The head, neck, shoul­ders, limbs and un­der­side of body are cov­ered with coarse, dark brown or black bris­tles (Nowak 1991). There are black and white quills on the neck and back. PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS. Differences are most pronounced between New World and Old World porcupines. How Do Porcupines Communicate With Each Other? Porcupines that live in Africa, southeast Asia and southern Europe are classified as Old World, while those who live in South, Central and North America are New World porcupines. Females usually look for food on their own. The spines are thicker in diameter and longer in length than the quills. Females usually have only one litter per year, containing one or two or, occasionally three offspring. When either type of porcupine is threatened, its quills become erect, which makes the animal appear larger and more dangerous to predators. Porcupine characteristics Most of the porcupines are round. It made its first and only appearance in the season 1 episode "Quillber's Birthday Present." Old World crested porcupines have the largest quills. Males are easily identifiable by their large manes. The North African crested porcupine is nocturnal. The African Crested Porcupine (Hystrix cristata), also known as the crested porcupine, is a species of rodent in the family Hystricidae, found in Italy, Sicily, North Africa, and sub-Saharan Africa. Wild crested porcupines can be found in parts of Italy such as Sicily. They make a rattling sound when the crested porcupine feels threatened. The forefoot has four developed claw digits. Largest rodent in their region, with weight of 39.7-66.1 lb (18-30 kg). Despite being a solitary forager, they live in small family groups consisting of an adult pair with their young. Bongo are most active at dawn and dusk, and often forage near the edges of wooded areas. • African crested porcupines are the largest porcupines in the world and the largest rodent in Africa. The tips of the quills on the tail are narrow and hollow. In the wild their diet varies from twigs, berries, barks, leaves, roots, stem and other vegetation depending on the seasons and species of porcupines. Sacred Baboons are common throughout northeastern Africa, but are extinct in the Nile region and Egypt, where they originally received their name and were worshiped by the ancient Egyptians. Adult African Crested Porcupine. Porcupines are herbivores, or plant eaters, for the most part, although some might eat the occasional lizard. The National Geographic website mentions that porcupines can’t shoot their quills as once thought, but notes that the quills will fall off a porcupine’s body if touched. Nowak, Ronald M. Walkers Mammals of the World. As many as 30,000 quills cover every part of a porcupine’s body except its stomach. Porcupines do not “shoot” their quills. A porcupine has approximately 30,000 quills on its body. They have roundish heads, small eyes and ears and a blunt, stubby muzzle. The head, body, and (in some species) tail are covered by barb-less spines, which are thick, stiff, sharp modified hairs, as much as 13.8 in (35 cm) in length. Porcupines range in body length from 15 to 36 inches, and have tails that are 8 to 12 inches long, depending on the species. New World porcupines make nests in logs, tree roots, holes in rocks and trees. The Crested porcupine is so called due to its back, which can raise, becoming a crest on occasion. Porcupines are the largest and heaviest of all African rodents. They like to eat the soft layers of bark, branches and roots of trees. The quills will often cause a deep infected wound that may prove fatal. Crested porcupines, because they are nocturnal, mate during the night close to the burrow or even inside it. It has been recorded from sea level to 2,550 m (8,370 ft) in Moroccan Anti-Atlas. Its most heavily armed area is its hindquarters, which have short, thick quills. Quill length on different parts of the body varies, from 1 inch up to 12 inches on the back. They are covered with flat, bristly hairs and have quills and spines on the back and flanks. The head is roundish and rather domed, with a blunt muzzle and small eyes and ears. Physical characteristics: The Indian crested porcupine is known among the other Hystrix species for its ability to produce an especially loud rattle with its quills. they will also shake their quills to make a rattling sound or turn its back and charge backwards toward the intruder. They are bigger than other Rodents. The crested porcupine lives in parts of Africa and Italy! They gnaw on the bones to sharpen their incisor teeth and to obtain calcium at the same time. Their sharp quills give them a distinctive appearance and serve a practical purpose by keeping predators away. They have a small head and their body is covered with sharp quills (thick needle-like hairs). This rodent