Subjects: Science, Biology, Environment
Grade Levels: 3rd, 4th
Resources: pencils, markers, copies of the Porcupine Facts Word Search sheet
Time: 35 minutes
Made by: House of the Three Dinosaurs; Pennsylvania
Description: This word search contains key information on this unusual mammal: the North American Porcupine. Have fun and learn at the same time!
Additional information to support completion of the Porcupine Facts Word Search:
- Porcupines are mammals and members of the rodent family. Other rodents are mice, rats, squirrels, beavers, hamsters and guinea pigs. Rodents have orange or red teeth because their enamel is very rich in iron, which makes it strong. (Think Iron Man!)
- They live in forests, desserts, rock outcrops and hillsides. Some live in trees.
- They are herbivores and usually eat leaves, twigs, plants, clover, fruit, roots and tree barks.
- Their quills are really modified hairs covered by keratin. Keratin is what makes our fingernails hard.
- The quills are hollow, which makes it easy for a porcupine to float. They are pointy, but have a hook on the end, which gets embedded into their enemies’ skin and hurts the same way a fish hook would hurt us.
- Porcupines cannot shoot their quills. The quills generally lay flat until the porcupine is alarmed. These quills then spring erect, similar to us getting goosebumps when we’re scared. The erect quills make the porcupine look bigger and scarier. If that doesn’t scare the enemy off, some porcupines quiver and shake the hollow hills near their rump as a way to warn the enemy to back of. If that doesn’t work, the porcupine emits a fowl odor, chatters his teeth and stomps his back feet.