The Brazilian or Tree Porcupine is a mid-sized rodent with a body covered in quills that are actually keratin-toughened, semi-hollow, modified hairs. In defence, they may curl up to present their quills, shake so their quills rattle, or release their quills so they imbed into a predator’s skin. Unlike its relatives, the Brazilian Porcupine is highly adapted to life in the trees with its prehensile tail and long grasping claws.
Distribution: northern, central and eastern South America
Conservation status: Least Concern
Evolutionary distinctiveness: Low