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North American Porcupine

North American Porcupine
Photo Information
Copyright: Billy C Banks (K9madtex) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 122 W: 67 N: 278] (1022)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2007-02-09
Categories: Mammals
Camera: Canon 5D, Canon 70 - 200 f2.8L IS USM, Canon 72mm UV Haze
Details: (Fill) Flash: Yes
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2008-02-14 6:32
Viewed: 5490
Favorites: 1 [view]
Points: 32
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
I took this shot at San Angelo State Park after some friends pointed him out to me. He had been there in the tree all day without moving. He let us get really close and didn't seem to care about our presence at all. He occasionally looked up to judge if we were a threat. It was around 4 p.m. so the Sun is low in the sky and creating a nice backlight through his hair.

North American Porcupine - Erethizon dorsatum

Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Rodentia
Family: Erethizontidae
Genus: Erethizon

The porcupine is a rodent. It has black to brownish-yellow fur and strong, short legs. It has hairless soles on its feet that help it climb trees. It has a round body, small ears and a small head. The most recognizable feature of the porcupine is its quills. A porcupine may have as many as 30,000 quills. The quills are hairs with barbed tips on the ends. Quills are solid at the tip and base and hollow for most of the shaft. The porcupine has quills on all parts of its body, except for its stomach. The longest quills are on its rump. The shortest quills are on its cheeks.

The porcupine uses its quills for defense. The porcupine cannot shoot its quills. When a predator approaches, the porcupine will turn its back, raise the quills and lash out at the threat with its tail. If the porcupine hits an animal with its quills, the quills become embedded in the animal. Body heat makes the barbs expand and they become even more deeply embedded in the animal's skin. If an animal is hit in a vital place it may die. The porcupine is not an aggressive animal. It will only attack if it is threatened. Some animals, like the fisher, are experts at attacking porcupines.


jaycee, bobcat08, vanderschelden, eqshannon, wahclella, angybone, Adanac, rcrick has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • Jamesp Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1369 W: 9 N: 6334] (18906)
  • [2008-02-14 7:05]

Hi Billy

I find these really interesting animals - I don't know why - just do. Great shot - good pose and detail.


What a good looking guy you have captured here, Billy.
Well done ad TFS

  • Great 
  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2008-02-14 7:36]

Hi Billy,

I love these porcupines! Wonderful shot. You caught him in a great pose.


  • Great 
  • pvs Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1127 W: 254 N: 3161] (14464)
  • [2008-02-14 8:15]

Hi Billy,

A great upload with good POV and sharpness,colors,well done and tfs


Hello Billy,
Thank you for sharing this interesting animal with us, my encounter with it! much appreciated!
good pose with superb sharpness, real colour and so much details also your informative notes
best regards

  • Great 
  • jesst Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 368 W: 0 N: 172] (2441)
  • [2008-02-14 10:34]

Amazing animal and very good shot. Great detatil adn sharp. TFS

Hello Billy,

Completly something different. Its surprise me. But a very surprise. A really interesting animal. Have a very ncie diagonal pose. Colors are fine and natural. A loft of fine details. Good shot and good notes. Greetings and TFS BOB

That fella was worth more than one image for sure..You are not exactly what I think of when I think military.. Who teaches whom in this mans air force?:-) I really wanted to be in the USAF but got bumped out and went RA Army...they finally put me working at the base newspaper at Walter Reed back in the early 1960's...so there are folks in the service who really understand creative folks like you and me! Nice collection Bill!

Hello billy,
Another great catch through your lens. It is seldom that we are afforded the opportunity to see these porcupines any more. I have only seen one myself, and that was of all places, at the Painted Hiils Unit of the John Day Fossil Beds. A dry and barren landscape with few trees, but it must have wanted one of the few for its next meal.
Excellent shot...

  • Great 
  • Dando Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor [C: 637 W: 32 N: 792] (3084)
  • [2008-02-15 2:47]

Hi Billy,

Nice shot, excellent details and I love the light on his back. Nicely captured well done.



Looks like my hair in my morning. ha ha

Great shot - - - you created a nice balance with the "V" in the tree limb. Great subject too! Not seen too often around here.

  • Great 
  • demeve Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 586 W: 12 N: 1682] (6165)
  • [2008-02-15 13:08]

Hello Billy,
What a beautiful Porcupine! great shot, I didn't know
they go up on trees.. Very well composed.. Well done


  • Great 
  • arfer Gold Star Critiquer [C: 2731 W: 0 N: 0] (0)
  • [2008-02-16 13:57]

Hello Billy

One of the better porcupine shots I have seen.You managed excellent detail and exposure.The fur and quill texture shows well.
The face and limbs are visible,and the natural setting is super.
Excellent colour saturation,and you have even managed a lovely catch light in the eye.
The pose is tremendous,the head,limbs and tail are all evident,and usually their body language makes them a big blob of fur.



Hi Billy,
This is a great capture of this cute animal! I wish that I'll have the chance to see one in real someday :) I like those great details, beautiful pose and lightning and lovely catch light in his eye. You must be proud of this picture. Thanks,

  • Great 
  • Adanac Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1273 W: 1 N: 6188] (21378)
  • [2008-02-25 16:46]

Hello Bill,
Wonderful capture of what I always think of as a very cute creature, they look cuddly until you get close. Great details and colors obtained by your good camera work, thank you Billy.

Hi Billy,
Must have missed this one, excellent shot, the detail is just awesome, love the backlighting, perfect POV, nice one, all the best Cheers Rick :)

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