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SciShow welcomes back Diana Six to talk to us about current news on the Mountain Pine Beetle Outbreak. Then, Jessi Knudsen Castañeda stops by and brings a familiar friend whose anatomy may help scientists develop better hypodermic needles.

Hosted by: Hank Green
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 (00:00) to (02:00)


H: Hello and welcome to SciShow Talk Show.  It's that day on SciShow where we talk to interesting people about interesting stuff.  Today we're having maybe our first repeat visitor?  Ever?  For real?  This is Diana Six who is a professor of Forest Entomology at the University of Montana.

D: Right.

H: And, uh, here in Montana, we have a problem and also, I think, all across--well, I don't know how far in this problem is, with our trees being attacked by these little bugs.

D: Right.

H: And uh, you have been studying that process, how our trees are doing, how to maybe control it maybe a little bit and in the last three years, how's that going?

D: Um, not so good.  No, well, the problem is really widespread.  It's something like 45 million hectares or I don't know, it's really vague.  Something like 70 million acres.  So it's big.

H: So is it sort of focused on, you know, this part of the world, up in Canada?

D: Yeah, it's Western North America, basically, which is still pretty vague for being local.  So it's killed a lot of trees.  It's probably, I think, estimated now to be the biggest insect outbreak ever reported.  So it's one of those kind of flashy things and the beetles become pretty notorious.  Luckily--

H: Is this a thing that you can see if you're like, walking around in the forest, can you like see them on the trees?

D: Uhh they're pretty little.  Um, they get nicely compared to a grain of rice.  I liken them to a mouse turd.

H: Sure.

D: I mean, they basically look like one.  They're little, they're brown, and so flying around, you don't really notice them much, but you can really notice what they're doing.  In some areas, you can look across the landscape and it looks like every single tree is dead for many, many, many miles around.

 (02:00) to (04:00)

Something like 80% of British Columbia's dead and so if you think about how big that province is, it's a big impact.

H: Yeah.  Yeah, so that's a big economic impact as well as a big ecological impact.  

D: Yeah.

H: And so I imagine there are lots of people who are trying to figure out how to control this--

D: Right.

H: --and to learn more about it.

D: Yeah.

H: You've brought us some things.  I think I know what those are.  They look like--they look like this is a tree core.

D: Right, and we use that to figure out how well the tree is growing and we can do that over the lifespan of the tree, which is really nice.  Every single ring in that core corresponds to a particular year in its life and so you can count up the rings and you know how old the tree is, but you can also determine exactly when a ring and figure out how--what the weather was, basically.  So if you have a thick ring, the tree was getting lots of water and was growing really well.  If it's really skinny, it's really struggling.

H: So I'm noticing a specific thing here, in all of these, is that there's a moment when the tree literally, like, the interior of the tree changes color.

D: Right.

H: Is that a normal, like, process of being a tree?

D: No.  That's a normal process of being killed by a mountain pine beetle.  So these are all cores from trees that were killed by beetles and you can see this really pretty blue stain here.

H: It seems like it was a long time that this has been--that this blue stain has been here.

D: No, no.  What happens is that the beetles bore in, kill the tree, and the blue stain is caused by a fungus that the beetles carry--

H: And it's growing in there.

D: And then it grows in right after the beetle affects it and it's lucky for the beetle that blue is there, because that really is what keeps the beetle alive.

H: Right, so the beetle itself can't digest wood?

D: No, not anymore than we can.

 (04:00) to (06:00)

D: It doesn't have the enzyme.  So it carries with it this fungus that gathers up nitrogen and produces all these (?~4:08) that it needs for growth and development.

H: So this blue part is the part that it can actually eat.

D: Right, yeah.  

H: I also noticed that as this tree has aged, the rings are getting closer together.

D: They're getting much smaller and so they're very broad here and so this tree is really growing very well and right about here or so, the last 40 years or so, it has slowed down substantially and what we can do is go back and figure out what the difference is in precipitation and temperature that might account for that.

