A quill from a porcupine can penetrate very deeply into their aggressor, and in one case a lion has been found with a quill that have been penetrated more than six inches into its snout, nearly reaching its brain. They are not poisonous, but they still pose a danger of infecting the wounded tissue. The fisher is the only habitual predator of the porcupine, and may suppress populations of this rodent. Specifically with porcupines, coyotes have been seen attacking them in pairs – flipping them on their backs and feeding on their bellies. And, what do porcupines eat? So one of these predators will sometimes kill and eat a porcupine by flipping it onto its back and biting into its vulnerable belly. Porcupines are covered with quills that painfully stick into almost any predator that tries to attack them. These predators kill a porcupine by biting its unprotected face or by flipping it over to expose the vulnerable underside. In fact, Vietnam is famous for having a massively declining porcupine population as a result.eval(ez_write_tag([[300,250],'factsking_com-medrectangle-4','ezslot_3',128,'0','0'])); It is more common to find porcupines’ quills used for decoration in Native American clothing and headdresses.eval(ez_write_tag([[300,250],'factsking_com-box-4','ezslot_4',129,'0','0'])); The fisher, or North American marten, is a fierce predator of the American porcupines. It gives porcupines the feeling that their predators are around, and then they’ll leave your yard. Porcupines are smart rodents; when they realize that … Three animals, however, has figured out how to eat porcupines. There are two different families of porcupines. Porcupines have needles to protect themselves. The scent of some of the porcupine’s predators is beneficial. Porcupines have a relatively high longevity and have held the record for being the longest-living rodent, with one individual living to 27 years, until the record was broken in 2002 by a naked mole-rat living to 28 years. Let’s have a look at the porcupine’s main predators. Mechanicsburg, PA. Porcupines have rounded bodies c… The best thing to do is to avoid them completely so neither you, your pets or porcupines get hurt. eval(ez_write_tag([[320,50],'factsking_com-medrectangle-3','ezslot_6',127,'0','0']));eval(ez_write_tag([[320,50],'factsking_com-medrectangle-3','ezslot_7',127,'0','1'])); As with most wildlife, humans are one of the leading predators for the porcupine. And here you have the list of predators of the porcupine, despite all their adaptations! The predators who attack the porcupines sharing one burrow are great horned owls, leopards, coyotes, bobcats, mountain lions and wolves. Porcupines are herbivores and especially like wood. They have a very varied diet, allowing them to attack sheep, rabbits, and hares, as well as any rodents. Mammal Tracks and Sign: A Guide to North American Species. Moreover, great horned owls are also the only predators that feed on skunks as a matter of course, which makes the porcupine more exposed as their appearance cannot put off owls (as it would other predators who are not interested in skunks for prey). Predators include fishers, coyotes, bobcats, and mountain lions. Porcupines have a prickly and very dangerous supply of sharp quills. Wolves are extremely social creatures and often hunt in a pack. However, they still have a lot of natural predators who hunt them against all odds. If that doesn't work, they may charge backwards into the predator. All porcupines have a few traits in common. (Vaughn, et al., 2000) All porcupines have long claws. These include the coyote, red fox, black bear, bobcat, mink, marten, long-tailed weasel, ermine, and great horned owl. Porcupines cannot shoot them at predators as once thought, but the quills do detach easily when touched. Elephants have their size and tusks, lions have sharp teeth and claws and even a tiny bee has a sting to ward off danger. They do not have canine teeth. However, the quills do detach easily when touched, and microscopic barbs make removal difficult, once embedded in flesh. When the porcupine does attack, it moves its tail to hit its quills against the predator. The porcupine is best known for its sharp spikes and fierce look, helping it shield itself from predators. Predators sometimes succumb to quills. But think about it. The same approach as the marten would apply for attacking a porcupine, where the bobcat would look to turn it over and expose its belly to be able to effectively attack it.eval(ez_write_tag([[300,250],'factsking_com-large-leaderboard-2','ezslot_5',131,'0','0'])); Another North American predator of the porcupine is the coyote, another versatile predator who can be found far and wide in the United States, constantly enlarging its territory. Fishers are a primary predator