The Prehensile Tailed Porcupine is the smallest of the porcupines. The body is covered with short, thick, loosely attached quills, which are used as a defense mechanism, becoming easily imbedded in the flesh of animals that disturb them. The long, prehensile tail lacks spines. The lower surface of the terminal part of the tail is naked and modified for direct contact in coiling about branches. Each limb has four digits, each of which is armed with a long, curved claw.