The porcupine ( Erethizon dorsatum ) is an animal that is plentiful in Cimarron county yet rarely seen. The main reason for this is that they are nocturnal. There are many reports of dogs with quills in their mouth nose and face from porcupines. Porcupines are fairly large. They can grow 18-22 inches long and weigh from ten to 30 pounds. They have soft underfur covered in coarse guard hairs. Their quills grow among the guard hairs. They can not shoot their quills, they swat their tail at attacking animals.

Porcupines prefer to live in poplar or conifer forests but do come out into grasslands to feed or find mates.

They eat twigs, leaves and buds in the summer. During the winter they eat the inner bark of trees. This usually does serious damage to the trees, even sometimes killing them.

Porcupines nest in rocky dens, burrows or hollow logs.

They have one baby that is well developed and can climb trees and eat leaves when only two days old.

Porcupines inhabit all the western states except parts of Washington , Oregon and California .

If you do happen upon a porcupine, give it plenty of room. Get out there and explore your world. You will find something fascinating!