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Wild Inside the National Zoo:

Can a Porcupine Shoot Its Quills?

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Can a Porcupine Shoot Its Quills?

Short | 01:04

A porcupine's prickly coat of quills is its first line of defense. But what can these small mammals really do with their home-grown needles. A caretaker at the National Zoo clarifies. #ZooQs

More About This episode

As part of its reproduction program, Smithsonian's National Zoo arranges for animals to be brought together in hopes they'll "get along." But blind dates are just the beginning. The zoo's expecting mothers go through a full prenatal care program, complete with regular ultrasounds. There's no guarantee of success, but the rewards are worth it: a new generation of rare animals. Join the zoo's caretakers as they tend to two moms-to-be, Bess, a prehensile-tailed porcupine, and Maripi, a giant anteater whose baby is due any day now.

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