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Photo Information
Copyright: Rene Lortie (rlortie) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 295 W: 59 N: 593] (2058)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2004-08-16
Categories: Mammals
Camera: Canon EOS 10D, Canon EF500/4L IS
Exposure: f/6.7, 1/20 seconds
Details: Tripod: Yes
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Mammals of Canada [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2004-12-21 19:26
Viewed: 8354
Favorites: 1 [view]
Points: 46
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
I was walking on that trail in Forillon National Park early in the morning when I met this guy.
The long lens permitted me to take this shot without disturbing him.

(Erethizon dorsatum, Porcupine, Porc-épic in french):
This robust rodent usually weighs around 22 pounds. Its blunt-nosed face has small eyes, and small, round ears. The legs are powerful with long curved claws making it slow-footed and strong. The front half of the body is covered in long guard hairs which are black or brown. The rump and tail are covered in over 30,000 quills which are 1-2.5 inches in length and set with tiny, scalelike barbs.

Porcupines are strict vegetarians. In the Spring they feed on leaves, twigs and green plants. In Winter, they chew through the outer bark of fir, hemlock, aspen and pines trees to eat the tender layer of tissue below. Sometimes, they will completely girdle, and thus kill, trees. They may also gnaw used ax handles, canoe paddles and other items for the salt and oil they contain. The two large, front gnawing teeth continue to grow as long as the Porcupine lives.

When threatened, the North American Porcupine places his snout between his forelegs and spins around presenting its rear to the enemy. If attacked, contrary to popular belief, the Porcupine does not throw its quills; instead, it drives its tail against the assailant and dozens of quills detach easily from the skin to remain embedded in the attacker. If hit in the face, a predator such as the Wolf, Bobcat or Mountain Lion may die of starvation when they find it impossible to remove the quills and are thus unable to eat.

Technical note
ISO 400
Distance: 19m (60 feet)
Only sharpened in PS CS.

Luc, willie, LordPotty, Signal-Womb, mogens-j, JeanMichel, sandpiper2, roconnell, LCannon, Leace, Andrieux, papou, saguzar, lovenature, Alan_Kolnik, robmurray has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To sandpiper2: Porcupine classificationrlortie 1 12-23 17:52
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • Luc Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1835 W: 301 N: 4287] (14767)
  • [2004-12-22 0:30]

Excellent portrait René. Je n'en ai jamais vu d'aussi près en liberté. Le dernier que j'ai vu c'était au Biodôme cet été.
Je n'ai rien à redire sur ton Porc-épic non plus. J'ai beau chercher des défauts je n'en trouve aucun. Il ne me reste donc qu'à te féliciter pour cette autre excellente présentation: photo et note du photographe.

Good post Rene. These guys in South Africa are very different. They have some serious armour in the form of sharp quills. They are nocturnal and many farmers see them as a nuisance as they do a lot of damage to their crops.

A nice clear shot Rene. I think it would have been good if you could have got him all in the frame. (shot a bit low and too far to the left)
Very interesting and comprehensive notes.
Well done. TFS

Very nice, I am looking forward for quiet a while for an encounter with this guy but he avoids me ... Outstanding facial features and general detail, posture is incredible too ... BRAVO !

Composition: ****
Sharpness: ****
Color: ***
DOF: ***
POV: ***
Note: ***

Great portrait, he almost look human.
Well done.

Charming little fellow with great posture and sharp detail. IMHO to tight a crop. I would have preferred to see him whole. Overall a very good post with great note.

Good capture of a funny looking fellow Rene. Very nice details in the fur and a nice tight composition. Interesting note too.

Etonnant! Jamais vu de porc-épic avant celui-ci. Excellente photo faisant bien ressortir la texture de son pelage. Pattes et griffes bien détaillées. Ce petit bout de langue rose qui dépasse et sa pose presque humaine le rendent tout à fait sympathique. Excellente photo, et (en tout cas pour nous en France) un animal qu'on ne voit que dans les zoos. Merci de nous le faire découvrir.

  • Great 
  • japie Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1814 W: 100 N: 1904] (5187)
  • [2004-12-23 15:45]

I have seen lots of pocupines, but never in this pose. I love it. Excellent POV and sharpness.

Very well done and thanks for posting.

A very differnt pose for this species. I didn't know they were rodents, I had always assumed they were mamals. Its a little dark, but I suppose that's the nature of its colour. Well done.

Hello Rene

What a great looking charachter this chap is. The shot is so close and clear. Really excellent post. Thanks for sharing

A great view of an animal that one rarely gets very close to. Beautiful detail in the eyes and quills. Well done.

Awwwww....he looks so cute and cuddly. I never realized porcupines could look cuddly. Glad to hear you used a telephoto to capture this, I was worried there was a "Hospital Story" to go along with this photo!
Perfect, beautiful shot, very informative note. Excellent!

This fellow looks downright pugnacious, ready to take on the world.

I'll moidah da bum!

Interesting expression and body position he has. I love how the white tips of his hair on his head and those menacing quills on his tail show so clearly. Great composition, too!

Hahah exellent, looks like an hairy guy.

Very good Picture.
Very sharp, very clear.

  • Great 
  • livios Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2150 W: 319 N: 4263] (16942)
  • [2005-02-21 12:18]

René, funny and cute shot. Excellent sharpness and nice pov. Very nice bg.


Je n'avais jamais vu un porc-épic comme cela. Merci d'avoir partagé. Amicalement. Serge

hahahahahaaaaaa, that was one cool porcupine!!!
He looks like he wants to start a brawl.

great capture indeed

Voilà une belle image d'un animal que l'on voit assez peu souvent en photo. Dommage pour le cadrage, mais j'imagine que tu n'as pas vraiment eu le temps de paufiner avant de déclencher :-)

Hola René,
Photo excellente, foyer très bon, mais le meilleur je pense qui est le regard de cet porc - épic, paraît qu'elle a quelque chose d'"homme".
Tout est 10 points.
Pardon par mon français, il n'est pas très bon.

Nice shot Rene. This little porcupine looks like he posing for you. Nice detail and composition. Janice

O my goodness, this is such a nice capture. Your timing is exquisit. I love the clarity and simplicity of the image.
Just beautiful!

Very strong picture of this animal - looks almost like a grizzly bear at first glance. I have seen similar procupines in the Jordan Vally in Israel - the bedouin like to eat them, apparently the flesh is very tasty.

A great shot Rene. A real shame you cropped his back slightly however a fantastic pose and great set of notes. I'm not sure if he really looks like a cheerful old chap or if he's spoiling for fight! Many thanks.

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