The National Zoo has a new porcupette to add to the "prickle" The National Zoo's porcupines Beatrix and Quillbur welcomed a baby porcupette into the world.
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The National Zoo has a new porcupette to add to the "prickle"

The newly-born porcupette's older sibling in 2019 posing for a picture just three days after it was born. Courtesy of/Smithsonian National Zoo hide caption

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Courtesy of/Smithsonian National Zoo

If the prospect of another winter storm heading for the region Thursday has you down, the Smithsonian National Zoo's prehensile-tailed porcupine couple, Beatrix and Quillbur, have a big announcement to make that may warm your heart.

The couple welcomed their second little porcupette, as baby porcupines are known, into the world sometime during the night of Jan. 3-4. The National Zoo made the announcement official in a tweet on Wednesday.

The porcupette's elder sibling was born in November of 2019, after Beatrix and Quillbur bred for the first time. Quillbur was transferred to the National Zoo from upstate New York specifically for this purpose about a year before their first porcupette was born.

Like its older sibling, the new and as yet unnamed porcupette is the fourth generation of Beatrix's family living in the zoo, according to a press release shared after the birth of Beatrix's first baby.

Prehensile-tailed porcupines are native to South America and one of 18 species of porcupines native to North, South and Central America. When a porcupette is born, its protective quills are soft and hair-liked, but they harden minutes after birth. By three days old, a newborn's quills can be prickly enough to hurt. Once this newborn is old enough, he or she will be in the zoo's Small Mammal House, climbing in manmade tree canopies, and munching on leaves, flowers, shoots, and other vegetation with their porcupine family.

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And just in case you thought it couldn't get any cuter, a group of porcupines is known as a "prickle."

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