This North American Porcupine - (Erethizon dorsatum) was seen at Snowbird Ski Resort in Utah in December 2004. I know it isn't from Tennessee, but it was so interesting I wanted to share it on this section. Porcupines are rodents, like squirrels, mice, and rats. It was easy to see where they had been eating, there were small pieces of spruce (or Fir?) twigs on the ground below the tree (they are messy eaters!).
The porcupine's fur was interesting, I was really surprised to see the long yellow hairs that stuck out wildly among the more dense brown fur. The famous quills were barely visible. The yellow hairs may be for camoflage in the dry plants. At night they would come out of the trees to feed on the dry grass near the heated sidewalks.