An online resource based on the award-winning nature guide

Porcupines Giving Birth

porcupine IMG_3096Towards the end of April/beginning of May, Porcupines give birth to one offspring. The newborn is covered with quills, but they are soft and enclosed in a sac, which protects the mother as she gives birth to her young. The young Porcupine’s eyes are open, and it is fully alert. Its quills harden within an hour. The Porcupine starts supplementing its mother’s milk with vegetation after the first two weeks, but isn’t completely weaned for four months.

During the day the young Porcupine stays hidden in a crevice or at the base of a tree near the tree in which its mother rests. Instinct takes over immediately in the face of danger, as it tucks its head down, turns its back to the predator and vigorously flicks its tiny, two-inch tail. When night falls, the mother and young Porcupine reunite. (Photo: days-old Porcupine)

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8 responses

  1. Cheron barton

    Interesting!!

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    May 3, 2019 at 8:06 am

  2. I love porcupines! To watch them amble on in the woods is pure delight! They have very large soft padded feet!

    May 3, 2019 at 8:34 am

  3. Val Cunningham

    That’s a wonderful photo, of the very young opossum, Mary, can’t even imagine the patience and stealth that went into capturing it.

    May 3, 2019 at 8:35 am

  4. Alice Pratt

    Little balls of adorableness.

    May 3, 2019 at 1:57 pm

  5. kathryn

    ADORBS! – as the millennials say.

    May 3, 2019 at 2:02 pm

  6. Tamson

    I love what baby porcupines are called: porcupette. How cute is that?

    May 3, 2019 at 7:37 pm

  7. DeeDee Niswonger

    I am interested that a porcupine only has one baby as once as a little girl I saw a mama and three babies one following the next, following the mother. It was a sight i have treasured all my life!

    May 6, 2019 at 7:45 am

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