North American Porcupine


North American Porcupines are the second largest rodents in the United States, tipping the scales at 20 pounds.

Porcupines are covered in about 30,000 quills. They cannot throw or shoot their quills. Because quills are so lightly attached, they come off easily when a predator encounters them.

Despite spending most of their time on the ground, North American Porcupines are excellent climbers and surprisingly good swimmers.

Baby porcupines are born with soft quills that harden within 48 hours of birth.

Click HERE for a Porcupine Activity Sheet!

Our Current Residents

Lander, Female - Born 2019

Lander came to ZooMontana in 2019 after she was found next to her mother, who had been shot. She was raised here at the Zoo and is quickly becoming a guest favorite. Lander is in training to be an ambassador animal. She is currently on exhibit indoors with the Screech Owl, but will be moved outdoors with the Great Horned Owl once she is big enough.


  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Mammalia
  • Order: Rodentia
  • Family: Erethizontidae
  • Genus: Erethizon
  • Species: E. dorsatum

Animal Facts

  • Herbivore
  • Common
  • Forest and Grasslands
  • Mostly Nocturnal

Our Animals