The porcupine is one of the most recognizable creatures in the world. It has the unique distinction of having barbed quills atop a body the size of a small dog. The quills are actually hairs with barbed tips that cover all but the belly side of the animal. Longer quills are found near the rear of the animal with the quills on its cheek the shortest. The porcupine’s quills lie flat on the animal unless threatened.
The undersides of the animal do not have quills and instead is covered with bristle like fur including the muzzle, belly and tail.
To look at a porcupine you will note a black to brownish animal in the eastern portions of its range and a more yellow animal in the west. The animal measures about thirty (30) inches long and weighs in anywhere from ten (10) to twenty (20) pounds.
They stand on short stocky legs on top of some fairly unique feet. The front feet have four (4) clawed toes, the rear feet have five clawed toes, and they small, textured knobs on the pads of each foot.