Midcoast Wildlife Specialists

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Nobleboro, Maine 04555

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Midcoast Wildlife Specialists

Porcupines – The Prickly Ones

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More about Porcupines

MWS Know Their Porcupines

The North American Porcupine

The North American porcupine is the only species found in the United States and Canada.


Porcupines are found on every continent except Antarctica. Scientists group porcupines into two groups: Old World porcupines, which are found in Africa, Europe and Asia; and New World porcupines, which are found in North, Central, and South America.

The North American Porcupine Quill Length and Habitat

Old World porcupines, like the North American porcupine, have quills that can grow up to 20 inches (51 cm) long, though there are some exceptions.


Dens in tree branches or tangles of roots, rock crevices, brush or logs are the porcupine's home and often under your garage, porch or shed.

Diet and Offspring

Porcupines are herbivores. This means they eat mostly vegetation. Some porcupines love wood and eat a lot of bark and stems. They also eat nuts, tubers, seeds, grass, leaves, fruit and buds.


Female porcupines carry their young for a gestation period of 16 to 31 weeks, depending on species, and give birth to one to three babies at a time. Baby porcupines are called porcupettes.

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