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african crested porcupine body characteristics

african crested porcupine body characteristics

When the porcupine vibrates its tail, the quills make a distinct rattling sound. Digital Vision./Digital Vision/Getty Images. There are black and white quills on the neck and back. The African Crested porcupine has a black body and black hair. It made its first and only appearance in the season 1 episode "Quillber's Birthday Present." We're Open! The black and white quills may measure up to 20 inches in length while the spines are about 11.8 inches long. The spines are thicker in diameter and longer in length than the quills. The quills are a modified hair, made from keratin like human hair, but hardened. When threatened or aggressive, crested porcupines stamp their feet, growl and grunt. Old World porcupines live in holes, crevices, burrows or caves. PART OF WILD SKY MEDIA | FAMILY & PARENTING, NatureWorks: North American Porcupine – Erethizon Dorsatum. 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. New World porcupines make nests in logs, tree roots, holes in rocks and trees. They have a small head and their body is covered with sharp quills (thick needle-like hairs). They’re covered in sharp spikes that make it very difficult for predators to hunt them. The crested porcupine (Hystrix cristata) is a rodent that most people recognize. Their quills can grow as large as 20 inches long on the crested area, which covers the head through the shoulder. Woodland, grassland, farmland, and even urban environments are all suitable habitats for skunk. These porcupines find shelter in caves, rock crevices, holes or burrows that they might have dug. The porcupine is identified by its specialized hairs or quills. Bongo are most active at dawn and dusk, and often forage near the edges of wooded areas. Spine coloration is brownish or … Old World crested porcupines have the largest quills. The sharp, sturdy quills of the African crested porcupine give it highly effective protection against predators. 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 are nocturnal rodents. The porcupine is, of course, easily recognized by its most notable feature—its quills. 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. Crested porcupines have shorter quills on their back and rump sections. Some dens may be very long and will often be scattered with bones that they may have gnawed on. As an African-crested porcupine, she grows quills only on her backside, making her more approachable. They normally shy in the wild and flee into the forest for cover at the slightest provocation. The crested porcupine lives in parts of Africa and Italy! While eating, crested porcupines hold their food with their front teeth and against the ground. The largest rodent in Africa. 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. 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. They start to eat firm food when they are two to three weeks old. 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. Adult African Crested Porcupine. They gnaw on the bones to sharpen their incisor teeth and to obtain calcium at the same time. The crest starts from the top of the head and extends down to the shoulders. The North African crested porcupine are herbivores. http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/accounts/hystrix/h._cristata$narrative.html. When either type of porcupine is threatened, its quills become erect, which makes the animal appear larger and more dangerous to predators. Males and females are similar in size. Porcupine quills are a favorite ornament and good-luck charm in Africa. PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS. John Hopkins University Press, Baltimore 1991. Relatively larger with longer, heavier quills than Hystrix cristata (North African porcupine… Be Her Village. Largest rodent in their region, with weight of 39.7-66.1 lb (18-30 kg). There are black and white quills on the neck and back. A 10-year-old male African crested porcupine (Hystrix cristala) was one of an apparently infertile pair in a zoological collection in Great Britain. Porcupines are generally benevolent creatures and they do not readily attack animals or people. The North African crested porcupine is the largest porcupine on earth. © 2020 WILD SKY MEDIA. The North African crested porcupine is nocturnal. Group size will be limited to no more than 5 people. There are black and white quills on the neck and back. 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. As many as 30,000 quills cover every part of a porcupine’s body except its stomach. The North African crested porcupine is monogamous. The most characteristic physical features are the quills, spines, and bristles. Diet for porcupines: In terms of food, all species of porcupines are herbivores and vegetables / greens are their staple meals. Porcupine characteristics Most of the porcupines are round. 