Roze and a colleague discovered that porcupine quills are coated in an antibacterial substance that fends off infection. More than 2,000 miles west, Appel's research on California porcupines, which inhabit a coastal dune ecosystem just south of the Oregon border, suggests trouble for the species as well. Unusual among rodents, porcupines have a low reproductive rate (one offspring annually) and long gestation period (seven months), making them vulnerable to human threats. [Extracted from the article]
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