‘Sharp’ dressed: National Zoo welcomes prehensile-tailed porcupine baby

Guardians of the Galaxy, eat your heart out: Here’s a real “Peter Quill.”

The Smithsonian National Zoo said Wednesday that prehensile-tailed porcupines Beatrix and Quillbur had their second baby overnight between Jan. 3 and Jan. 4.

“All are doing well!” the zoo said in a tweet. “Our team looks forward to seeing if the newborn will take after mom, who is easy-going, or be more active + curious like dad!”

Prehensile-tailed porcupines Beatrix and Quillbur at the National Zoo recently welcomed their second porcupette in early January. (Courtesy National Zoo)

According to the National Zoo, prehensile-tailed porcupines, also called coendous, are one of 12 species of New World porcupines.

They are native to South America, where they live in trees and eat fruits.

It could take up to six months to determine a prehensile-tailed porcupine’s sex because its sexual organs are internal, according to the zoo. So, instead, National Zoo scientists can analyze DNA extracted from a quill.

Get the baby names ready.

We’re still voting for “Peter Quill.”

Will Vitka

William Vitka is a Digital Writer/Editor for WTOP.com. He's been in the news industry for over a decade. Before joining WTOP, he worked for CBS News, Stuff Magazine, The New York Post and wrote a variety of books—about a dozen of them, with more to come.

Federal News Network Logo
Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up