North American porcupines often look very soft; however, the soft hair only hides their sharp quills. Porcupine quills are modified hair and are therefore shed in the same way as our own hair, simply by falling out. These quills typically lie flat but can be raised in defense if the porcupine feels threatened. The quills cannot be thrown at predators but do easily fall out, sometimes giving the illusion of being thrown.
North American Porcupines are excellent climbers and spend much of their time high in a tree.
Did You Know?
Baby Porcupines are born with soft quills that will harden in a few days after birth.