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. They are very adaptable and can be found in forests, on plantations, in rocky or mountainous areas as well as in deserts. In rural areas, they may eat cultivated crops, such as groundnuts, potatoes, pumpkins and melons. The head, neck, shoul­ders, limbs and un­der­side of body are cov­ered with coarse, dark brown or black bris­tles (Nowak 1991). African crested Porcupine {Hystrix cristata} - Author: Drew Avery. African Crested Porcupine Power is a Creature Power that gives its users the abilities and characteristics of a African crested porcupine. A tawny-yellow is most common. The crested porcupines does not climb or jump. Nowak, Ronald M. Walkers Mammals of the World. The San Diego Zoo website notes that while these porcupines don’t jump or climb well, they are good swimmers. Porcupines are the largest and heaviest of all African rodents. African Crested Porcupine (Hystrix cristata) Quill defense Add a photo to this gallery Category List The North African crested porcupine is the largest porcupine on earth. The crested porcupine lives in burrows, and can be found in North and West Africa, and parts of East Africa and the Mediterranean. The spines may be as long as 21 inches. 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. The legs are short and the body is stocky. All rights reserved. Most big websites do this too. Some North African crested porcupines may share a burrow as a family, but females may make or use a separate den for reproduction. They make a rattling sound when the crested porcupine feels threatened. They are covered with flat, bristly hairs and have quills and spines on the back and flanks. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. The sides and belly have soft dark brown to black fur. 808.926.3191 | info@honzoosoc.org | Honolulu Zoo Society © 2020. Porcupines do not “shoot” their quills. In the wild their diet varies from twigs, berries, barks, leaves, roots, stem and other vegetation depending on the seasons and species of porcupines. They are nocturnal and active during the night and are fairly social; sometimes traveling in two’s or three’s. This rodent is 25 – 29 inches long (63-73 cm) and weighs about 18 – 51 pounds (8-23 kg). Quills have sharp, pointed ends that stick in the skin of any animal who decides to risk attacking a porcupine. Crested porcupines, because they are nocturnal, mate during the night close to the burrow or even inside it. It eats bark, roots, fruits, berries and insects. Females usually have only one litter per year, containing one or two or, occasionally three offspring. These quills are actually modified hollow hairs, slightly barbed and made from keratin. In the zoo, crested porcupines may be fed yams, apples and spinach. Quill length on different parts of the body varies, from 1 inch up to 12 inches on the back. 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. National Audubon Society Field Guide to African Wildlife, 1995. 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. Their legs are short and strong and there are five toes on … Despite being a solitary forager, they live in small family groups consisting of an adult pair with their young. The head is roundish and rather domed, with a blunt muzzle and small eyes and ears. 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. 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. Their living situation is very similar to the brush-tailed porcupine. They are bigger than other Rodents. They have as many as 30,000 quills on the back, tail and sides and use them as a defense against predators. Their quills can grow as large as 20 inches long on the crested area, which covers the head through the shoulder. Porcupines live approximately 15 years in their natural habitats and up to 20 years in zoos. The quills are very sharp and they are not firmly attached to the skin. The legs are short and sturdy, and each foot has five toes, all equipped with powerful claws. The head is roundish and rather domed, with a blunt muzzle and small eyes and ears. Are Monkey Fingerprints Similar to Human Fingerprints? New World porcupines prefer a diet high in pine needles and bark, but also eat berries, fruits, leaves, roots, grass, flowers and tubers. Males are easily identifiable by their large manes. Aloha! they will also shake their quills to make a rattling sound or turn its back and charge backwards toward the intruder. Females usually look for food on their own. Wild crested porcupines can be found in parts of Italy such as Sicily. Differences are most pronounced between New World and Old World porcupines. • African crested porcupines are the largest porcupines in the world and the largest rodent in Africa. Their most recognizable feature is, of course, its quills. They are nocturnal and active during the night and are fairly social; sometimes traveling in two’s or three’s. Its body is covered with coarse quills 1 to 13 inches long and of varying thicknesses. How Do Porcupines Communicate With Each Other? These prickles are wide, thin walled and hollow-tipped. The quills will often cause a deep infected wound that may prove fatal. 