But the fisher is the one that porcupines fear the most as it is more specialized in dealing with them. These practices have eliminated them from densely settled areas. It is a large rodent encountered equally in the “Old World” and in North America and northern South America. These animals have learned that flipping a porcupine on its back exposes its unprotected underside and leaves it basically defenseless. The “Old World” porcupines live mainly in southern Europe, Asia, and Africa. The main safety issue is the possibility of being quilled. Porcupines are rodents with an interesting way to protect themselves from predators. Some quills can get up to a foot (30 centimeters) long, like those on the Africa's crested porcupine, according to National Geographic. What sets porcupines apart from most rodents is their ability to protect themselves with their large spines, also called quills. Let’s have a look at the porcupine’s main predators. Their quills can indeed be released, but through other mechanisms, such as contact. There are many carnivorous predators in the world, including wolves, cougars, owls, and snakes. However, other species of porcupines are found in South America and Africa, and they have many predators. It has been speculated that mountain lions contributed to almost wiping out porcupine populations in places like Nevada (where a 1997 study found that, in three years, the total number of porcupines decreased from 80 to 5, all down to mountain lions’ attacks). Moreover, great horned owls are also the only predators that feed on skunks as a matter of course, which makes the porcupine more exposed as their appearance cannot put off owls (as it would other predators who are not interested in skunks for prey). They make shake them, which makes them rattle, as a warning to potential predators. Outhouses collect a lot of urine which is loaded with salt. Contrary to some wildlife folklore, porcupines cannot “shoot” quills, rather their barbed quills penetrate and stick upon contact with any animal or object that it finds threatening. Top 8 Predators of Porcupines that Eat Porcupines. Porcupines are herbivores and especially like wood. Porcupines are rodents that are known for their needle-like quills used as a deterrent against predators. Plus they have an intense craving for salt. Three animals, however, has figured out how to eat porcupines. Stackpole Books. This allows an animal to draw in its lips while gnawing. Specifically with porcupines, coyotes have been seen attacking them in pairs – flipping them on their backs and feeding on their bellies. They normally survive many years, with the record in porcupine longevity being 27 years. All in all, they are very well-suited for life in the wild and have lived a long time thanks to their adaptations. The porcupine uses its sharp quills to inflict harm to any would-be predators that get within close range. Predators: Many animals occasionally kill porcupines, especially young ones. This has allowed them to attack porcupines successfully, because as a group they are turning them over and getting access to them without the defense of their quills.eval(ez_write_tag([[300,250],'factsking_com-large-mobile-banner-1','ezslot_8',134,'0','0'])); As wolves are highly intelligent, it is now wonder they have learnt about the porcupines’ weaknesses and are exploiting them in this way.eval(ez_write_tag([[250,250],'factsking_com-leader-2','ezslot_14',135,'0','0'])); Lynxes (from the same family as bobcats) routinely attack European porcupines, flipping them over and successfully preying on them for food. As you have seen above, the belief that porcupines can shoot out their spines is false. However, they still have a lot of natural predators who hunt them against all odds. The smallest porcupine is the Rothschilds Porcupine from South America which weighs only 1 kilogram (2.2 pounds). So if you see wood-handled tools or canoe paddles knawed on, it just might be a porcupine. They can attack the unprotected face of the porcupine or find ways to flip it over, at which point the porcupine is defenceless. The largest porcupine is the African Porcupine which can weigh over 20 kilograms (44 pounds). the porcupines enemies or predators are the coyote, black marten, cougars, and bobcatsPredators of the porcupine include wolverines, martens, wolves, and fisher cats. The porcupine is best known for its sharp spikes and fierce look, helping it shield itself from predators. All porcupines have a few traits in common. Three animals, however, has figured out how to eat porcupines. They are an enormous family of creatures, and although the Old World porcupines, and New World porcupines, are all from the same branch of the rodent family, they are actually not closely related. However, with such a spiky physique, they would surely have some difficulty in the bedroom. Furthermore, they make a clattering sound that deters predators, and when they raise their spines, they look a lot like a skunk, which can also confuse any other animal looking to hunt a porcupine. Another popular misconception is that porcupines shoot their quills at predators. Coyotes are smaller than their relative the grey wolf, yet can cause quite a lot of damage to domestic households and will prey on chickens and other birds. Diet. Now that is curious. They are smoked out of their burrows and hunted with spears, nets, or dogs. Porcupines have special adaptations to help them chew. A quill from a porcupine can penetrate very deeply into their aggressor, and in one case a lion has been found with a quill