H: So that's climate, or like, weather changes that are having that effect, not the beetle?

D: Well--no, not the beetle, this is all pre-beetle.

H: That's like, pre-beetle problems.  Okay.

D: But what we're looking for, really, is is there a signal where some trees slow down are struggling with warmer dryer climate whereas others may not be  and so with these cores, what we're doing is looking to see if the beetles are choosing trees that are genetically just not well adapted to newer warmer dryer conditions and whether they're actually leaving behind some that are genetically more adapted.

H: Right, so, you might see trees that have thicker rings even into this, you know, changing weather.

D: Right, right, and some of the preliminary data we have shows that trees that are left behind do indeed have broader rings, but really interesting, back when it was cooler and wetter, those trees were struggling and so it's like--

H: Oh, wow.

D: --this genetically, like, there's two groups of trees--

H: Just the diversity, yeah.

D: --one that didn't do so good in the old days and made it, but now is doing really well, and then others that did really well when it was cooler and wetter and now are really struggling, and those seem to be the ones that the beetles have killed, so we're doing this and then we're taking the climate data, and we can figure that out for every single ring, and then compare it across all these trees in the forest and see if it corresponds to those that survive and those that the beetles chose.

 (06:00) to (08:00)

H: So, I see that this is MC1DBNC and MC2DBNC, how many of these have you taken?

D: This summer, I've taken about 400.

H: Okay.

D: Yeah.  

H: And how many does your lab have on hand?

D: About 600.  This is a fairly new study, so as you walk into these forests that have been really heavily impacted by the beetles, it'll look like everything's dead, but if you walk around for a while, you'll find survivors, and they're exactly the size the beetles prefer, the same species, but for some reason, they have come through completely unscathed and this is really remarkable because if you think about when you have these big peak populations, there's millions of beetles flying around, they're starting to get desperate because they've basically killed everything almost.

H: Right, mhmm.

D: They're being forced into little trees that won't even support them, yet here's this perfectly fine tree and they don't even try.  There's not even mistake attacks, and so what we wanna do, of course, is figure out what's different about those trees, because they're not missing them by accident.  I mean, you know, it's just--there's too much pressure, and so we're looking at what we call the phenotype which is how their genes interact with the environment to affect the traits we see like tree growth, which is what we can look at with the tree cores.  We look at resin flow, which is a measure of their defense against beetles, and we also look at their chemical profile, which is basically how they smell, their chemical components, and that's the cues that insects use to find their trees and so what we're thinking is maybe they're a little bit different, and we also collect needles and extract the DNA and then we can figure out sort of what their genotype is, what their genetic makeup is.

 (08:00) to (10:00)

We can kind of figure out what is sort of their fingerprint, so we can tell if the survivors have a different fingerprint style than do the ones that were killed.

H: So wh--if you're seeing that these healthier trees don't even get approached by the beetles--

D: Right.

H: There's not even a mistake (?~8:31) but is it possible that the sicker trees are broadcasting in some way that, or the less healthy trees, before even being, you know, infested, that they're broadcasting some kind of signal so that the beetles are sensing that, like, this is a succeptible tree?

D: Yeah.  Beetles can see a lot of things with trees we can't see.  They all look the same to us.

H: But not to a beetle.

D: But not to a beetle, and beetles can apparently sense trees that are stressed by drought and so trees that are genetically not so able to deal with drought are going to give off different cues than those that are still doing very well, but we also think that the fact that they don't even attack those trees when they're desperate, when there's nowhere else to go, indicates that the beetles just maybe aren't even seeing those trees, that their chemistries may be different and so they aren't even perceived as food, because you would expect at least mistake attacks, but that's not happening, and so with the approach we're using, we're doing all the chemical analysis, we're doing the growth rates, and the genetics, we can correlate all those to see if there is really a difference in those trees, and if that's the case, then those trees might actually be sort of our ace in the hole for future--yeah.

H: Right.  Yeah, because it's not like there have been cases where basically entire tree species have been wiped out by some infestation.