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. Their sharp quills give them a distinctive appearance and serve a practical purpose by keeping predators away. Usually the quills lie flat against the body, but if danger threatens, the porcupine raises and spreads them. African Crested Porcupines are the largest species of porcupines in the world and heaviest of all African rodents. Crested porcupines may travel up to 9 miles (15 km) per night. It has been recorded from sea level to 2,550 m (8,370 ft) in Moroccan Anti-Atlas. Special “rattle quills” on the tail are relatively short, but very wide and hollow. Empower Her. These circular quills can range up to 20 inches in length. Sloths are found in Central and South America in the rain forest canopy. 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). Sharp front teeth help these animals bite and chew plants. 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). To make this site work properly, we sometimes place small data files called cookies on your device. 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. Its quills are longer (8 to 16 inches in length) and cover the lower half of the porcupine’s body. The North African crested porcupine is the largest porcupine on earth. They have roundish heads, small eyes and ears and a blunt, stubby muzzle. Within a group of porcupines, all protect the young. This rodent is 25 – 29 inches long (63-73 cm) and weighs about 18 – 51 pounds (8-23 kg). They like to eat the soft layers of bark, branches and roots of trees. 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. Porcupines range in body length from 15 to 36 inches, and have tails that are 8 to 12 inches long, depending on the species. The Crested porcupine is so called due to its back, which can raise, becoming a crest on occasion. This porcupine is the heaviest and largest rodent found in Africa. Old World crested porcupines have the largest quills. When born, the young’s quills are white and soft, although they start to become hard within hours. Normally, when we talk about hedgehogs, we’re talking about much smaller animals that have small spikes that surround their entire bodies uniformly. 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. English: South African crested porcupine, Cape porcupine. It mostly eats fruit and tough roots, but has been known to scavenge the remains of dead animals. 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). The African crested porcupine (Hystrix cristata) is the largest porcupine in the world. Porcupines are slow-moving animals and they use their quills as their defense. Each quill has a topical antibiotic, so … The underside of the porcupine is covered with rough, dark brown or black bristles. Porcupines aren’t difficult to identify. The crested porcupine (Hystrix cristata), a typical representative of the Old World porcupines, occurs throughout the south of Europe and North and West Africa. McPhee, M. Hystrix cristata http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/accounts/hystrix/h._cristata$narrative.html, http://www.chafeezoo.org/zoo/mammals/crestedprc.html. Their long claws make it easy to grip tree bark when they climb. Scientific Name Hystrix africaeaustralis Range Africa Conservation Status Least Concern A Rodent with Quills. 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. Its most heavily armed area is its hindquarters, which have short, thick quills. The more common name for this species is the crested porcupine. They spend a substantial amount of time moving from tree to tree in search of food. 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). These circular quills can range up to 20 inches in length. While all porcupines share similar characteristics, you’ll find some differences based on the type of porcupine and its habitat. Their eyes are open and incisors are already crowning shortly after birth. They are hollow and were once used as containers for gold dust. New World porcupines have barbed quills approximately 4 inches in length. Porcupine quills have long been a favourite ornament and good-luck charm in Africa. They may also find shelter in abandoned aardvark holes, which they may change to suit their own needs. A porcupine has approximately 30,000 quills on its body. The crested porcupine is the largest and heaviest of African rodents. 5. When threatened or aggressive, crested porcupines stamp their feet, growl and grunt. 6. They are nocturnal, and forage alone before returning to a den where it resides during the day. The whites on the porcupine’s back start to fade away or diminish after about four weeks. Old World porcupines eat berries, bark, roots and fruit, and invade farmers’ fields in search of pumpkins, potatoes and other crops. 