• Porcupine means “spiny pig” in Middle French

• Porcupines are selective eaters; out of 1000 trees, one or two are acceptable Lindens, and one is a Bigtooth Aspen

• The porcupine has an extraordinary ability to learn complex mazes and to remember them as much as a hundred days

• Because of its dangerous quills, the North American porcupine is often avoided as prey

• The porcupine is the only native North American mammal with antibiotics in its skin. These antibiotics prevent infection when a porcupine gets stuck with its own quills


No major threats to the species as a whole. However, because of the damage caused to property, including trees, crops and car tires, porcupines are often hunted or trapped. In Mexico, it is considered in danger of extinction due to hunting. More effective population controls may be the management of a healthy population of fishers, the porcupine’s main predator.