of porcupines, but quills have been found embedded in coyotes, cougars, bobcats, foxes, lynxes, bears, wolves and even Great Horned Owls. A porcupine eats tender bark and twigs, along with other types of vegetation. Fishers are uniquely adapted to attack porcupines because of their size – they often go for the unprotected face, whilst bigger predators try to attack the full body and struggle with the quills.eval(ez_write_tag([[300,250],'factsking_com-banner-1','ezslot_1',130,'0','0']));eval(ez_write_tag([[300,250],'factsking_com-banner-1','ezslot_2',130,'0','1'])); The bobcat is part of the lynx family in North America, living predominantly in woodland but also in semi-desert as it is a very adaptable animal. Herbivorous predators, like krill, horses, and porcupines, consume autotrophs. Another popular misconception is that porcupines shoot their quills at predators. What sets porcupines apart from most rodents is their ability to protect themselves with their large spines, also called quills. They make shake them, which makes them rattle, as a warning to potential predators. The smallest porcupine is the Rothschilds Porcupine from South America which weighs only 1 kilogram (2.2 pounds). Porcupines use the quills as a defense. As do wolves and coyotes. The only problem with this trick is that it does not last. These practices have eliminated them from densely settled areas. Rodents make up about 40% of all the mammal species on Earth. What sets porcupines apart from most rodents is their ability to protect themselves with their large spines, also called quills. It has been speculated that mountain lions contributed to almost wiping out porcupine populations in places like Nevada (where a 1997 study found that, in three years, the total number of porcupines decreased from 80 to 5, all down to mountain lions’ attacks). They are smoked out of their burrows and hunted with spears, nets, or dogs. A:Marian Ocecowski; B:Malene Thyssen; C:Daderot; D:NASA; E:Felix Andrews; F:Harmen Piekema; G:Tomasz Gorny; H:Gibe; I:Fb78; J:Yosemite; K:Rileypie; L:Miroslav Duchacek; M:Fir0002; N:Christian R. Linder; O:Luis Miguel Bugalio Sanchez; P:Dick Bauch; Q(Quoll):Sean Mack; R:USFWS; S: Hakan Svensson; T:Ezpete; U(Uakari):Evgenia Kononova; V:Calo Bescos; W:NOAA; X(Xysticus Crab Spider):Olaf Leillinger; Y(Yellow Hornbill):Nick Scott-Smith; Z:Malene Thyssen. Three animals, however, has figured out how to eat porcupines. Although they are not as attractive to hunt as many other wild animals from which the fur or the meat can be used immediately, porcupines are sought after by people in Southeast Asia, especially Vietnam, for eating. The keratinous quills are modified hairs that grow back when shed and serve the important purpose of protecting these rodents from predators. There are around 24 different species of porcupines across the globe and one thing that’s common among them is their pointed quills. Diet. Bobcats, cougars and fishers have learned that a porcupine has no quills on its stomach. Porcupines do not carry any communicable diseases that are of concern to humans, except, as with any mammal, they can contract rabies. Carnivorous predators are broken up into an additional two types: those that primarily scavenge carcasses, and those that primarily hunt and kill prey on their own. Contrary to some wildlife folklore, porcupines cannot “shoot” quills, rather their barbed quills penetrate and stick upon contact with any animal or object that it finds threatening. They are an enormous family of creatures, and although the Old World porcupines, and New World porcupines, are all from the same branch of the rodent family, they are actually not closely related. The North American porcupine is an herbivore; it eats leaves, herbs, twigs, and green plants such as clover. If you are interested, visit the Animal Facts Page! This has allowed them to attack porcupines successfully, because as a group they are turning them over and getting access to them without the defense of their quills.eval(ez_write_tag([[300,250],'factsking_com-large-mobile-banner-1','ezslot_8',134,'0','0'])); As wolves are highly intelligent, it is now wonder they have learnt about the porcupines’ weaknesses and are exploiting them in this way.eval(ez_write_tag([[250,250],'factsking_com-leader-2','ezslot_14',135,'0','0'])); Lynxes (from the same family as bobcats) routinely attack European porcupines, flipping them over and successfully preying on them for food. Quills are released by contact or may drop out when the porcupine shakes its body. Their quills can indeed be released, but through other mechanisms, such as contact. However, with such a spiky physique, they would surely have some difficulty in the bedroom. Only old and experienced coyotes are known to do this, as younger