 (10:00) to (12:00)

D: Yeah.

H: And that's a, like, especially because, like, what are the tree species at risk here?

D: Oh, just about any pine, but--

H: Just a huge portion of--

D: That's a lot of--so, I'm looking at three that are big ones around here, lodgepole pine is probably its favorite tree and it's killed more lodgepoles than it's almost hard to imagine how many, ponderosa pine now that ponderosa is becoming more stressed, it's becoming more attacked, and then whitebark pine, which is kind of our high elevation tree.  This is sort of a newish host for the beetle.  It lives up in high elevations and it used to be too cold for the beetle to get there or to survive there, and now it's warm enough and the beetle is wiping it out, so we're doing a lot in whitebark pine because it's actually been affected so strongly that it's recommended for listing now as an endangered species, so I mean, this has some pretty big ramifications.  I used to think whitebark pine was toast, you know, even three or four years ago, but now that we're finding these survivors and they look really good, now we're starting to think maybe there are some genetically pre-adapted trees that maybe we can kind of restore the species with.

H: Yeah.

D: Yeah.

H: And how, like, in terms of the broader ecology of the forest, are there sort of, like, are there other trees taking the place of the pines?  Are there other ecologies coming in?  

D: In some places, like with whitebark pine in some areas that are wetter, we have subalpine fur moving in.  The problem is that a tree is just not another tree, you know, it doesn't fulfill the same ecological role.  Whitebark pine produces huge seeds that squirrels and grizzly bears and all sorts of things feed on.  It holds on to the snow pack.  

 (12:00) to (14:00)

Subalpine fir doesn't really do that.  

H: It holds on to the snow pack, you mean, like, it's--the snow pack will stay around longer?

D: Stay around longer the whitebark pine.  That's one of the problems people are really worried about.  We're losing all this whitebark pine.  We're already losing our snow pack earlier because of warming and now that may be even worse. 

H: So there've been other, you know, like, I know that the American chestnut is a thing that doesn't exist anymore because of, I don't know, what was that, a fungus or--?

D: A fungus, yeah, exotic fungus.  

H: You know, like, so there are trees that have not--have just like, have--won't ever come back.

D: Yeah.

H: Is that like, a direction we're headed in here?

D: Um, we're headed with it in some ways, for some trees.

H: Yeah.  Okay.  

D: So um, like whitebark pine, which grows in high elevations that the beetle is really wiping out.  It also has an exotic disease which doesn't help.

H: Okay.

D: But climate change alone--

H: So when we say exotic, we mean that these are--so the American chestnut was wiped out by a disease that came from--

D: Europe.

H: --from Euorpe, whereas the pine bark beetle, it was--

D: It's native.

H: It's not--so it's a thing that's always been around.

D: Yeah.

H: But now it's become a huge problem.

D: Yeah.  It's a native insect and so, it really is a natural disturbance agent in our forest, something that helps it renew.  The problem is when you tweak natural disturbance agents and either take them out like we've done with fire suppression, which obviously had bad problems with it, but also, if we do things that enhance these natural disturbance agents, that's damaging as well, and so with climate change, this insect is much enhanced, so you know, the outbreak right now is ten times bigger than anything we've seen, much more severe, harder for our forest to recover from, and also, we're expecting these outbreaks to be more frequent and more severe in the future, and so at first, it's sort of depressing, because you don't know how to stop this sort of steamroller, but we kind of feel, with this genetic work, we may have a way to detect which trees are sort of pre-adapted and maybe that gives us some hope.  

 (14:00) to (16:00)

So maybe this big outbreak was what we're thinking is maybe a big natural selection event that took out a lot of the trees that aren't adapted, leaving a few behind that we can work with.  Well, let's--let's meet an animal that maybe spends time in trees, I don't know.

D: Okay.

H: Just definitely not a tree, though.  We're not bringing in a tree.

D: Not a tree.  

H: Nor is it a pine beetle.   Hi, Jessi, there's no animal here.