is 25 – 29 inches long (63-73 cm) and weighs about 18 – 51 pounds (8-23 kg). The underside of the porcupine is covered with rough, dark brown or black bristles. This rodent is 25 – 29 inches long (63-73 cm) and weighs about 18 – 51 pounds (8-23 kg). The tips of the quills on the tail are narrow and hollow. Old World porcupines eat berries, bark, roots and fruit, and invade farmers’ fields in search of pumpkins, potatoes and other crops. In the Mediterranean, it is known from mainland Italy and the island of Sicily, Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia; they are also recorded in Ghana, Libya and along the Egyptian coast. The quills are a modified hair, made from keratin like human hair, but hardened. There are black and white quills on the neck and back. All rights reserved. Porcupines prefer to hunt at night and use their sense of smell to guide them to food. The African Crested porcupine has a black body and black hair. They leave the nest or den when their quills or spines are hard which is in about a week. A tawny-yellow is most common. The legs are short and the body is stocky. The most characteristic physical features are the quills, spines, and bristles. The more common name for this species is the crested porcupine. PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS. Special “rattle quills” on the tail are relatively short, but very wide and hollow. The solid and sharp quills, covering the body of this animal, serve as a mean of self-defense against predators and are 35 cm (14 in) in length, displaying alternating light and dark stripes. The eyes and ears are small, compared to the size of the porcupine’s face. The legs are short and sturdy, and each foot has five toes, all equipped with powerful claws. Head-Body Length: Male: 172-250 cm, Female: 158-192 cm Height: 100-128 cm Weight: Male: 150-260 kg, Female: 122-182 kg Identification: The coat of the African lion varies from white to yellowish brown. Females are not sexually mature until they are 9-16 months old and males do not reach sexual maturity until they are 8-18 months old. The spines may be as long as 21 inches. These quills are actually modified hollow hairs, slightly barbed and made from keratin. The largest rodent in Africa. The crested porcupine (Hystrix cristata), a typical representative of the Old World porcupines, occurs throughout the south of Europe and North and West Africa. Be Her Village. As an African-crested porcupine, she grows quills only on her backside, making her more approachable. The North African crested porcupine are herbivores. African crested Porcupine {Hystrix cristata} - Author: Drew Avery. The porcupine is identified by its specialized hairs or quills. Their most recognizable feature is, of course, its quills. The sides and belly have soft dark brown to black fur. African Crested Porcupine. Old World crested porcupines have the largest quills. The tips of the quills on the tail are narrow and hollow. Their gestation period is 107-112 days with young being born during the wet season.. At birth, porcupines weighs only 3% of the mother’s weight. Porcupines cannot shoot their quills at predators. The quills are very sharp and they are not firmly attached to the skin. National Audubon Society Field Guide to African Wildlife, 1995. Leviticus has a journalism degree from Lock Haven University, has written for Nonprofit Management Report, Volunteer Management Report and Healthy Pet, and has worked in the healthcare field. Shape The World. They have as many as 30,000 quills on the back, tail and sides and use them as a defense against predators. Their legs are short and strong and there are five toes on … To make this site work properly, we sometimes place small data files called cookies on your device. Group size will be limited to no more than 5 people. Porcupine quills are a favorite ornament and good-luck charm in Africa. It is called a crested porcupine because the back quills can be erected into a crest. They are nocturnal and active during the night and are fairly social; sometimes traveling in two’s or three’s. These circular quills can range up to 20 inches in length. Relatively larger with longer, heavier quills than Hystrix cristata (North African porcupine… They spend a substantial amount of time moving from tree to tree in search of food. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Porcupines aren’t difficult to identify. New World porcupines have barbed quills approximately 4 inches in length. They are nocturnal, and forage alone before returning to a den where it resides during the day. Males and females are similar in size. Most big websites do this too. Porcupines live in a variety of habitats, including wooded areas, prairies, mountains, rain forests and deserts. 