Prehensile-Tailed Porcupine - Coendou prehensilis
Central and South America
They have short, thick spines, and their body color runs from yellowish to orange-rust to brown to almost black. Like howler monkeys, these porcupines use their prehensile tails for grasping and hanging. These tails have no spines, and the upper side near the end has a callus pad.
They weigh 4 to 11 pounds (2 to 5 kg). Their bodies are 300 to 600 millimeters long, and their tails are almost as long as their bodies, adding another 330 to 485 millimeters.
Active at night; found in small social groups at sleeping times. Otherwise solitary or paired.
Leaves, flowers, shoots, roots, and the cambium layer found beneath the bark of some trees
After a gestation of 202 days, the baby porcupine is born. Porcupines typically give birth to a single young that weighs about 14oz and is able to climb from birth. Baby porcupines are hairy and are a reddish-orange color. They are weaned between 30-70 days and reach sexual maturity at around 575 days.
Status in the Wild: This species is considered "Least concern" with the IUCN although it is killed for food in some parts of its range and is a victim of habitat destruction. They are also part of an AZA Species Survival Plan
- They sit on their haunches, shake their spines, and emit both deep growls and high-pitched cries.
- Their quills are short and barbed and provide this slow moving animal with an impressive defense. They cannot throw their quills (no porcupine can) but the quills detach easily when touched and embed themselves in the skin of an enemy. Their defenses are so formidable that porcupines can have the luxury of a long lifespan and slow reproductive rate unlike many other rodents.
- Porcupines are rodents which means they have teeth that grow for a long time
- To defend itself against predators, it curls into a ball. When excited, it stamps its feet.
AZA cooperatively manages this species as a Species Survival Plan® Program.
- Adult (13 and over)$10.50
- Child (2 - 12)$7.50
- Child (1 and Under)FREE
- Senior (65+)$9.50
- Active Military$9.50
We begin transferring animals to evening (off exhibit) holding at 4:30 each night.
Open Daily 10:00-5:00
Last admission at 4:30