Also, the staples now used to hold some surgical incisions shut—which largely rely on friction along their length to remain in the flesh—could be replaced by barbed staples that are shorter and have a smaller diameter. North American porcupines have around 30,000 quills on their backs. Porcupines cannot shoot them at predators as once thought, but the quills do detach easily when touched. Hollow versions of quill-inspired needles could help doctors better deliver drugs or chemicals through patches adhering to the skin, he notes.
These have all the same properties as the natural ones, and Karp sees many uses for them. Not Exactly Rocket Science Dive into the awe-inspiring, beautiful and quirky world of science news with award-winning writer Ed Yong.
Old World porcupines do not climb or jump well, but they are excellent swimmers. Yes, there are lots of kinds of porcupines. They are somewhat social, sometimes traveling in pairs. Some take fruit and corn from plantations. The San Diego Zoo Safari Park also has a southern crested porcupine that serves as an animal ambassador and Canadian porcupines, which are currently off exhibit.
Even though porcupine quills cause some damage to flesh when they're pulled out, extricating smaller, quill-inspired staples would likely cause less overall damage than pulling out the staples currently in use, Karp suggests.
These can stab any potential threat. A leopard gets itself into a prickly situation when it tries to hunt down a porcupine.
Old World porcupines eat bark, roots, fruits, and berries. Why porcupine quills slide in with ease but come out with difficulty Fossil insect hid by carrying a basket of trash I've got your missing links right here 8 December 2012 The catfish that strands itself to kill pigeons Fossilised microbe found in 200 million year old Leech cocoon. Wight Feb. Search Not Exactly Rocket Science.
But also, that kind of porcupine makes noise with its quills. Contrary to popular notions, the large rodents can't throw their quills at an enemy, says Jeffrey Karp, a bioengineer at Harvard Medical School in Boston.
The straight distance between the points of entry and exit of the quill was 48mm. The North American porcupine has about 30,000 quills, each one adorned with between 700 and 800 barbs along the 4 millimeters or so nearest its tip. That was a mystery until relatively recently. Search form Search.