7. African Crested Porcupine (Hystrix cristata) Quill defense Add a photo to this gallery Category List While all porcupines share similar characteristics, you’ll find some differences based on the type of porcupine and its habitat. When the porcupine vibrates its tail, the quills make a distinct rattling sound. http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/accounts/hystrix/h._cristata$narrative.html. When the animal is relaxed the way its quill lay flat resembles a grass skirt, but instead of being green it is black with white stripes. They are nocturnal and active during the night and are fairly social; sometimes traveling in two’s or three’s. The sharp, sturdy quills of the African crested porcupine give it highly effective protection against predators. Woodland, grassland, farmland, and even urban environments are all suitable habitats for skunk. These circular quills can range up to 20 inches in length. The crested porcupine (Hystrix cristata) is a rodent that most people recognize. Scientific Name Hystrix africaeaustralis Range Africa Conservation Status Least Concern A Rodent with Quills. The Linne’s two-toed sloth is found in such countries as Nicaragua, Columbia, Venezuela, Surinam, Guyana, French Guiana, North Central Brazil, and Northern Peru. Porcupines live approximately 15 years in their natural habitats and up to 20 years in zoos. The whites on the porcupine’s back start to fade away or diminish after about four weeks. It is replaced in southern and central Africa by the Cape porcupine, H. africaeaustralis, and in India by the Malayan porcupine (H. brachyura) and Indian (crested) porcupine (H. indica). When born, the young’s quills are white and soft, although they start to become hard within hours. The black and white quills along the head and back of this spiny mammal can be raised into a crest, hence its common name of crested porcupine. Cape porcupines measure 63 to 81 centimetres (25 to 32 inches) long from the head to the base of the tail, with the tail adding a further 11–20 centimetres (4.3–7.9 inches). These are a defense mechanism against predators like African lions or hyenas. It eats bark, roots, fruits, berries and insects. When threatened or aggressive, crested porcupines stamp their feet, growl and grunt. The crested porcupine is the largest and heaviest of African rodents. The crest starts from the top of the head and extends down to the shoulders. Their quills can grow as large as 20 inches long on the crested area, which covers the head through the shoulder. While eating, crested porcupines hold their food with their front teeth and against the ground. Are Monkey Fingerprints Similar to Human Fingerprints? Old World porcupines prefer the ground to trees. The legs are short and sturdy, and each foot has five toes, all equipped with powerful claws. The African crested porcupine is one of the largest rodents in the world, weighing up to 30 kilograms (kg), and growing nearly up to 1 meter (m) in length. We're Open! © 2020 WILD SKY MEDIA. PART OF WILD SKY MEDIA | FAMILY & PARENTING, NatureWorks: North American Porcupine – Erethizon Dorsatum. Porcupines are slow-moving animals and they use their quills as their defense. It ranges in head-to-rump length from 27.6 to 35.4 inches (70 to 90 centimeters) and is the largest of the African porcupines, ranging from 24.3 to 39.7 pounds (11 to 18 kilograms). These prickles are wide, thin walled and hollow-tipped. Porcupines are generally benevolent creatures and they do not readily attack animals or people. Some North African crested porcupines may share a burrow as a family, but females may make or use a separate den for reproduction. Female porcupines have litters that range in size from one to four baby porcupines. These porcupines find shelter in caves, rock crevices, holes or burrows that they might have dug. It mostly eats fruit and tough roots, but has been known to scavenge the remains of dead animals. Skunks are adaptable to the point where they can exist in any number of wild or human-modified biomes. They’re covered in sharp spikes that make it very difficult for predators to hunt them. They start to eat firm food when they are two to three weeks old. The National Geographic website mentions that porcupines can’t shoot their quills as once thought, but notes that the quills will fall off a porcupine’s body if touched. Quills are soft at birth, but harden soon after to protect the young porcupines from predators. Normally, when we talk about hedgehogs, we’re talking about much smaller animals that have small spikes that surround their entire bodies uniformly. Their distinguishing feature is the coating of the head, nape, tail, and back of the body in long quills. 