their North American brethren.

To protect themselves from predators they like to bite and shake their quills but do not shoot their quills. They also curl up to protect their underbelly which is vulnerable as it is soft and has no quills. Prehensile Porcupine’s are very calm docile creatures and will often flee when faced with danger.

Prehensile-tailed porcupines are herbivores. That eat flowers, leaves, roots and shoots. They also eat cambium layers found beneath the bark of certain trees.
To communicate they make a variety of sounds, which include moans, whines, grunts, coughs, shrieks, barks and wails and when excited or threatened they stamp their hind feet in an attempt to frighten their attackers.
They are nocturnal and sleeps in holes in tree trunks or shaded areas of the canopy and only at night does it forage for food.

Prehensile-tailed porcupine, what a mouth full.
I myself have seen a baby prehensile-tailed porcupine in the amazon rain forest in Peru when on a night walk while staying in a lodge. (it was amazing and so adorable).

Image addresses
zoonewengland.org
voices.nationalgeographic.com
zooborns.com

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