Montana Official State Travel Site
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Chances are, you won't confuse porcupines with other animals; porcupines are the only ones covered with thousands of sharp quills between one and five inches long. The shortest quills are on their cheeks, the longest are on their backside. Contrary to popular belief, porcupines can't shoot their quills. However, their quills are loosely attached and are barbed on the ends. One light brush will cause the quills to stick, as many an unlucky dog has found out. (Yet another reason to avoid bringing pets into the wild.) The only place where porcupines don't have quills is on their bellies. They move slowly, but they are excellent climbers.

Erethizon dorsatum

So how do porcupines mate? Very carefully. One baby is born per year. Yes, babies are born with quills, but the quills are soft during delivery and harden in less than an hour. After that, there's very little parental care. Hey, who needs parents when you have quills? As you might guess, porcupines are not the most social rodents. However, they are not aggressive; they're just defensive. Porcupines live throughout Montana wherever there are coniferous trees to feed on.