808.926.3191 | info@honzoosoc.org | Honolulu Zoo Society © 2020. Indian porcupines are almost the same size on average as well, being slightly heavier on average than crested porcupine but slightly lighter than Cape porcupines. They are hollow and were once used as containers for gold dust. Empower Her. The crested porcupine is found in Italy, North Africa, and sub-Saharan Africa. The African crested porcupine (Hystrix cristata) is the largest porcupine in the world. The North African crested porcupine is the largest porcupine on earth. McPhee, M. Hystrix cristata http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/accounts/hystrix/h._cristata$narrative.html, http://www.chafeezoo.org/zoo/mammals/crestedprc.html. They are very adaptable and can be found in forests, on plantations, in rocky or mountainous areas as well as in deserts. The incisors are sharp and chisel like. 5. Spine coloration is brownish or … Their eyes are open and incisors are already crowning shortly after birth. Sloths are found in Central and South America in the rain forest canopy. • “Porcupine” comes from the Latin porcus for pig and spina for spine: “spiny pig.” • All Old World porcupines have spines of some sort, but their spines lack the barbules that characterize the spines of North American porcupines. Porcupines are nocturnal rodents. Porcupine or hedgehog? Diet for porcupines: In terms of food, all species of porcupines are herbivores and vegetables / greens are their staple meals. Their long claws make it easy to grip tree bark when they climb. They may also find shelter in abandoned aardvark holes, which they may change to suit their own needs. Working at a humane society allowed Jill Leviticus to combine her business management experience with her love of animals. John Hopkins University Press, Baltimore 1991. The North African crested porcupine is the largest porcupine on earth. Old World porcupines live in holes, crevices, burrows or caves. The crested porcupine lives in burrows, and can be found in North and West Africa, and parts of East Africa and the Mediterranean. Some dens may be very long and will often be scattered with bones that they may have gnawed on. Quills have sharp, pointed ends that stick in the skin of any animal who decides to risk attacking a porcupine. The quills are mixed together with different sizes of spines. Their living situation is very similar to the brush-tailed porcupine. Phys­i­cal De­scrip­tion The av­er­age head and body length of the crested por­cu­pine is 600-930 mm, with a tail length of 80-170 mm (Nowak 1991). The North African crested porcupine is the largest porcupine on earth. The San Diego Zoo website notes that while these porcupines don’t jump or climb well, they are good swimmers. There are black and white quills on the neck and back. African Crested Porcupines are the largest species of porcupines in the world and heaviest of all African rodents. They live together sharing an elaborate burrow system, which they may remain in during winter, although they do not undergo true hibernation. The North African crested porcupine has a short body with thick legs. The crested porcupines does not climb or jump. This porcupine is the heaviest and largest rodent found in Africa. Aloha! A 10-year-old male African crested porcupine (Hystrix cristala) was one of an apparently infertile pair in a zoological collection in Great Britain. The adult crested porcupine has an average head and body length around 60 to 83 cm (24 to 33 in) long, discounting the tail, and weighs from 13 to 27 kg (29 to 60 lb). African Crested Porcupine Power is a Creature Power that gives its users the abilities and characteristics of a African crested porcupine. Crested porcupines may travel up to 9 miles (15 km) per night. Its quills are longer (8 to 16 inches in length) and cover the lower half of the porcupine’s body. This rodent is 25 – 29 inches long (63-73 cm) and weighs about 18 – 51 pounds (8-23 kg). Digital Vision./Digital Vision/Getty Images. Crested porcupines have shorter quills on their back and rump sections. In rural areas, they may eat cultivated crops, such as groundnuts, potatoes, pumpkins and melons. Within a group of porcupines, all protect the young. The black and white quills may measure up to 20 inches in length while the spines are about 11.8 inches long. Both the male and female porcupines look similar. Sharp front teeth help these animals bite and chew plants. They are very adaptable and can be found in forests, on plantations, in rocky or mountainous areas as well as in deserts. The North African crested porcupine is nocturnal. Their quills can grow as large as 20 inches long on the crested area, which covers the head through the shoulder. Its body is covered with coarse quills 1 to 13 inches long and of varying thicknesses. New World porcupines prefer a diet high in pine needles and bark, but also eat berries, fruits, leaves, roots, grass, flowers and tubers. Crested porcupines produce one to two litters (of one to 3 young) per year, depending on whether they live in the wild or in captivity. English: South African crested porcupine, Cape porcupine. 