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Duration:04:35
Uploaded:2014-10-09
Last sync:2019-06-12 16:19
Jessi shares that Kemosabe is a lot stinkier than he looks. Thanks to a special compound that makes him smell, well, like a porcupine.

*Kemosabe was fighting a respiratory infection during this video, which is why he uncharacteristically refused to eat his banana. Thankfully he is now feeling much better!

Link to Animal Shop: http://www.animalwonders.org/store/c1/Featured_Products.html

Sources
http://www.naturalhistorymag.com/htmlsite/master.html?
http://www.naturalhistorymag.com/htmlsite/0306/0306_feature.html
http://www.biokids.umich.edu/critters/Erethizon_dorsatum/

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That porcupine is stinky! What? No really, that porcupine is stinky. Really stinky. Don't take my word for it, let's see what other people think about the stink of the porcupine.   Porcupines have a very special and unique odor, because who wouldn't want a special odor announcing to the world, "Here I am!"   Kemosabe is pretty much the most amazing porcupine in the entire world. He's not just a porcupine, he is a coendou, aka Brazilian porcupine, aka prehensile tail porcupine.    Today he's going to be representing all 29 different species of porcupine.    All of these species have two things in common: they all have quills, and they all are stinky. Really stinky. But why are they so stinky? Let's break it down.   First, they don't groom themselves as often as many mammal species do. Second, it's actually to their advantage to be as stinky as possible. When a predator wants to eat them, they're gonna use their quills to help defend themselves. So, some of them are going to run backwards, slapping their tail, some are going to bend over forward and charge headfirst, some are gonna rattle and shake their quills. These quills are a seriously awesome adaptation for survival.   But why the stench? These guys release a very potent odor whenever they're disturbed and it states "Porcupine!" The North American porcupine releases the odor from the rosette, which is very special skin just above their tail. This compound then spreads onto very special hairs that are specifically shaped to disperse and spread out that odor all over the place. Special porcupine perfume. This odor contains over 80 compounds but only one of them is eau d'porcupine.   We know exactly which one it is thanks to Uldis Roze, who is pretty much the king of porcupines, and he worked really hard to figure out exactly which compound it was that reminds us so much of our own body odor. The compound is called R-Delta-Decalactone, and its mirror image smells like coconut.    [Kemosabe vocalizes]   But instead of the nutty aroma, Kemosabe's odor smells like BO. Onion BO, in my opinion.   This unique odor can be detected in the dark of night to warn off any potential predators that might think it's appropriate to disturb that porcupine's activity and make them into a meal.   So the next time you're walking thorough the wilderness with some of your friends and you catch the scent of someone who has obviously been too busy to take a shower, instead of thinking of a nice way to phrase, "your favorite brand of soap?" in conversation, you should probably just keep on moving away from that porcupine-occupied tree.   I wish I could bottle Kemosabe's signature scent in a bottle, but I can't. But, you can get an awesome bit of Kemosabe yourself, his quills! You can find them here, or you can find them here, claiming them as a perk on Subbable when you subscribe, and it is our subscription-based fundraising source, so we can keep making videos for you. But remember, when you get your very own quills, don't go poking people, these things are dirty! They have urine and they have oily secretions from R-Delta-Decalactone, and it really does hurt, so don't poke people!   Thank you guys for watching Animal Wonders Montana. I hope you guys have a porcupine-tastic day! Or, a stink-tastic day! Or odorific. Whatever kind of day you have, I hope you let me know by finding me on Twitter, Tumblr, and Facebook, and you can subscribe to our YouTube channel Animal Wonders Montana and join us on an adventure every week.   [Inset:] Hey guys, you know that moment when you're scrolling through your favorite social media site and the most adorably precious animal shows up that's doing, like, the most ridiculously cute thing?   But why the stench? They release a very -- ooh, got me in the eye, and the other one. [Laughs]