North American Porcupine
Erethizon dorsatum
The North American Porcupine (Erethizon dorsatum) is a slow moving member of the rodent family. It is our 2nd largest rodent, only surpassed by the American Beaver in size in the United States. The porcupine is well known for its long, pointed spines or quills, which are actually modified hairs. These quills will penetrate clothing or skin and can cause a painful experience. Countless dogs have come whining home with a face full of quills from an encounter with one of these animals. The North American Porcupine in the top 8 images on this page was found at Lake Marvin, Hemphill County, Texas on a late afternoon in January, 2009. The animal was busily chewing on the bark of small tree branches and paid little mind to the 2 photographers standing below it.