that have been penetrated more than six inches into its snout, nearly reaching its brain. The predators who attack the porcupines sharing one burrow are great horned owls, leopards, coyotes, bobcats, mountain lions and wolves. Bobcats, cougars and fishers have learned that a porcupine has no quills on its stomach. This specie have however developed an advanced defense mechanism that makes predators think twice before they consider them for a meal. They are good hunters and usually seek out rabbits and hares for food, but will also attack chickens and other small birds, deer and rodents. Predators sometimes succumb to quills. Herbivorous predators, like krill, horses, and porcupines, consume autotrophs. Mammal Tracks and Sign: A Guide to North American Species. Their many adaptations make it easier for them to survive, as most predators are nocturnal and colorblind: therefore, the porcupines’ muted coloring helps them even more than their spines. Best Answer. New World porcupines’ predators include martens, wolverines, pythons, eagles, and great-horned owls. Porcupines vary in size considerably depending on species, however, they generally measure 60 – 90 centimetres (25 – 36 inches) in length (excluding tail which measures 20 – 25 centimetres (8 – 10 inches)) and weigh between 5 – 16 kilograms (12 – 35 pounds). Although they are not as attractive to hunt as many other wild animals from which the fur or the meat can be used immediately, porcupines are sought after by people in Southeast Asia, especially Vietnam, for eating. Porcupines do not carry any communicable diseases that are of concern to humans, except, as with any mammal, they can contract rabies. Predators have different means of killing and eating porcupines. Let's have a look at how they do this. They have a very varied diet, allowing them to attack sheep, rabbits, and hares, as well as any rodents. As a result of this injury, the lion had difficulty continuing to hunt and couldn’t remove the quill, therefore resorted to attacking humans, which lions wouldn’t normally do. A veterinarian should treat pets that have had a run-in with a porcupine. Porcupines have rounded bodies c… When the porcupine does attack, it moves its tail to hit its quills against the predator. In an effort to remove the quills, the predator can cause the barbed quills to work into the deep tissues. The only problem with this trick is that it does not last. Elephants have their size and tusks, lions have sharp teeth and claws and even a tiny bee has a sting to ward off danger. The North American porcupine is an herbivore; it eats leaves, herbs, twigs, and green plants such as clover. The fisher is the only habitual predator of the porcupine, and may suppress populations of this rodent. What sets porcupines apart from most rodents is their ability to protect themselves with their large spines, also called quills. Surprisingly, however, studies show that porcupines can actually kill lions, if not seriously injure them. The keratinous quills are modified hairs that grow back when shed and serve the important purpose of protecting these rodents from predators. Carnivorous predators are broken up into an additional two types: those that primarily scavenge carcasses, and those that primarily hunt and kill prey on their own. Rodents like porcupines are usually easy prey to a range of predators. Moreover, the most … Porcupines are well-known for their long, sharp quills that warn just about everyone to keep their distance. eval(ez_write_tag([[320,50],'factsking_com-medrectangle-3','ezslot_6',127,'0','0']));eval(ez_write_tag([[320,50],'factsking_com-medrectangle-3','ezslot_7',127,'0','1'])); As with most wildlife, humans are one of the leading predators for the porcupine. There are two different families of porcupines. They are not poisonous, but they still pose a danger of infecting the wounded tissue. As human populations expand, humans and porcupines find themselves in increasingly close quarters. Porcupines are well known for their pointy quills, which cover their backs, sides and tail to provide a natural protection against predators. Porcupines have a prickly and very dangerous supply of sharp quills. There are around 24 different species of porcupines across the globe and one thing that’s common among them is their pointed quills. Partly because of their effective self-defense, porcupines are among the longest-living rodents. If you check YouTube, you can probably find a video of a leopard dying of wounds inflicted by a crested porcupine it attacked. Most wildlife have some sort of adaptation to protect themselves against predators and rivals. They also have a special arrangment of their jaw muscles which helps them to chew more efficiently. Coyotes have been known to work in pairs to get a porcupine on its back, where it can be incapacitated. There is hystricidae, or Old World Porcupines, and Erethizontidae, the New World Porcupines. Predators include fishers, coyotes, bobcats, and mountain lions. A researcher posited that the only reason a lion in that situation was attacking a human was its frailty and the porcupine’s quill was the reason for it.eval(ez_write_tag([[300,250],'factsking_com-large-mobile-banner-2','ezslot_9',133,'0','0'])); In North America, mountain lions are especially fond of porcupines and attack them frequently for feeding on them. (Vaughn, et al., 2000) All porcupines have long claws. The great horned owl is a well-known predator of the porcupine, presumably due to a combination of intelligence (so knowing how to attack it in the ways it is