RIO DE JANEIRO – 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.