Prehensile Tailed Porcupine

Prehensile Tailed Porcupines are native to Central and South America. They are covered with whitish or yellowish quills interspersed with soft darker hair. Adults average 85 cm (34 in) in length of which half is their spineless prehensile tail. They weigh approximately 4.5 kg (10 lb).

These animals are almost totally arboreal and spend their entire life in trees. They are excellent climbers. Their diet consists mainly of vegetation such as leaves, shoots, fruit and bark. They are nocturnal.

Females give birth to a single young that weighs about 400 gm (14 oz.). This offspring will reach adult size in less than one year. The baby has no quills at birth and these harden from hairs over time.

Prehensile Tailed Porcupine @ Safari Niagara

  • We have two porcupines living at Safari Niagara
  • They take part in our daily Zooniversity shows

Scientific Classification

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Rodentia
Family: Erethizontidae
Genus: Coendou
Species: C. prehensilis

Did you know?

  • The life expectancy of porcupines in captivity is 12 to 17 years. One individual lived to be 27 years of age.
  • The greatest threat to these animals is loss of habitat.