Prehensile-Tailed Porcupine

Coendou prehensilis

Not Listed

Range & Habitat
Prehensile-tailed Porcupines inhabit tangled vegetation in forests of Mexico, Central America and South America as well as Northern Argentina, Trinidad.

General Description
The prehensile-tailed porcupine is covered with spines on its back, with no spines found on the end of the tail. It has long claws and keen senses of touch, hearing and smell. It can be solitary or live in pairs. It uses its long prehensile tail to curl around branches for balance when climbing or reaching for food. Principally nocturnal and arboreal. When threatened they stamp their feet and rattle their quills. Deep growls and plaintive cries have been heard. By day, the porcupine sleeps in trees at a height of approximately 20 feet. It is not currently endangered, but is affected by habitat destruction.

Reproduction & Growth
No reproduction season is apparent. Gestation about 210 days. One kit (a porcupette) is born, eyes open and able to climb at birth. Young are born with flexible spines that harden after birth. Adult size is reached in less than a year. Females mate right after young are born.

Diet: Herbivore
In the Wild: Forages for leaves, young stems, fruits, blossoms and roots. In the Zoo: Carrots, yam, apple, banana, leaf leafeater biscuits, salad greens and peanuts.

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