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Brazilian Prehensile-tailed Porcupine

Coendou prehensilis

Fast Facts

  • Their tails are about the same length as their bodies
  • Babies are ready to climb soon after birth
  • They spend most of their time in trees


South America




2 to 3.5 feet from nose to tail


leaves, flowers, roots, nuts


Prehensile-tailed porcupines are covered in black and white quills that sometimes have a yellowish tint. The porcupine’s unusually large nose helps them to find food. Male and female porcupines look very similar. These porcupines use their prehensile tail to grasp things, like tree branches, as they climb. This useful tail is about as long as the porcupine’s body.


Prehensile-tailed porcupines are nocturnal, so they sleep all day and are awake at night. They spend the majority of their time in trees. These porcupines cannot shoot their quills but will shake them to scare off predators. Prehensile-tailed porcupines are solitary animals, usually found alone.


Prehensile-tailed porcupines reach sexual maturity around 19 months old. The mother is pregnant for 203 days. Typically, only one baby is born. The baby’s quills are soft when they are born and harden after a week.

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