Porcupines are best known for their sharp, protective spines. Since they’re herbivores, they eat a diet that consists largely of plants. The exact diet that each individual porcupine eats varies with the seasons. The location where the animal lives also plays an important role.
Most North American porcupines consume flowers, buds, acorns, bark, twigs and leaves. The porcupine is a neat little creature because it has special bacteria inside of its digestive system. The bacteria are capable of breaking down the cellulose inside of wood.
Since they have a digestive system that can break down wood, porcupines eat lots of wood.
Winter and summer
During the winter, these animals feast on the inner bark from trees. However, winter is also a time when they consume evergreen needles. Depending on the location, they might also eat hemlock trees, ponderosa pine and sugar maple.
Although they eat several types of wood, porcupines also eat fruit. Apples are a favorite, and porcupines are also known to seek out salt because they like the taste.
What Do Porcupines Eat in the Wild?
In the wild, they prefer to eat potatoes, bark, cassava, fruit, buds and tubers. In the wintertime, tree bark is one of the main types of food that these rodents enjoy.
The main reason for this is because bark is plentiful, so porcupines almost never run out of food to eat. Although most of these animals are herbivorous, some species will snack on decaying animal carcasses.
Also called a quill pig, the porcupine is a special type of rodent, and it lives in the Western United States, Africa and Europe. With their sharp, spiny exteriors, they’re some of the oddest-looking rodents you’ll ever come across.
The sharp spines are used as a form of defense and can work quite well for this purpose. Most porcupines live inside of dens or burrows, and since they don’t hibernate, prefer to choose a safe place to live. Since they’re nocturnal animals, they come out at night.
They have poor eyesight but have been equipped with an incredibly strong sense of smell to compensate for it. A porcupine’s diet changes with each passing season.
The winter diet for this creature is quite limited and consists of dried fruits and acorns. With very sharp teeth, they’re able to penetrate trees and feast on the inner bark.
The porcupine is always active, so it’s always looking for a new source of food. As long as you don’t own a garden, you’ll probably have no problems with porcupines.
Unfortunately, these little rodents can get quite irritating if they run out of food sources because there is a good chance that they’ll eat the plants in your garden. This is much more likely to happen during winter, which is when food can be quite scarce.
Although they can serve as great pets, porcupines have an ongoing dispute with humans. The relationship that they have with humans is not very friendly.
When you consider the fact that humans run over porcupines with automobiles quite often, it’s not terribly difficult to understand why we don’t get along very well with them.
African Crested Porcupines
These little guys regularly injure humans, hyenas, leopards and lions. The African crested porcupine prefers to eat fallen fruit, bulbs, bark and tubers. They’ve also been known to consume cultivated root crops. They prefer to come out at night and forage.
Indian Crested Porcupines
You can find the Indian crested porcupine eating a mostly herbivorous diet. It eats lots of different agricultural and natural plant materials. Some of its favorite snacks are tubers, grains, fruits, bulbs and roots. However, it even has a sweet tooth for small vertebrates and insects.