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Brazilian team discovers new porcupine species in threatened Atlantic Forest habitat

This March 15, 2009 photo released on April 10, 2013 by Universidade Federal de Pernambuco, shows a new species of the porcupine "Coendou speratus," in Pernambuco, Brazil. Brazilian researchers say they found the tree-dwelling rodent in a small and isolated fragment patch of forest in the northeastern state of Pernambuco. With just 2 % of the region’s original forest habitat still standing, the new porcupine must be considered to be endangered said Antonio Rossano Mendes, a zoology professor at the Federal University of Pernambuco and part of the team who discovered the new species. (AP Photo/Universidade Federal de Pernambuco, Antonio Rossano Mendes)

This March 15, 2009 photo released on April 10, 2013 by Universidade Federal de Pernambuco, shows a new species of the porcupine "Coendou speratus," in Pernambuco, Brazil. Brazilian researchers say they found the tree-dwelling rodent in a small and isolated fragment patch of forest in the northeastern state of Pernambuco. With just 2 % of the region’s original forest habitat still standing, the new porcupine must be considered to be endangered said Antonio Rossano Mendes, a zoology professor at the Federal University of Pernambuco and part of the team who discovered the new species. (AP Photo/Universidade Federal de Pernambuco, Antonio Rossano Mendes)  (The Associated Press)

Brazilian researchers say they have discovered a new species of porcupine in a small patch of the Northeastern Atlantic Forest, one of the world's most threatened habitats.

Antonio Rossano Mendes Pontes says his team identified the new species of tree-dwelling rodent in a fragmented patch of forest in the northeastern state of Pernambuco.

Pontes, a zoology professor at the Federal University of Pernambuco, has given the new porcupine the scientific name "Coendou speratus."

Because it shares it habitat with another, larger porcupine that lives in the upper reaches of the forest canopy, Coendou speratus lives on a lower level, feeding primarily on seeds.

It's covered with dark brown spines with reddish tips and has a long nose and tail.

The discovery appeared in the zoology journal Zootaxa last week.