Yes, porcupines can float, and some species can swim all thanks to their hollow quills.
Some porcupine types have hollow quills that help them float in water while other species like to avoid the water.
Of course, some species such as the North American, crested, and brush-tailed porcupines are keen swimmers.
Can Porcupines Float?
Porcupines can float thanks to their hollow quills. However, not all species of porcupine can swim.
Why Do Porcupines Float?
The hollow structure of their quills makes porcupines buoyant.
These sharp spines are solid at the tip and base but majorly hollow in the middle, with a light spongy material (the quill medulla) sealed off inside.
This helps porcupines float. Three keen swimmers are the
- Brush-tailed porcupines
- Crested porcupines, and the
- North American porcupine
Not all porcupine species are great swimmers! Some prefer to avoid the waters.
Porcupine quills are sometimes used by fishermen as floats.
ALSO SEE: Can Porcupines Climb Trees?
Do All Porcupines Float In Water?
Yes! All porcupines float in water but not all species can swim.
The North American, crested and brush-tailed porcupines are both buoyant and keen swimmers.
What Helps Porcupines Swim?
The hollow quills are very light, and not dense at all. This is how porcupines are able to float and use their paws to paddle themselves around the water.
Swimming this method uses minimal energy since it does not have to work to keep itself above the water.
Why Do Porcupines Swim?
Porcupines swim for the following reasons:
- To feed on some vegetation such as arrowheads and water lily that grows in the water.
- To cross to the other side
- To escape predators.