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Dogs are man’s best friend, but they have a bad habit of chasing animals that are not related to them. One of the many creatures dogs can come into contact with is the porcupine, a rodent that can drive sharp feathered barbs into its enemies. Dog and porcupine fight, who wins? Deciding the winner of this contest requires careful examination of each animal’s differences and strengths.
Since dogs come in all sizes, we’ll be using statistics from one of the most popular breeds, the Golden Retriever. That way, we can determine what happens to the average dog in this fight.
Comparing Dogs and Porcupines
|size||Weight: 55lbs-75lbs |
Height: 1.6ft-2ft shoulder height
|Weight: 12 lbs – 35 lbs |
|speed and movement type||– 25-35 mph||– 2 mph|
|defense||– Speed and agility |
– Roaring threat display
– A keen sense for recognizing threats
|– sharp quill |
– Composed of special hairs coated with keratin
– Some porcupines have groups of setae, while others have single setae interspersed in their hair
– Can hold a quill as part of a threat display
– Threat manifestations include quill cocking, tail rattling, growling, followed by physical attack.
|offensive ability||– Moderately powerful jaw |
– 42 teeth
– Somewhat sharp, strong canine teeth
|– Can spread their quills and walk backwards, forcing the animal to move in a certain direction |
– Recent studies have shown that these mammals run into other animals in order to kill them
– Only try stabbing people in critical situations or when the enemy is outnumbered
|predatory behavior||– a predator that hunts down certain animals |
– Domesticated dogs are not as keen predators as wild dogs or the wolves they evolved from
|– Herbivorous diet does not lead to predatory behavior|
What is the main difference between a dog and a porcupine?
The biggest difference between dogs and porcupines is morphological in nature. For example, a dog is a medium-length fur canine weighing between 55 pounds and 75 pounds, standing 2 feet at the shoulder and about 3.5 feet long, but a porcupine is a rodent with setae in its fur and weighs between 12 pounds and Between 25 lbs, stands just over 1 foot tall and approximately 2.5 feet long.
The differences between dogs and porcupines are significant. We have to examine these animals in terms of their differences and other major factors to see how they might affect combat.
What are the key factors in a dog and porcupine fight?
In a fight between a dog and a porcupine, the most important factors are their size, speed and attack style. In these respects, the two animals differ in almost every category. However, it is necessary to delve into these aspects of animals to find out which creature has the greatest advantage over another. Only then can we determine which animal is most likely to survive this conflict.
Dog vs. Porcupine: Size
Dogs are bigger than porcupines. A dog can grow up to 75 pounds while standing 2 feet at the shoulder and 3.5 feet long. However, porcupines can only grow up to 35 pounds, 1.5 feet tall and 2.5 feet long. In the animal kingdom, it is often the larger animals that win the fight.
Dogs have a size advantage.
Dogs and Porcupines: Speed and Movement
Dogs run faster than porcupines. Porcupines can move at around 2 miles per hour, but dogs can run at speeds of up to 35 miles per hour. Additionally, dogs have great flexibility to move and avoid other creatures.
Dogs have a speed advantage.
Dogs and Porcupines: Defense
Porcupines have amazing defenses compared to dogs. The porcupine’s fur is covered with sharp quills. When the animal tries to attack the porcupine, the spines penetrate their skin and fall off.
Porcupines have a threat display that involves spreading their quills, wagging their tails, growling, and then attempting to run backwards or sideways at an enemy.
Aside from their speed, threat presentation, and keen senses, dogs don’t have much in the way of defense. They can get rid of the trouble before it starts, but a dog’s fur and skin aren’t very protective.
The Porcupines have a defensive edge.
Dogs vs. Porcupines: Offensive Abilities
Dogs have great aggression. After all, they are descended from wolves. Dogs are known for their speed, bite strength, and instinct for how to take down a variety of prey. Most domesticated dogs cannot kill deer, but they can still attack smaller animals with ease.
Porcupines have almost no offensive capabilities. They will not attack prey unless they are desperate. Their attack style is unique. If prey outnumber them or have a numerical advantage over other animals, they will move sideways or backwards and impale the creature.
Attacks by porcupines have only been documented by scientists on a few occasions, but the behavior has led to porcupines successfully killing other animals.
Dogs have an offensive advantage due to their direct and effective attack methods.
Dogs and Porcupines: Predatory Behavior
Domestic dogs have limited predatory behavior. They are predators and will chase smaller animals and kill them, but when their owners provide them with food, they are not keen to hunt.
Porcupines are herbivores and do not have any predation behavior at all.
Dogs still have the instinct and skill to hunt, so they have an advantage.
Who would win a fight between a dog and a porcupine?
The porcupine will win the fight with the dog, but this would be a close one. Let’s look at a few scenarios to understand this decision.
In one case, a porcupine was attacked by a dog whose face and chest were covered in quills. In worst cases, these quills can kill a dog shortly after an attack or infection.
Most of the time, these setae are removed by a veterinarian, but over time they can still cause abscesses and complications that plague the dog.
In another instance, the dog might roll over the porcupine and kill it without getting the thorn, or by taking a few thorns that don’t stop the attack.
Finally, we have a situation where the dog is the aggressor and the porcupine is attacked. The dog has too many spines to keep attacking. The dog was forced to leave the porcupine because it was in too much pain or had too many quills to bite effectively. In this case, the porcupine wins.
Given these three circumstances, the porcupine must be considered someone more likely to leave a fight without being seriously injured or killed.
I am broadly interested in how human activities influence the ability of wildlife to persist in the modified environments that we create.
Specifically, my research investigates how the configuration and composition of landscapes influence the movement and population dynamics of forest birds. Both natural and human-derived fragmenting of habitat can influence where birds settle, how they access the resources they need to survive and reproduce, and these factors in turn affect population demographics. Most recently, I have been studying the ability of individuals to move through and utilize forested areas which have been modified through timber harvest as they seek out resources for the breeding and postfledging phases. As well I am working in collaboration with Parks Canada scientists to examine in the influence of high density moose populations on forest bird communities in Gros Morne National Park. Many of my projects are conducted in collaboration or consultation with representatives of industry and government agencies, seeking to improve the management and sustainability of natural resource extraction.