The North American Porcupine has dark fur with light colored quills. National Park Service
What does a North American Porcupine look like?
The North American Porcupine is a large rodent. It is actually North America’s second largest rodent (the beaver is the first). They have stout bodies and short legs. Porcupines have dark brown or black fur and long sharp quills. The quills are lighter in color. Since the porcupine is nocturnal, the lighter quills alert night time predators of danger.
Where does the North American Porcupine live?
The North American Porcupine has a very large range. They can survive in a variety of climates and elevations. Primarily they live in coniferous and mixed forested areas in Canada, Alaska, and much of the northern and western United States. There is a small population in the eastern United States. They can also be found in shrublands, tundra, and deserts as far south as northern Mexico. The North American Porcupine likes to make its den in a hole in a tree or in a rocky area.
What does the North American Porcupine eat?
Since porcupines live in so many different parts of North America, their diet depends on where they are living. They are herbivores. During the summer and spring they tend to eat less, as more protein rich foods are available. They eat things like stems, twigs, berries, roots, and other vegetation. They tend to eat more in the fall, in preparation for winter. In the winter, they eat conifer needles and bark.
Interesting facts about the North American Porcupine:
Each porcupine has about 30,000 quills. Did you know that the porcupine’s quills have microscopic barbs on the ends?
Porcupines are arboreal. This means that their bodies are very well adapted to climbing trees. However, the environment that they live in determines how much time they spend up in the trees. If there is a lot of ground cover, they might prefer to forage for food on the ground.
Porcupines are nocturnal National Park Service
References are the same as the above links.