A large rodent with defensive spines or quills on the body and tail.
- Suborder Hystricomorpha: families Hystricidae (three Old World genera) and Erethizontidae (four New World genera). The common North American species is Erethizon dorsatum
More example sentences
- The rodent also seems to be an ancestor of the hystricognaths, a group of rodents that is spread across the globe and includes porcupines, African mole rats, guinea pigs, and chinchillas.
- They have to contend with elephants, hippos, bushpigs, porcupines, vervet monkeys, baboons and birds which are after their crops.
- Other animals photographed included elephants, sun bears, porcupines, clouded leopards, wild dogs, and panthers.
late Middle English: from Old French porc espin, from Provençal porc espi(n), from Latin porcus 'pig' + spina 'thorn'.
Definition of porcupine in:
- The British & World English dictionary