They make their dens in hollow trees or in rocky areas. With a face full of quills, an attacking creature often retreats. The second-largest terrestrial spring in the Upper Peninsula is right here in the Porkies. Its roots derive from the Latin words porcus or pig and spina meaning thorns. They do not hibernate, but sleep in and stay close to their dens in winter. If another male approaches, he may fight for the right to mate. Porcupines are plant eaters. Porcupines do not throw their quills, but when threatened, they contract the muscles near the skin, which causes the quills to stand up and out from their bodies. Erethizon appeared in North America shortly after the two continents joined together in the later Tertiary period. To find the site, call ahead or stop into the visitor center and ask for the GPS coordinates. If a fisher locates a porcupine, it cannot hide by fleeing into a tree because the fisher can pursue it and force it down to the ground. The crystal-clear spring maintains a steady temperature of 32 degrees year round; when you reach it, you can peer down to its sandy, bubbling bottom from a floating dock above. , The most distinguishing feature of the porcupine is its coat of quills. Fish for trout and salmon on Lake Superior. 5. This historical site off South Boundary Road is now a ghost town, but for a short time in the late 1800′s it was home to a copper mining community, with a post office and even its own school. Zielinski, W. J., Duncan, N. P., Farmer, E. C., Truex, R. L., Clevenger, A. P., & Barrett, R. H. (1999). Porcupines can also die from falling out of a tree. E. d. couesi is the most southern ranging from northern Mexico to Colorado.  However, in some cases porcupine quills have indeed killed cougars, although usually this is after the cougar has already consumed the porcupine.. It grows up to 15 inches (38 cm) long. Learn more and find updates at the park’s DNR page, Facebook page, and the Friends of the Porkies website. They are commonly found in coniferous and mixed forested areas, but have adapted to harsh environments such as shrublands and tundra. The North American porcupine has a long gestation period relative to other rodents. The porcupine, the wolverine, and the skunk are the only North American mammals that have strongly contrasting black-and-white coloration, because they are the only mammals that benefit from letting other animals know where and what they are in the dark of night. They are used primarily for defense, but also serve to insulate their bodies during winter. They are approximately 25 to 36 inches long and have an 8- to 10-inch long tail. It can climb trees, so its favorite method is to position itself below the porcupine and knock it to the ground, where it is quickly dispatched. Either way, Shining Cloud Falls awaits at the end, encompassing two waterfalls in one. North American porcupines have a relatively long life expectancy. In the United States, they roam throughout both western and northern regions. It has a strong warning odor which it can increase when agitated.  Other colloquial names for the animal include quill pig. They are commonly found in coniferous and mixed forested areas, but have adapted to harsh environments such as shrublands and tundra. When the quills are in this position, they become easier to detach from the body, especially when a porcupine swings its tail toward an attacker. The porcupine's last line of defense is to climb a tree. Map out your Porcupine Mountains adventure today.  The characteristic odor comes from the R-enantiomer of delta-decalactone. Once a dominant male is successful, he approaches the female and uses a spray of his urine on the female. The North American porcupine has a strong odor to warn away predators, which it can increase when agitated. Downhill and Cross Country Skiing, Snowmobile, Snowshoe, backpack, camp at Lake Superior,in Michigans Upper Peninsula, near Ontonagon Michigan Other predators, such as canids, may attack but do not pose much of a threat.  The porcupine's scientific name, Erethizon dorsatum, can be loosely translated as "the animal with the irritating back". The smallest recorded one is the Bahia Hairy Dwarf Porcupine. At birth, they weigh about 450 g, which increases to nearly 1 kg after the first two weeks. 6. All told, the park has some 93 waterfalls, many of them unmarked and unnamed. So we gathered some insider tips from Michael Knack, who first fell in love with the Porkies on a backpacking trip roughly 20 years ago, and now is living the dream as the park’s supervisor. VaMoose Varmint will remove porcupines in these Michigan Counties. It appears that female fishers usually favor prey such as snowshoe hares. Porcupines weigh about 12 to 35 pounds and are rounded and large. Only a few drops touch the female, but the chemical reaction allows the female to fully enter estrus. The hike to reach the site is short, roughly a mile, and you’ll also be treated to a view of Nonesuch Falls. All porcupines have a few traits in common. As told above, porcupines are classified into two classes- old world and new world. In the summer months, they feed on fruits, vegetables, tender twigs, and leaves. Porcupines currently inhabit Michigan's Upper Peninsula and the northern part of our Lower Peninsula. Where porcupines are present it’s easy to find these runs in snow. The Porcupine Mountains, or Porkies, are a group of small mountains spanning the northwestern Upper Peninsula of Michigan in Ontonagon and Gogebic counties, near the shore of Lake Superior.The Porcupine Mountains were named by the native Ojibwa people, supposedly because their silhouette had the shape of a crouching porcupine. I have even seen a dead one on M-66 in northern Ionia co. once maybe 30 years ago. South American hystricomorphs first appeared in the Lower Oligocene period. It is also referred to as the Canadian porcupine or common porcupine. This strategy is successful against most attacks. The strength of the porcupine's defense has given it the ability to live a solitary life, unlike many herbivores, which must move in flocks or herds. None are in Michigan. By far the most common is E. d. dorsatum, which ranges from Nova Scotia to Alberta and from Virginia to the Yukon. The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Advance Local. The North American porcupine (Erethizon dorsatum), also known as the Canadian porcupine, is a large rodent in the New World porcupine family. Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State … Lodging. 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