J: Hi, no, but they're gonna come soon.  

H: I feel like asking Diana what you think that noise is.

D: It sounds like a baby or something.

H: Sounds like a baby, sounds like a human baby.

D: Yeah.

J: Yeah, I don't have a human baby in a crate.  

D: Okay.  I was wondering.

J: This animal, I bet some of you guys know what it is, just by that noise, but another hint is he loves bananas.  

H: So it's a monkey then?

D: Well, there's lots of things that like bananas.

J: Not a monkey.  Lots of things like bananas.  

H: Okay, okay.

J: We're gonna go ahead and put him up on the table.  Now, I can't touch this animal, so I just have to try and make him feel as comfortable as possible and then kind of entice him out with his favorite food, bananas.  

H: Okay.  I'm gonna sit back so I--maybe we don't--

J: You guys probably won't wanna touch him when you see him, but um--

H: Don't.

J: Don't.  Don't try and touch him.

D: Why?

J: He doesn't like to be touched.

D: Oh, okay.  That's fair.

H: He's also covered in knives.

J: You ready?  Where are we?  What do you think?  You do wanna come on out.  Okay, go ahead and take it.  

D: Wow.

 (16:00) to (18:00)

J: Yeah!  

D: Oh, it's beautiful.

J: It's Kemosabe.  

H: Hey buddy.

D: Kemosabe.

J: Sorry, I got too excited.  Kemosabe is a prehensile tailed porcupine, also known as a coendu.  They come from Brazil, and you're right, they live in trees.

H: Yeah.  They live in trees.

J: They're really well-adapted to living in trees.  You see their upturned prehensile tail?  He can actually hold his entire weight by that tail.

D: Wow.  Will it grip your finger if you touch it.  I used to have a pet possum.

J: Um, if you--

D: Who'd do that.

J: If you touch his tail, he'll swing toward you and huff and chatter and get very bad.

D: And put holes in me.  

H: Possibly that too.

D: Wow.

J: Possibly.  Possibly.  (?~16:48) he doesn't, he's not a big fan of like, actually trying to get you, but he puts on a pretty big show and we learned that he doesn't like his tail touched because when we first got him, we were actually told, we rescued him from another zoo, we were actually told that he was handleable, like, you could put your hand under his belly and then he, like, wrapped his tail around your hand and you could hold him and like, walk around with him, and we're like, well that sounds pretty darn cool.  That's the information we got, and then he showed up and we're like, let's try this and no.  

D: No.

H: Not a fan of that.  Not a fan of that.

J: No, not at all, not a fan.  He doesn't--he'll tolerate me touching his nose and his feet.  Tail's a big no-no and belly, he makes a really funny noise, yeah.  

H: He makes a funny noise all the time.

D: I love the sounds.

H: I know, I feel like we should have a microphone just for Kemosabe.  

J: I know, I usually do.  Do you like your banana? 

D: How did Kemosabe get his/her name?

J: Kemosabe, you know, we have many animals at Animal Wonders, and coming up with names is always, is a challenge but it's also like, the fun part.

D: Yeah.

J: And we were, you know, Kemosabe's just a fun name and I looked up the meaning and one of the meanings, one of the many meanings, means trusted friend, and I was just really, really hoping that he'd be my friend and I'd be able to trust him, so that's how he got that name.

 (18:00) to (20:00)

Hi, bud.  

H: God, he's so cute.  

J: Hi.

D: What a noise.

J: What do you think?  I love, when he chews, his eyeballs like--

H: They do a little bit pop out of your head.

J: Ooh, he's doing his angry porcupine dance.  You wanna come on over here and get some more?  Yeah?  I wanna see if you use your tail.  Yeah.  There you go.  See how he used his tail to help him reach farther and balance?

D: Yeah.

H: So how are Kemo's teeth doing?  'Cause I saw one of 'em.

J: So he--yes.  He has special teeth and actually, Lisa, do you wanna grab me his teeth, I forgot to grab those.