ones have been found to injure themselves on the porcupines’ quills.eval(ez_write_tag([[320,50],'factsking_com-leader-1','ezslot_12',132,'0','0']));eval(ez_write_tag([[320,50],'factsking_com-leader-1','ezslot_13',132,'0','1'])); In the Old World such as Africa, the biggest predators for porcupines are the whole gamut of large wild cats, especially lions, who are clever enough to carefully flip the porcupines over and attack them in this way. Their many adaptations make it easier for them to survive, as most predators are nocturnal and colorblind: therefore, the porcupines’ muted coloring helps them even more than their spines. If you check YouTube, you can probably find a video of a leopard dying of wounds inflicted by a crested porcupine it attacked. Bobcats, cougars and fishers have learned that a porcupine has no quills on its stomach. I hope that this article on porcupine predators was helpful! When porcupine populations close to cultivated areas surge, they can become serious agricultural pests. Some unfortunate carnivores have starved to death because a mouthful of quills has prevented them from eating. Let's have a look at how they do this. Porcupines are well-known for their long, sharp quills that warn just about everyone to keep their distance. Get smart with the Thesis WordPress Theme from DIYthemes. There are many carnivorous predators in the world, including wolves, cougars, owls, and snakes. For the most part, predators leave porcupines alone. Plus they have an intense craving for salt. This allows an animal to draw in its lips while gnawing. Now that is curious. One porcupine predator, the fisher, is able to flip the North American porcupine onto its back, exposing its unprotected belly. Outhouses collect a lot of urine which is loaded with salt. Porcupines are rodents with an interesting way to protect themselves from predators. It is a large rodent encountered equally in the “Old World” and in North America and northern South America. Moreover, the most … A fisher would attack the porcupine in order to eat it and they are known in the United States as maybe the foremost predator of porcupines, presumably because they like the taste of their meat. For the most part, predators leave porcupines alone. Let’s have a look at the porcupine’s main predators. A researcher posited that the only reason a lion in that situation was attacking a human was its frailty and the porcupine’s quill was the reason for it.eval(ez_write_tag([[300,250],'factsking_com-large-mobile-banner-2','ezslot_9',133,'0','0'])); In North America, mountain lions are especially fond of porcupines and attack them frequently for feeding on them. Best Answer. The “Old World” porcupines live mainly in southern Europe, Asia, and Africa. Yes, mountain lions, humans, bears, fisher cats, great horned owls all prey upon porcupines. However, other species of porcupines are found in South America and Africa, and they have many predators. They also like to eat outhouses, if you happen to have one. The odor is generated by a patch of skin called the rosette, on the lower back where modified quills serve as osmetrichia to broadcast the smell. For this reason, porcupines do not have to fear being eaten by very many animals. The largest porcupine is the African Porcupine which can weigh over 20 kilograms (44 pounds). So if you see wood-handled tools or canoe paddles knawed on, it just might be a porcupine. The main safety issue is the possibility of being quilled. Furthermore, they make a clattering sound that deters predators, and when they raise their spines, they look a lot like a skunk, which can also confuse any other animal looking to hunt a porcupine. Predators: Many animals occasionally kill porcupines, especially young ones. The most obvious trait is the long, sharp quills that cover their bodies. The major difference between Old and New world species is that the Old World porcupines live on the ground and often in small groups, while the New World porcupin… For this reason, porcupines do not have to fear being eaten by very many animals. Porcupines are well known for their pointy quills, which cover their backs, sides and tail to provide a natural protection against predators. But the fisher is the one that porcupines fear the most as it is more specialized in dealing with them. The North American porcupine has a strong odor to warn away predators, which it can increase when agitated. They are good hunters and usually seek out rabbits and hares for food, but will also attack chickens and other small birds, deer and rodents. Predators do not want to be stuck with the needles so they avoid hunting and eat this animal. However, they still have a lot of natural predators who hunt them against all odds. 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