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Prehensile-Tailed Porcupine

Regenstein Small Mammal-Reptile House

Did You Know?

  • These animals, also called Brazilian porcupines, can grasp branches with their prehensile tail.
  • They are nocturnal, foraging for fruit at night and sleeping up in the tree canopy by day.
  • When threatened, they sit on their back legs and shake their quills. They also curl up to protect their soft belly.

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Scientific Name: Coendou prehensilis

Class: Mammals

Diet: Fruit and immature seeds (also bark)

Range: South American tropics east of the Andes

Endangered Status: Least Concern

More Information

Prehensile-tailed porcupines are rodents noted for their short, thick quills. Their colors vary from yellowish to black and they may measure up to 24 inches long from nose tip to the base of the tail. They weigh between 4–11 pounds. They have tails that are almost as long as the rest of their body.

Females go through more than six months of gestation and give birth to a single offspring, called a porcupette. Porcupettes are born with their eyes open and can already climb. They reach full size at around 11 months.

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