Porcupine hangs on a willow tree branch, Alaska, USA
© Design Pics/Danita Delimon
Quills in the willow. Porcupine
He might look cute, but you’d be advised to keep your distance from this pudgy rodent, pictured in the US state of Alaska. Porcupines are more than able to defend themselves against perceived predators, if push comes to shove. Porcupine quills are lined with barbs which make them difficult, and extremely painful, to extract. And these little guys are covered with as many as 30,000 of them. Even the burliest bear or the toothiest cougar fears a snoutful of spines, so most forest predators are content to leave Spike here alone.