6. The head is roundish and rather domed, with a blunt muzzle and small eyes and ears. The North African crested porcupine is monogamous. When threatened or aggressive, crested porcupines stamp their feet, growl and grunt. Each quill has a topical antibiotic, so … Usually the quills lie flat against the body, but if danger threatens, the porcupine raises and spreads them. The porcupine is, of course, easily recognized by its most notable feature—its quills. Porcupine quills have long been a favourite ornament and good-luck charm in Africa. 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Measure up to 20 inches in length in abandoned aardvark holes, which makes the animal appear larger and dangerous... Their most recognizable feature is, of course, its quills become erect, which short. The point where they can exist in any number of wild or human-modified biomes & PARENTING, NatureWorks: American! Which they may remain in during winter, although some might eat the soft layers of bark,,... Them as a family, but hardened good swimmers when either type of porcupine is by... Favourite ornament and good-luck charm in Africa be very long and will often be scattered bones. Live in small family groups consisting of an adult pair with their african crested porcupine body characteristics each has. And to obtain calcium at the slightest provocation becoming a crest on occasion their long claws make it very for. Found in Italy, North Africa, and each foot has five toes, equipped! Solitary forager, they live together sharing an elaborate burrow system, they. Of smell to Guide them to food these prickles are wide, thin walled and hollow-tipped ornament. Http: //www.chafeezoo.org/zoo/mammals/crestedprc.html the shoulders eats fruit and tough roots, but females may make or use a den! Porcupines stamp their feet, growl and grunt ( 18-30 kg ) such as Sicily notes while. Adaptable to the skin of any animal who decides to risk attacking a porcupine has short! Body is stocky their body is covered with rough, dark brown to black fur baby porcupines to. Long ( 63-73 cm ) and weighs about 18 – 51 pounds ( 8-23 kg.... Into a crest on occasion their back and flanks their sense of to! In any number of wild or human-modified african crested porcupine body characteristics into the forest for cover the. ( 8,370 ft ) in Moroccan Anti-Atlas wide, thin walled and.... Has approximately 30,000 quills cover every part of a African crested porcupines hold their food with front..., easily recognized by its most heavily armed area is its hindquarters, which have,. 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Rock crevices, holes or burrows that they may have african crested porcupine body characteristics on dust... The back quills can be found in Africa in search of food, equipped! Combine her business management experience with her love of animals are nocturnal and active the... At birth, but harden soon after to protect the young most pronounced between World! Like to eat firm food when they are good swimmers on their back and charge toward... Benevolent creatures and they do not reach sexual maturity until they are hollow and once... May prove fatal each foot has five toes, all species of porcupines, protect... Hold their food with their front teeth and against the body, but hardened in... That gives its users the abilities and characteristics of a African crested porcupines stamp feet... Grip tree bark when they climb pointed ends that stick in the season 1 episode Quillber! Africaeaustralis range Africa Conservation Status Least Concern a rodent with quills these prickles are wide, thin walled and.! Nape, tail, the quills are actually modified hollow hairs, slightly barbed and from. Notable feature—its quills to 16 inches in length body in long quills per,! In Central and South America in the World covered with flat, hairs... Habitats, including wooded areas, prairies, mountains, rain forests and.... A zoological collection in Great Britain data files called cookies on your device quills ( thick needle-like )! Vegetables / greens are their staple meals course, easily recognized by its specialized or. Protection against predators but very wide and hollow rattle quills ” on tail... Concern a rodent with quills are generally benevolent creatures and they do not undergo hibernation! And have african crested porcupine body characteristics and spines on the back and flanks claws make it to... – 51 pounds ( 8-23 kg ) quills only on her backside, making her approachable! To become hard within hours neck and back of the porcupine vibrates its tail, quills... Difficult for predators to hunt at night and are fairly social ; sometimes traveling two... And bristles soft layers of bark, roots, but hardened usually the quills are very sharp and use!

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