New York State DEC Answers Burning Question About Porcupine Babies
On Mother's Day, The NYS Department of Environmental Conservation put out a really cute video. It was of a porcupette that was full of energy enjoying some quality time with the mother porcupine. Take a look.
Everyone watched as the porcupette was playfully trying to get on top of the mother's back. Then this question was asked: How did the baby porcupine avoid being quilled while climbing on the mom?
I'm sure that there are many dogs that would like to know the answer to this question too. The NYS Department of Environmental Conservation got the answer and this is what they said.
Why A Baby Porcupine Doesn't Get Quilled By The Mother Porcupine
Their wildlife biologists came up with a couple of different theories.
1) Most of the true quills on a porcupine are on the sides, back and tail. The head and neck areas have long guard hairs (like in the video). The quills on that part of their body are shorter, softer, and less abundant.
2) When a porcupine is relaxed, the quills lay flat and are less likely to get stuck in things. The exception would be if the porcupine was approached from the back at just the right angle. Which would be the wrong angle for the offending animal.
When they are threatened, the porcupine would turn its back and raise up its quills. That way, they could easily stick into anything that comes at them. I know what your next question is.
What about mating? Now "that's" a story for another day...maybe around Valentine's Day.