H: Oh, do you have some teeth?

J: Yes.  I have some teeth.  So, when we rescued Kemosabe, he was about two years old and very shortly after we got him, he had repeat sicknesses and we couldn't figure out what was going on so we did an entire body, like, physical exam, X-ray, everything, and we found out that he had a rotten molar, er, not molar, so incisor, and the rodents, so they have evergrowing teeth, and they'll grow for their entire life, but if you take--if the root becomes infected, it's no good, and if you take the root out, it won't grow back.  So that's what happened.  It was all the way infected, all the way up into the root and actually--thank you--oh, I know, yeah.  Somebody moved, huh?  This is his tooth.

D&H: Whoaaa.  

J: That came out of there and so it goes all the way back into his gums, and that's actually, that was the rotten area.

D&H: Yeah.

J: And this is what you would see.  We had to pull that completely out.  

 (20:00) to (22:00)

H: That wasn't any fun.

J: No.  No.  He was sore for a while.  

Wow, that's a really big tooth.

J: But it saved a life.  If that would have happened in the wild, he would have died.  

D: Yeah, wow.

J: And, but we were hoping, so these incisors, they rub against, they chisel against each other and you can actually see a little edge right there where the bottom ones would fit right into that little groove there, and they would just rub and rub and rub and they would keep them nice and short but the one tooth on the top did not do that.  Instead, it like, went kinda that way, and it like, started going in between the other two and it's--hi.

H: Yeah, he lost one tooth.

D: You need some banana.

J: And you can see, oh, banana.

H: Whenever there's not a banana, things are bad.  

J: Banana, here, here, all the way up.

D: Oh, look at the tooth.  

J: Yeah.  Yeah.  

H: You are weird.

J: So he's about ready for a tooth trim right now, and when that happens, we have our veterinarian come out and we immobilize him and I have some tooth fragments here.  

D: Do you?

J: We immobilize him so that we can get this done and it's actually easier than getting him--

D: That's a lot of tooth.

J: --Yeah.  It's easier than bringing him to the vet, so we have the vet come out and we do it at home and so, she trims about, you know, half an inch to a full inch off of, 'cause see, this is actually a double set of the bottom ones there, and we get this every three months, we get a certain amount of growth.  So these--

D: Wow.  That's some serious growth.  

J: It is growing so much, but it's--I--I--it's a process, and it's not ideal, but, you know, we're saving his life.  He's been with us for six years now so we've been doing this for quite a while.  This last year has been a challenge because something else happened.   He stopped eating his crunchy food and so we trimmed his front teeth down, his incisors, and then she took a look at the rest of his mouth and found out that he had three rotten molars and he was actually missing three other molars, and so what has happened is he's lost all of his molars and they've actually--yeah.  

 (22:00) to (24:00)

That's good.  Yeah, yeah, okay.  So, he's actually outlived his molars.  He's eight years old now, which is about the lifespan they'd have in the wild, and their molars--and this is his molar right here--one of his molars.

D: Tiny!

J: Yeah, and he's got four on the top and bottom on either side, and they slowly erupt but they don't--they aren't evergrowing, they just slowly erupt over their lifespan and he's just had eight years of molars and that was it, so now he has no more molars.

H: So it's all bananas all the time then?

J: Bananas.  Well--

D: Well.

J: That wouldn't be good.  So he needs the protein, exactly, so we actually combined rodent block and a monkey biscuit together, and instead of feeding them to him hard, we moisten them and get them into a nice little porcupine biscuit for him.  

H: Yeah.  Just mashed up pinebark beetles.

D: There you go.  Yeah.

J: Ooh, protein.  He said no.  That's bad.

D: I don't blame you.  They actually taste quite good.

H: I'll stick with bananas.

J: Bananas, bananas.

D: What an amazing animal.  Those little hands, they're amazing.

