Figuring out the sex of a porcupine can be a difficult task. They aren't always easy to handle, and when they are young they show no sexual dimorphism. But veterinarians, geneticists, and keepers at the Smithsonian's National Zoo have figured out a novel and easy way to determine the sex of prehensile-tailed porcupines, and all it takes is a single quill.
The new exhibit at Small Mammal House uses radiographs and artifacts to explain the relationship between body structure and behavior of animals. Visitors will see some interesting X-rays and learn how animals move, eat, and play.