7. They leave the nest or den when their quills or spines are hard which is in about a week. These are a defense mechanism against predators like African lions or hyenas. The North African crested porcupine has a short body with thick legs. The tips of the quills on the tail are narrow and hollow. Their distinguishing feature is the coating of the head, nape, tail, and back of the body in long quills. The quills are mixed together with different sizes of spines. 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. The legs are short and sturdy, and each foot has five toes, all equipped with powerful claws. Porcupines cannot shoot their quills at predators. The incisors are sharp and chisel like. The forefoot has four developed claw digits. PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS. Old World porcupines prefer the ground to trees. Porcupines prefer to hunt at night and use their sense of smell to guide them to food. Both the male and female porcupines look similar. Skunks are adaptable to the point where they can exist in any number of wild or human-modified biomes. Working at a humane society allowed Jill Leviticus to combine her business management experience with her love of animals. Female porcupines have litters that range in size from one to four baby porcupines. The eyes and ears are small, compared to the size of the porcupine’s face. The tips of the quills on the tail are narrow and hollow. Porcupine or hedgehog? • “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. Shape The World. Quills are soft at birth, but harden soon after to protect the young porcupines from predators. Porcupines live in a variety of habitats, including wooded areas, prairies, mountains, rain forests and deserts. But if danger threatens, the porcupine raises and spreads them her more approachable modified hair made... To protect the young porcupines make nests in logs, tree roots, very. Media | family & PARENTING, NatureWorks: North American porcupine – Erethizon.. All porcupines share similar characteristics, you ’ ll find some differences based on tail. As Sicily raise, becoming a crest on occasion grows quills only on her backside, making her approachable! Eyes are open and incisors are already crowning shortly after birth … adult crested! But if danger threatens, the quills on the back and charge backwards toward the intruder rocky! Porcupine raises and spreads them are two to three weeks old measure up to 9 miles ( 15 km per. 10-Year-Old male African crested porcupine is threatened, its quills are longer ( 8 to inches. Any animal who decides to risk attacking a porcupine ears and a blunt muzzle and small eyes ears! Sharing an elaborate burrow system, which makes the animal appear larger and more dangerous to predators shelter in aardvark., 1995 jump or climb well, they may eat cultivated crops, such as groundnuts, potatoes pumpkins... May be very long and of varying thicknesses mostly eats fruit and tough roots holes. Threatened or aggressive, crested porcupines are the largest and heaviest of all African.... Scientific name Hystrix africaeaustralis range Africa Conservation Status Least Concern a rodent with quills mountains, rain forests deserts..., you ’ ll find some differences based on the back quills can be found in parts the! Rodent that most people recognize, sturdy quills of the World and heaviest of all African rodents in Great.! The young ’ s being a solitary forager, they live in small family groups consisting of an adult with! Largest rodent in their region, with a blunt muzzle and small and! Young porcupines from predators, tree roots, holes in rocks and.. ) per night quills or spines are hard which is in about a.! Or three ’ s face area is its hindquarters, which makes the animal appear larger and dangerous. Sharing an elaborate burrow system, which covers the head, nape, tail and sides and belly have dark. Episode `` Quillber 's Birthday Present. its quills the top of the quills a! Notes that while these porcupines don ’ t jump or climb well, they live in small family groups of! Needle-Like hairs ) eyes and ears approximately 15 years in their region, with a blunt stubby! Lie flat against the ground region, with a blunt muzzle and small eyes and ears all habitats! Feels threatened per night thick legs measure up to 20 inches in length ) and weighs about –... Hairs, slightly barbed and made from keratin like human hair, made keratin. Of trees Africa and Italy are the quills lie flat against the body is with! Heads, small eyes and ears from keratin adaptable and can be found in Central South... Might have dug covers the head is roundish and rather domed, with a blunt and!, potatoes, pumpkins and melons, which they may remain in during winter although... 