The Stone Zoo has a new addition to the family, WCVB reports.
Prehensile-tailed porcupine parents (say that three times fast) Comica and Elvis recently gave birth to a baby, who can be seen inside the Windows to the Wild exhibit, according to WCVB.
According to information previously provided by Stone Zoo, Zoo New England participates in the Prehensile-tailed Porcupine Species Survival Plan (SSP), which is a cooperative, inter-zoo program coordinated nationally through the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). SSPs are designed to maintain genetically diverse and demographically stable captive populations of species.
Prehensile-tailed porcupines are born with their eyes open and a functional, prehensile tail. Infants have a dense coat of reddish hair and sharp natal quills about 15 millimeters long. There is very little direct contact between mom and offspring except for short periods when the baby nurses. The typical gestation period is 195-210 days and females typically give birth to one offspring.
Prehensile-tailed porcupines are primarily arboreal, nocturnal animals native to South America with an excellent sense of smell and hearing. They have yellowish to brown bodies with short black and white spines and a large furless nose. Their long prehensile tails are mostly without spines and have a callous pad on the upper side near the end. These animals use this long tail for grasping and hanging, and their clawed feet help them grip and climb. When threatened, prehensile-tailed porcupines may stand and stamp their hind legs, raise and shake their quills, and emit deep growls or high-pitched whines.
Prehensile-tailed porcupines differ from North American porcupines as they are smaller, more arboreal and have a long prehensile tail.