On the bookshelf

Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2012

Porcupines are unusual animals that pique our interest and our curiosity. Do they ever stick themselves or other porcupines with their spines? And now that we think about it, how many different species are there?
These and many other questions are addressed in Porcupines – The Animal Answer Guide. Porcupines are large rodents that live on leaves, tree bark and fruit. Their quills are specially adapted hairs. Presently, we have distinguished 26 different species, yet more species are still being discovered. Porcupines of the Old World and the New World are believed to have evolved separately, but they do have common ancestry.

The author really knows his porcupines. He compares and contrasts the anatomy, behaviour and reproduction of these animals, which are divided into Old World (Africa, Asia and Southern Europe) and New World (North and South America) species. Roze also addresses issues involving porcupine protection and conservation: for example, he tells of one Brazilian species that was so rare it had been considered extinct – until it was rediscovered in the 1980s.

Title: Porcupines – The Animal Answer Guide
Author: Uldis Roze
Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2012
ISBN-13: 9781421407364