J: Aren't they?  So they are designed to be arboreal, so they are shaped, you know, to  the side like that so they can just clamp onto tree trunks and they can just climb around.  He doesn't smell that bad, I can't smell him anymore, actually.  Can you guys smell him?

H: I smelled a little something when he first came out but I don't--

J: Okay.

D: I don't smell anything.

H: It wasn't unpleasant.

J: Okay, good, good.  He probably didn't pee in his crate then.  These guys have a pretty distinct odor.  I think they smell like onion BO, like, human onion body odor.

H: Right, yeah, yeah, yeah.

J: It's pretty intense and they do that to mark their territory and to warn predators away, but if a predator does decide to come, they will do--they'll chatter their teeth and they'll stand up and they'll do the little porcupine dance like he did earlier.  He moans a little bit, kind of looks like a zombie.

 (24:00) to (26:00)

So these quills are really amazing.  They are barbed at the tip, and so if you looked under the microscope at them, it'd look like a fake Christmas tree.  They're just--they're all over it.  There's these barbs that go all the way down the end of the tip there, and when they go in something, it's really cool mechanisms that are happening.  They go in twice as easy as a hypodermic needle because of those barbs and once they're in there, it's four times as hard to get them out as it is to get them in.

H: Right.

J: So they're just stuck in there.  

H: I, I would like hypodermic needles to be easier to get in, though.  That sounds nice.  Let's use that.

J: Yeah, so they're doing research to see how they can use it.  Alright, so he has these big quills, so here's a big quill that he has right there and that would be like, one from his head, there, and they get a little bit bigger on his back, but I also wanted to show you, he has smaller ones that go throughout his entire body on his belly, all the way down his arms--

H: What are you doing?

J: He's stretching out, he's like--

H: That's adorable, oh my God, he stretched.

J: You know, you wanna try and feed him?

H: If you're interested.  Hi, my name is Hank.

J: Let's see, here, I'm gonna put my hand over there, too and pretend that I'm feeding him.

H: Hi.  I know . It's--oh my gosh.  

J: He's a little angry about that one.

H: He was like--

J: You are not--

H: I do want a banana but not from you.

J: You smell different.  Alright so he has these little quills, too, and--

D: Oh, they are tiny.

H: Oh God, oh God, it's in you.

D: Four times harder to get out.

J: Ouch.  It hurts, too.  Alright, this is a porcupine quill.  (?~25:38) black tip there.  This is one of his quills, and this is a hedgehog quill, so I just wanted to show you, a lot of people think hedgehogs and porcupines are related and they're not and their quills are very different, so if I poke this into this sheet here, here, you poke it in.  

H: Do-do-doo.  

J: Pull it out.

 (26:00) to (28:00)


H: Yeah.   It just went in and out.  It was--

D: Uh-oh.  He's coming after you.

J: Oh, more stretches.  

D: Oh yeah.  

H: There should just be a YouTube video of that.  Yeah, I mean, I can just tell by looking at this one that it's narrower.

J: It's--yes.  Okay, so now try and poke it in there.  

H: It went in much more easily and now it is not--yep.  That's different.  I don't want this one inside of my finger.

J: No.  I mean, both of them would hurt, but that one's gonna stay in there.

H: Oh my.

J: Yeah, pull it out of there.

H: Oh my God.  Um.  

D: It's like the (?~26:43) of the animal kingdom.

H: I need pliers, jeez.  

D: Wow.

J: Yeah, and that's a tiny one.  That's not even a big one.

H: There's a bunch of little--

J: Fuzz stuck to it.

H: --fuzz stuck to it.  Ugh.

J: It took some of its prey/predator/whatever thingy with it.  

H: That was a very different experience.  

J: So the other cool thing is that the way that it comes out, they actually, if they just touch something, say with, like, 70 of those quills at the same time, they might get stuck to it.  It's going to be really hard to get those hairs, special hairs, to come out of their skin.

H: That would have been a hilarious picture of Kemosabe stuck to the side of a grizzly bear.

J: Just stuck, but it wouldn't be a grizzly bear, it's like, oh God, no.  

