Porcupine Connection

Get an up-close look at one of our Prehensile Tail Porcupines, Alex or Prickles!

As of May 19, vaccinated guests may visit without a mask. All unvaccinated guests must continue to wear a mask. If you are purchasing an Animal Encounter or Adventure, you must show proof of vaccine or must wear a mask during the encounter/adventure.

• Learn about our porcupines and how we care for them from the experts.
• All participants must be age 10 and over. Children age 12 and younger must be accompanied by a paid adult.
• Handheld camera permitted, but must be silent (no shutter sound), and no long lenses.
Please be aware that these animals are being fed nuts during this encounter. If you choose to do this encounter and have a nut allergy please call our reservations department and let them know.

When working with animals, they call the shots. Each encounter is unique and may contain different elements.

Day/Times: Wednesdays @ 12:30pm
Price: $40.00 (Aquarium Members: $36)*

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*Must be 10 years or older and reserved 24 hours in advance. All participants must complete waiver prior to adventure. Aquarium admission is not included and is required for the adventure!


With sharp spines, a big, round nose, and a tail they can hang from, prehensile-tailed porcupines are nocturnal vegetarian rodents. They have short, thick spines, and their body color runs from yellowish to a orange-rust to brown to almost black. They weigh 4 to 11 pounds. Their bodies are 12 to 24 inches long, and their tails are almost as long as their bodies, adding another 10 to 20 inches. These porcupines use their prehensile tails for grasping and hanging.

Prehensile-tailed porcupines are not well studied in the wild because they stay high in trees, are slow moving , and are largely immobile during the day – all of which makes them difficult to stop.

At night, they move around – slowly – foraging for food in treetops. Despite their lack of speed, they are surprisingly agile and climb quickly when necessary.

They cannot jump or throw their quills (no porcupine can!), but their quills detach easily when touched and can even embed themselves into their enemy’s skin. These defense are so formidable that porcupines have a longer lifespan and a slower reproductive rate than many other rodents.

When excited, these porcupines stamp their hind feet and shake their backsides.

When they are born, Brazilian porcupines are covered with red hair and soft quills which harden over time. They live in tropical rainforest trees of Venezuela, Guiana, Brazil, Bolivia, Paraguay, Trinidad, and some extreme northern sections of Argentina, rarely descending to the forest floor.

They eat leaves, stems, flowers, shoots, roots and the cambium layer found beneath thee bark of some trees. Their life span in an animal care facility: over 10-12 years; in the wild: 10-12 years.

Creatures of the Night

The ancient corridors of the Atlantean ruins come alive with Creatures of the Night! Thriving on the plant life that has overtaken many of the ancient passageways, bats and other mammals have taken up residence here, feeding on foliage, fruits, and nectar in the darkness. These creatures of the night are arboreal and nocturnal. This meaning that they tend to spend their time in the trees and are active at night. Fortunately, the darkness of the ruins allows you to see these animals moving around, even during the day!

Brazilian Prehensile-Tailed Porcupine
Coendou prehensilis
Originating in South America, the prehensile-tailed porcupine is an arboreal, vegetarian rodent. It spends its day curled up inside the hollow of a tree or some protected spot, and at night, it scours the treetops looking for fruits, leaves and fresh stem shoots to feed on. Despite its apparent size, the animal only weighs about four to eleven pounds! Its body is covered in a series of thickened quills, which it uses to defend itself. Its prehensile tail curves upwards and allows the animal to grasp and hang from branches.

Pallas’s Long-Tongued Bat
Glossophaga soricina
Taking up residence in caves and dark caverns during the day throughout Central and South America, the long-tongued bat becomes active just after dark. They leave their home in search of flower nectar, pollen and fruits. These bats eat constantly, with 80% of its energy coming from the simple sugars that it derives from nectar and fruit. Though they are colorblind, these bats locate nectar-rich flowers using ultraviolet light reflected off flower petals.