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What States Do Porcupines Live In?

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Unsurprisingly, the porcupine that lives in the USA is the North American Porcupine (Erethizon dorsatum). This animal is mostly found in coniferous and mixed forested areas in Canada, Alaska and much of the northern and western USA.

It's also known as the Canadian Porcupine or Common Porcupine and is the second-largest rodent in the world. The beaver is largest.
Although most likely found in the northern and western states, sustainable breeding populations of porcupines are known to exist in West Virginia too. They are also found in thicketed areas as far south as northern Mexico.
As with most animals, access to food governs where they live. But the porcupine, it would seem, is a particularly fussy eater. In a forest of hundreds of trees, only a couple will be acceptable to it. This means they have to have an intimate knowledge of their habitat and the ability to remember complex for long periods of time.
So they are quite clever beasts really, especially when you consider that they are nearsighted and slow-moving. They have a chunky body, a small face, short legs and a short thick tail but, of course, their most distinguishing feature is the near total covering of their body with thousands of sharp, barbed hollow spines.
They are used for defence but can't be thrown. Instead they detach easily and the barbs make them difficult to remove once lodged in an attacker. The quills are normally flattened against the body unless the animal is disturbed.
Porcupines also have antibiotics in their skin which prevent infection when they fall out of a trees or are stuck with one of their own quills.

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