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New and Old World Porcupines

Porcupines are part of the Rodent family; however, they are classified into two main types: Old World and New World. The terms "Old World" and "New World" refer to the continents where these porcupines are primarily found. As well as the specific characteristics and adaptations they have developed that are suited to their habitats.



Cape Porcupine Image Source Franklin Park Zoo 2024 https://www.zoonewengland.org/franklin-park-zoo/our-animals/mammals/rodents/cape-porcupine/

Old World Porcupines are native to Africa, Europe, and Asia. They have quills that are grouped into clusters. Their diet is primarily bark, roots and various plant materials.







North American Porcupine - Image Source: Denali Education Center 2024 https://www.denali.org/natural-history/porcupines/

New World Porcupines are native to North and South America. The most notable difference is their quills, which are loosely attached, making them more prone to release upon contact. Their diet includes bark, leaves, fruit and the occasional insect.

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