Needlewool or tree porcupine (a photo of the animal can be seen in this article) belongs to the order of rodents from the family of mammals. There are 4 genera, which, according to some data, unite 12 species, and according to others - 23. The main part of the species lives in South America, from northern Argentina to Ecuador and Mexico. They appeared there during the Oligocene. In North America, only one species is common - porcupine, which has lived there since the end of the Pliocene.
Animal tree porcupine, depending on the species, refers to medium or large rodents. Body length ranges from 45 to 90 cm, and weight can reach 18 kg. Its massive body is covered with a fairly thick hairline, turning into bristles on the tail. Sharp needles are located in the tail and on the back of the animal, their length can be from 2.5 to 11 cm. The tree porcupine has a long and tenacious tail.
Needletails live in forested areas of the tropical and temperate zones. Perfectly adapted to life in trees. They are excellent, albeit slowly, they climb on them,some species arrange their nests in hollows. Others settle in the crevices of rocks or at the roots of large trees. The tree porcupine prefers a solitary life, although under certain circumstances it can let a guest in for a temporary stay.
The activity of these animals is mainly at night and twilight. In cold weather, they prefer to sit in their nests. The porcupine feeds on tree bark, leaves, needles of coniferous trees, various roots, fruits, seedlings and flowers. For food, they are able to climb a tree 18 m high. Various predators hunt them, these can be foxes, and wolves with coyotes, lynxes, bears, but the mustelid family is their main enemies. When the tree porcupine is attacked, it starts to bite and tries to prick the predator with its quills. And they inflict quite painful and inflamed wounds.
The reproduction rate of needletails is quite low. Only 1 cub is born per year from one female, but it is large and well developed. Small porcupines are born with open eyes and already developed hairline. They are immediately able to follow their mother and even climb trees. During the first year of a baby's life, his hair gradually changes into needles. The female during this period becomes very aggressive, at the slightest danger she not only releases her needles, but also begins to scratch, beat the enemy with her strong tail with jagged needles.
Long termThese animals cannot boast of life, they live only three years. And this is the case if they are not attacked by a predator or a person. The fact is that not only animals, but also local residents like to feast on wood porcupine meat. The needletail does not cause noticeable harm. The damage it can do is damage, or rather, ringing trees. Occasionally, he can go to the farmers' fields for grain, but he will trample on more than he will eat. These animals are very fond of s alt and can gnaw through the wall in a person's tent to find lard or any other traces of s alt there, even a person's sweaty clothes will be used. At first glance, the tree porcupine may seem clumsy, but don't underestimate it. A clumsy animal is actually very smart. For example, scientists have to work very hard to replace the batteries in collar-mounted transmitters. To do this, they mask the cells well in the foliage and lay the bait in them. But these tricksters somehow recognize the deception and ignore even the juicy apples laid out there.