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Porcupine (Erethizon dorsatum)

Porcupine (Erethizon dorsatum)
Photo Information
Copyright: Donald Lapointe (hibou) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 217 W: 1 N: 331] (1629)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2006-08-12
Categories: Mammals
Camera: Nikon D100, Sigma 50-500 F/4-6.3 EX HSM
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2006-08-29 8:39
Viewed: 5066
Points: 22
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note [French]
The is one of Canada’s best-known mammals, both in life and in legend. Its fame stems from its coat of quills, which keeps most enemies at a respectful distance.

The porcupine’s coat consists of a soft, brown, woolly undercoat and coarse, long guard hairs. At the base, each guard hair is brown, becoming darker near the tip, which may be white in eastern populations and yellow in the western ones. The guard hairs conceal the quills until the porcupine is aroused. The quills are longest on the back and tail and when raised push the guard hairs forward, forming a crest. On the face the quills are about 1.2 cm long; on the back they may be up to 12.5 cm in length. There are no quills on the muzzle, legs, or underparts of the body.

It has been estimated that the porcupine has over 30 000 quills, so it is not incapacitated by a single encounter with an enemy, when several hundred quills may be dislodged. As the quills are lost they are replaced by new ones, which are white and sharp and which remain firmly anchored in the skin until they are fully grown.

Each quill is hollow and embedded in the skin, where it is attached to a small muscle that pulls it upright in the fur when the animal bristles with alarm. About 0.6 cm from the tip, the quill tapers to a fine point closely covered by several dozen small black barbs. These barbs feel only slightly rough to the touch, but when they are moist—as when embedded in flesh—they swell, working the quill farther in. The quills have black tips and yellow or white shafts.


jmp, jossim, elefantino has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • cosmln Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor [C: 201 W: 12 N: 493] (1952)
  • [2006-08-29 10:50]

hi Donald,

i like a lot this pose.
with a perfect POV and i like that you cans see also part the habitat.

  • Great 
  • clnaef Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 778 W: 67 N: 645] (6814)
  • [2006-08-29 10:56]

Sympathique animal pris dans son milieu mais attention qui s'y frotte s'y pique !
Bonne journée

Hi Donald,

He looks very cute!! Good composition.
TFS greetz Kristy

  • Great 
  • jmp Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1659 W: 95 N: 2273] (8415)
  • [2006-08-29 13:33]

Hi Donald,
Pretty animal very well captured, with good details, color and composition. Interesting note.
TFS, José M.

  • Great 
  • jossim Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1538 W: 5 N: 2240] (12636)
  • [2006-08-29 18:45]

Bonjour Donald!

Bonne prise nature,j'aime bien la pose du spécimen sur le tronc d'arbre près à ce faire prendre en photo. Merci pour la note instructive et interessante. J'ai une photo d'un Porc-épic saisi cet été à Chalevoix,bientôt je vais la publier.


  • Great 
  • arfer Gold Star Critiquer [C: 2731 W: 0 N: 0] (0)
  • [2006-08-29 21:05]

Hello Donald

Really good capture of this porcupine.Lovely detail and colour . It is like he is posed for a portrait.Lovely natural surroundings.Excellent composition.TFS


  • Great 
  • manyee Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3089 W: 230 N: 6774] (23770)
  • [2006-08-30 2:30]

That is a very cute little guy, Donald.
You captured him in a great pose, with sharp details and very good light. The eye is clearly visible despite the black fur BG. Good POV and composition.
TFS. : )

Bonjour Donald et bravo!
Je n'ai jamais eu la chance de voir ce bel animal dans la nature. Vous l'avez très bien capturé avec de bons détails et une très belle pose! La composition et la lumière sont excellents! En plus, elle a été prise dans son milieu naturel! Merci de ces notes intéressantes à son sujet.


  • Great 
  • marjan Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 459 W: 14 N: 366] (2685)
  • [2006-08-30 11:57]

nice shot with good coloures and POV. TFS,

  • Great 
  • Gudule Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor [C: 248 W: 11 N: 288] (1204)
  • [2006-09-06 21:51]

Bonjour Donald,
Très belle photo de ce porc-épic capturé dans son élément naturel. Belle lumière qui n'altère pas les détails. Belle présentation.
Votre note que vous ajoutée est aussi très intéressante et très informative. Félicitations.


Great shot of this amazing animal.
Lovely !!

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