D: There's still some there.

J: If there was like, a glove and I would be like, my--he might get like, stuck to it, it'd be hard to get away, but if they intentionally like, put force behind it and drive into like, a (?~27:35) would run forward and stab with the top of his back there, and then a North American porcupine would try and run backwards and slap its tail and lower back and with that force, it actually pushes the quill into their skin.  Now, they can't go too far, 'cause there's a little, nice little--it goes in and there's like a bulb right here, so it can't go in, but it breaks a little tissue on the inside so that when it pulls away, it comes right out of them.

H: The quill comes out too.

J: And it stays in the--so, I mean, it took forever to figure out what that mechanism was and I just--I just find that super fascinating.

 (28:00) to (30:00)

D: Hi.

J: And then there is--he's not one of the largest.  He's actually fairly small.  The smallest porcupine is 2.2 lbs, it's the Rothschild's Porcupine, the largest is the African Crested and they have two foot quills.

D: Oh, those are big.  I've seen those.

J: But they are from Africa and they're old world porcupines that don't have the barbs on their quills.

H: Huh.

J: So instead, they grow in little clumps and they like, rattle their quills together and they and just poke things like hedgehogs.  I'm gonna try and get him to turn around and see if he can look at the camera for a second.  

D: It's amazing, as he chews, his eyes go in and out.

J: I know, isn't that weird?  Hi, bud.  What do you think?  Yeah.  Yeah, you got it.  You're welcome.  

H: What do you when Kemosabe needs a bath?

J: Um, he doesn't get a bath.  

H: That never happens, good idea.

J: Nope.  

H: I agree with this policy.

J: You know, when we sedate him, I try and clean him up a little bit.  He would obviously be moving around a lot more looking for food in the wild, so we trim his nails down but he's not gonna do that in his tree fort as much, 'cause, you know, he's pretty spoiled, but I do a little bit of grooming.  I've cleaned his ears before.  He has quills, like, on like, the little ear flaps, and so I've gotten quills in the little q-tips that I've been using.

D: Wow.

H: It's almost like the littler quills are the ones I'm more concerned about.

J: That's--me too, yeah, those ones scare me a little bit more.  Hi.  Do you wanna go back to your crate?  What do you think?

H: Yeah.

J: Okay.  

H: Yeah, I think so.

D: What an amazing animal.

J: Alright.  Look, we're gonna have to turn around.  See, there's a crate coming.

D: And so many quills.  

J: There it is.  Go on in.  

H: Yeah, let's go home.

J: And let's give you a banana.  Oh, good job, here you go.  Yeah.  Yeah.  That's good.  Thank you, Lisa.

H: Alright, we've got--there's like a half a banana left that Kemosabe didn't finish.  Who's gonna eat it?

 (30:00) to (31:31)

That's okay.  

J: Oh, yeah, he's drooled all over that pretty good.

H: Yup, yup.  

J: Yeah.  He didn't poop on the table this time.

H: I know, what a great porcupine.

J: He was so polite.

H: And he gave us a couple of stretches.

J: Yeah, I know!

H: Sang us a little song.

J: He didn't yell at you too much, you know?

H: He did a dance.

J: He did a little dance.  Well, I'm very proud of him.

D: Amazing.  

H: Great.  I'm also very proud of Kemosabe.  That was great.  Thanks for bringing him on the show.  

J: Yeah.

H: If you wanna see what Jessi's up to, you can go to  If you live in Missoula, she also does birthdays and school events and all sorts of things.

J: Yeah, we'd love to share the animals if you live around here or come and visit.

H: It's really fun.

J: At a public event.

H: I've seen it happen.  It's really great, and Diana, thank you so much for sharing about our common plight here and thanks for working to figure out what's going on.

D: Sure, yeah.

H: And maybe alleviate it a little bit.  Glad to hear that maybe we can hold on to our trees.

D: Hopefully.

H: Yeah.  

D: Thank you.

H: Thanks for watching, you can find us at