While deciding a pet most people go with dogs or cats. Porcupines are a highly unusual and rare choice of pet. This cute video of ‘Teddy Bear’, the porcupette gorging on his favorite food has been doing rounds of the social media. The tiny little spine ball is thrilled when he finds a bowl full of pumpkin and instantly starts munching. While he is busy savoring the delicacy, the owners discover something rather unusual – Teddy is a fast learner and can speak as well. Him trying to say ‘pumpkin’ will melt your heart and make you consider about bringing home a porcupine. Maybe you would like to know a few things about these adorable creatures.
The word porcupine is borrowed from the Latin words ‘porcus’ and ‘spina’, and translates as quill pig. Belonging to the family of rodents there are more than twenty existing species of porcupine. The species native to southern Europe, Asia and Africa comprise the ‘Old World porcupines’ while the ones flourishing in North America and northern South America belong to the ‘New World porcupines’. While the old world species are nocturnal and terrestrial beings, the new world counterparts are smaller in size and arboreal.
Porcupines have higher longevity than most of the members in the rodent family. Though the average life span is 5-7 years, the longest living porcupine was 27 years old at the time of his death.
The porcupine spine is their defense mechanism against predators. The sharp needle like quill which is present on the back, sides and tail remains flat until the creature senses a threat. They detach quickly from the body of the rodent and thus effectively ward off any attacker. The new world variants are known to have as many as 30,000 quills on their body.
Before you decide to bring home these wild rodents it is essential to understand their eating habits. Porcupines are herbivorous animals and their food mostly consists of tubers, bark, fruits, potatoes and carrots. As you have seen in the video, Teddy loves munching on his favorite pumpkin. Though an unusual choice, these creatures are becoming popular among pet-lovers.