Between the trees the air seemed scarcely to move. The heat had thickened it, so that the winged insects sat torpid on the very leaves beneath which crouched the mantis and spider, too drowsy to strike. Along the foot of a tilted, red rock a porcupine came nosing and grubbing. It broke open a tiny shelter of sticks and some meagre, round-eared little creature, all eyes and bony limbs, fled across the stones. The porcupine, ignoring it, was about to devour the beetles scurrying among the sucks when suddenly it paused, raised its head and listened.

It is again a quotation from Shardik by Richard Adams. Only possible definition of suck seemed to fit the situation I found is an act or instance of sucking; or sound produced by sucking. But how the beetles can scurrying among the sucks if the porcupine was just about to devour them. Though right now I think this is also nonsense: the porcupine doesn't suck at least to devour something. And I just thought it also can be an epithet to some object mentioned before (but if it is then I can't recognize which one), for this case I put as much context as possible. So I'm really confused about the meaning of the sucks here.

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    You have encountered a typographical error. The passage in Google Books reads The porcupine, ignoring it, was about to devour the beetles scurrying among the sticks…. – choster Apr 20 '16 at 21:52
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    I don't know that the question deserves a downvote for being about a typographical error. It was asked in good faith. Closed, yes... downvoted, no. – Catija Apr 20 '16 at 21:55
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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it is about an apparent typographical error in the book edition. See the comments for a link to the correct text. – Catija Apr 20 '16 at 21:55
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    @AlanC - Probably an scanned version. These are known as OCR errors, and they're not all that uncommon. – J.R. Apr 20 '16 at 22:28
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    I'd leave it, even if it's going to be closed. A lot of people could benefit from reading the clear and careful way you worded this. – J.R. Apr 20 '16 at 23:24