vulnerable) and dexterity. Porcupines are covered with quills that painfully stick into almost any predator that tries to attack them. They wear a coat of sharp quills all over their body. Mechanicsburg, PA. Porcupines use the quills as a defense. Porcupines have a relatively high longevity and have held the record for being the longest-living rodent, with one individual living to 27 years, until the record was broken in 2002 by a naked mole-rat living to 28 years. Porcupines are covered with quills that painfully stick into almost any predator that tries to attack them. Quills are released by contact or may drop out when the porcupine shakes its body. Let’s have a look at the porcupine’s main predators. The “Old World” porcupines live mainly in southern Europe, Asia, and Africa. Some unfortunate carnivores have starved to death because a mouthful of quills has prevented them from eating. For the most part, predators leave porcupines alone. In fact, Vietnam is famous for having a massively declining porcupine population as a result.eval(ez_write_tag([[300,250],'factsking_com-medrectangle-4','ezslot_3',128,'0','0'])); It is more common to find porcupines’ quills used for decoration in Native American clothing and headdresses.eval(ez_write_tag([[300,250],'factsking_com-box-4','ezslot_4',129,'0','0'])); The fisher, or North American marten, is a fierce predator of the American porcupines. A fisher would attack the porcupine in order to eat it and they are known in the United States as maybe the foremost predator of porcupines, presumably because they like the taste of their meat. Sources: Elbroch, Mark. A:Marian Ocecowski; B:Malene Thyssen; C:Daderot; D:NASA; E:Felix Andrews; F:Harmen Piekema; G:Tomasz Gorny; H:Gibe; I:Fb78; J:Yosemite; K:Rileypie; L:Miroslav Duchacek; M:Fir0002; N:Christian R. Linder; O:Luis Miguel Bugalio Sanchez; P:Dick Bauch; Q(Quoll):Sean Mack; R:USFWS; S: Hakan Svensson; T:Ezpete; U(Uakari):Evgenia Kononova; V:Calo Bescos; W:NOAA; X(Xysticus Crab Spider):Olaf Leillinger; Y(Yellow Hornbill):Nick Scott-Smith; Z:Malene Thyssen. For the most part, predators leave porcupines alone. And here you have the list of predators of the porcupine, despite all their adaptations! Fishers are uniquely adapted to attack porcupines because of their size – they often go for the unprotected face, whilst bigger predators try to attack the full body and struggle with the quills.eval(ez_write_tag([[300,250],'factsking_com-banner-1','ezslot_1',130,'0','0']));eval(ez_write_tag([[300,250],'factsking_com-banner-1','ezslot_2',130,'0','1'])); The bobcat is part of the lynx family in North America, living predominantly in woodland but also in semi-desert as it is a very adaptable animal. Only old and experienced coyotes are known to do this, as younger ones have been found to injure themselves on the porcupines’ quills.eval(ez_write_tag([[320,50],'factsking_com-leader-1','ezslot_12',132,'0','0']));eval(ez_write_tag([[320,50],'factsking_com-leader-1','ezslot_13',132,'0','1'])); In the Old World such as Africa, the biggest predators for porcupines are the whole gamut of large wild cats, especially lions, who are clever enough to carefully flip the porcupines over and attack them in this way. One porcupine predator, the fisher, is able to flip the North American porcupine onto its back, exposing its unprotected belly. They do not. Bobcats, cougars and fishers have learned that a porcupine has no quills on its stomach. If you are interested, visit the Animal Facts Page! Porcupines cannot shoot them at predators as once thought, but the quills do detach easily when touched. As do wolves and coyotes. It gives porcupines the feeling that their predators are around, and then they’ll leave your yard. The North American porcupine has a strong odor to warn away predators, which it can increase when agitated. Porcupines are smart rodents; when they realize that … For this reason, porcupines do not have to fear being eaten by very many animals. The same approach as the marten would apply for attacking a porcupine, where the bobcat would look to turn it over and expose its belly to be able to effectively attack it.eval(ez_write_tag([[300,250],'factsking_com-large-leaderboard-2','ezslot_5',131,'0','0'])); Another North American predator of the porcupine is the coyote, another versatile predator who can be found far and wide in the United States, constantly enlarging its territory. These predators kill a porcupine by biting its unprotected face or by flipping it over to expose the vulnerable underside. The scent of some of the porcupine’s predators is beneficial. Wolves are extremely social creatures and often hunt in a pack. However, the quills do detach easily when touched, and microscopic barbs make removal difficult, once embedded in flesh. Contrary to popular belief, porcupines cannot shoot their quills at someone. A porcupine eats tender bark and twigs, along with other types of vegetation. But think about it. The major difference between Old and New world species is that the Old World porcupines live on the ground and often in small groups, while the New World porcupin… And, what do porcupines eat? Rodents make up about 40% of all the mammal species on Earth. They also like to eat outhouses, if you happen to have one. The best thing to do is to avoid them completely so neither you, your pets or porcupines get hurt. But few animals know this porcupine-eating trick. Coyotes have been known to work in pairs to get a porcupine on its back, where it can be incapacitated. 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