A distinguishing feature of the Erethizontidae family is the presence of specialized hairs (quills/spines), which function in defense. Animals within this family primarily subsist on a diet of vegetation. This family is represented only by the North American porcupine in Canada.
The Erethizontidae family (porcupines)
- are primarily medium sized animals, but are large in comparison to other members of the order Rodentia. Considerable diversity exists between species within the family.
- are known for their poor vision, but compensate for this deficit with well developed olfactory and auditory senses. Some species are strictly nocturnal; however, the North American porcupine may be active at all times of the day.
References Forsyth, A. 1985. Mammals of the Canadian Wild. Camden House Publishing, Camden, Ontario.
Gorog, T. and Myers, P. 2000. " Erethizontidae" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. <http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Erethizontidae.html>. Accessed October 28, 2009.
Scotter, G. and Ulrich, T. 1995. Mammals of the Canadian Rockies. Fifth House, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.
Note: The species listed within this family only represent species for which the Hubbard Collection has specimens. It does not represent all existing species within this family.