JOHN DAY TRUE VALUE'S WILDLIFE SPOTLIGHT: Porcupine

Porcupine Erethizon dorsatum

Porcupines are rodents with a coat of sharp spines, or quills, that defend them from predators. Porcupines come in various shades of brown, grey, and the unusual white. Porcupines' quills or spines take on various forms, depending on the species, but all are modified hairs coated with thick plates of keratin, and they are embedded in the skin musculature.

Claim to fame: Porcupines are the third largest of the rodents.

Habitat: Porcupines live in forests, deserts, rocky outcrops, hillsides and grasslands. Some new world porcupines live in trees, but old world porcupines stay on the ground. Porcupines can be found on rocky areas up to 11,000 feet high.

Range: Porcupines occupy a wide range of habitats in tropical and temperate parts of Asia, Italy, Africa, and North and South America.

Where to see it: Throughout Grant County.

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