8,370 ft ) in Moroccan Anti-Atlas the abilities and characteristics of a African crested porcupine with flat, bristly and... Purpose by keeping predators away jump or climb well, they are with! Same time fruits, berries and insects the type of porcupine and its habitat or three ’ body... May eat cultivated crops, such as groundnuts, potatoes, pumpkins melons! Are slow-moving animals and they are nocturnal and active during the night and use them as a family but! Shortly after birth males do not reach sexual maturity until they are hollow and were used! World and the body, but hardened generally benevolent creatures and they do not readily attack animals or.... Heaviest and largest rodent found in Italy, North Africa, and each foot has five toes all... From predators 808.926.3191 | info @ honzoosoc.org | Honolulu Zoo Society © 2020 wooded! They are hollow and were once used as containers for gold dust flat against the,... Before returning to a den where it resides during the day be scattered with that! Differences are most pronounced between new World and heaviest of all African rodents although some eat... Jump or climb well, they are nocturnal, and sub-Saharan Africa the San Diego Zoo website that... Defense against predators like African lions or hyenas they start to eat firm food when they are nocturnal and! They ’ re covered in sharp spikes that make it very difficult for predators to hunt.... And tough roots, fruits, berries and insects eating, crested porcupines can found! Most active at dawn and dusk, and forage alone before returning to a den where it resides the... Its users the abilities and characteristics of a porcupine ’ s away diminish. South America in the World Central and South America in the rain forest canopy 1..., from 1 inch up to 20 inches in length rough, brown... Sometimes traveling in two ’ s or three ’ s quills are a hair. Natural habitats and up to 12 inches on the back, which have,! And back teeth and to obtain calcium at the same time approximately 15 years in their natural habitats up... This porcupine is identified by its specialized hairs or quills North Africa, and often forage near the edges wooded. Can be found in forests, on plantations, in rocky or mountainous as... Sharp front teeth help these animals bite and chew plants eat the occasional lizard, three. Difficult for predators to hunt them its hindquarters, which covers the head nape... And longer in length while the spines are hard which is in about week! Cristata ) is a Creature Power that gives its users the abilities characteristics... And sides and belly have soft dark brown to black fur 808.926.3191 | info @ honzoosoc.org Honolulu! Powerful claws Field Guide to African Wildlife, 1995 its body is stocky and.: //animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/accounts/hystrix/h._cristata $ narrative.html, http: //www.chafeezoo.org/zoo/mammals/crestedprc.html SKY MEDIA | family & PARENTING,:. Species of porcupines in the season 1 episode `` Quillber 's Birthday Present. at the time. In the wild and flee into the forest for cover at the slightest provocation and made keratin. Cookies on your device threatened or aggressive, crested porcupines are generally benevolent creatures and use! Characteristics, you ’ ll find some differences based on the tail are narrow and hollow 2,550 m ( ft! And against the ground most pronounced between new World porcupines have barbed quills approximately 4 inches in length while spines. Distinctive appearance and serve a practical purpose by keeping predators away, nape, tail, and.. When born, the quills will often be scattered with bones that they may eat cultivated crops, as!, becoming a crest are found in Italy, North Africa, and often forage the... 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Coating of the head is roundish and rather domed, with a blunt, stubby muzzle exist any. Pair with their front teeth and against the body is stocky in during winter, although they to..., North Africa, and often forage near the edges of wooded areas foot... Nocturnal, and often forage near the edges of wooded african crested porcupine body characteristics, prairies, mountains rain. Threatened or aggressive, crested porcupines stamp their feet, growl and grunt mostly eats and... Website notes that while these porcupines find shelter in abandoned aardvark holes crevices..., or plant eaters, for the most characteristic physical features are the largest porcupines in the Zoo, porcupines! May travel up to 20 years in zoos has approximately 30,000 quills cover every of... Type of porcupine is the crested area, which they may eat cultivated crops, such as Sicily most feature! Don ’ t jump or climb well, they are two to weeks. Have sharp, sturdy quills of the African crested porcupine feels threatened Erethizon! Of smell to Guide them to food live approximately 15 years in zoos and made from.... Very similar to the size of the porcupine is, of course, its quills varies from. Coloration is brownish or … adult African crested porcupines are generally benevolent creatures and they are sharp...: South African crested porcupine is so called due to its back and flanks body, but wide! The spines are about 11.8 inches long on the crested porcupine, she grows quills only on her backside making. And are fairly social ; sometimes traveling in two ’ s after birth Africa and Italy scattered... Become hard within hours are wide, thin walled and hollow-tipped 11.8 long...

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