Females may be larger than males, but otherwise, the sexes are alike … Sometimes, they will even take carrion back to the burrow to nibble on. If an enemy persists, then they run backward until they ram their attacker with their quills. If this fails to deter the predator, the North African crested porcupine will proceed to stamp its feet, whirr its quills to produce a rattling sound, and will then charge its enemy, back-end first, attempting to stab its enemy with its thicker, shorter quills. Between one and four young are born in the grass-lined burrow. They weigh approximately 50 lbs. If they are smart enough to knock the porcupine on it's back to get to it's soft under belly or smart enough and quick enough to out flank it and attack its face. If a predator approaches, it will first try to escape by running away. A porcupine also has many similar predators to hedgehogs. The African crested porcupine lives in hilly, rocky habitats in Sub-Saharan Africa, North Africa and Italy. DIET. Porcupines will stamp their feet, click their teeth, and growl or hiss while vibrating specialized quills that produce a characteristic rattle. Porcupine quills have long been a favorite ornament and good-luck charm in Africa. The legs are short and sturdy, and each foot has five toes, all equipped with powerful claws. Their quill lengths vary on different parts of the body, anywhere from 1” to 12” on their back. The quills detach readily if touched by a predator, but grow back quickly. An African crested porcupine's sharp, sturdy quills help protect it against predators. The gestation period of the African crested porcupine is about 112 days. Their quill lengths vary on different parts of the body, anywhere from 1” to 12” on their back. They are quite playful and, outside the burrow, they run and chase one another. So one of these predators will sometimes kill and eat a porcupine by flipping it onto its back and biting into its vulnerable belly. One porcupine predator, the fisher, is able to flip the North American porcupine onto its back, exposing its unprotected belly. So porcupines don't have any predators except humans, which can kill them with a weapon and then handle the body carefully. But few animals know this porcupine-eating trick. Appearance Female porcupines are about one kilogram heavier than males, weighing 10-24 kg and males with a mass of 10-19 kg. There is hystricidae, or Old World Porcupines, and Erethizontidae, the New World Porcupines. When cornered, these porcupines can be aggressive, runnning sideways or backwards to embed their sharp quills in an attacker. Defense. The scientific name of the species depends on whether it belongs to the Old World porcupines of the Hystricidae family, or the New World porcupines which are a part of the Erethizontidae family.. The North American porcupine (Erethizon dorsatum), also known as the Canadian porcupine, is a large rodent in the New World porcupine family. They weigh approximately 50 lbs. The African brush-tailed porcupine (Atherurus africanus) is a species of rat-like Old World porcupine, indigenous to a broad belt of Africa ranging from Guinea on the west coast to Kenya on the east. The African porcupine is the largest rodent in the regions they inhabit. As human populations expand, humans and porcupines find themselves in increasingly close quarters. It is mostly nocturnal, but will sometimes forage for food in the day, eating bark, roots, fruits, and berries, as well as farm crops. Porcupines have become a pest in Kenya and are eaten as a delicacy. The porcupine has quite an interesting heritage. 3. They can also rattle their quills making a warning sound. The black & white quills along the head and back can be raised into a crest, thus the name. The brush-tailed porcupine has many native predators: leopards, large raptors and snakes; however, humans are their most prominent and constant predators. They can erect their crest and quills at will, which makes them appear large and threatening. Find objects around your house that can function in the same way a porcupine's quills do. 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. They wear a coat of sharp quills all over their body. represent 0.5–34% of lion Panthera leo kills, interactions between the two species are poorly documented. There are two different families of porcupines. African porcupine quills are used in American Indian crafts, including quill work, which is perhaps the oldest form of embroidery used by Native Americans. Web Design & Development: Chicago Digital, Wildlife Waystation is a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization. The deep wounds inflicted from these attacks can prove fatal and crested porcupines have been known to injure lions, leopards, hyenas and even humans. The gestation period of the African crested porcupine is about 112 days. New quills will grow in to replace lost ones. New quills grow in to replace lost ones. When it is confronted by a predator, the African crested porcupine raises the 12- to 13-inch quills along its head and back into a crest so its body appears larger and more threatening. Defense behaviour displays in a porcupine depend on sight, scent, and sound. When confronted, the North African crested porcupine raises and fans its quills to appear large and imposing. These practices have eliminated them from densely settled areas. Hystrix cristata (Crested Porcupine); Atherurus africanus (African Brush-tailed Porcupine); Hystrix africaeaustralis (Cape Porcupine), 60 to 93 centimeters in length (23 to 37 inches), 15 years in the wild; up to 20 years in captivity. The word porcupine means “quill pig” in Latin; however, porcupines are large rodents and have no relation to pigs. Their status is: Protected. Quill length varies on different parts of the body, ranging from 2.5 to 30.5 centimeters (1 to 12 inches). Donate now. They are good diggers. Porcupines are rodents with an interesting way to protect themselves from predators. Porcupines are most common in hilly, rocky country, but they can adapt to most habitats — excessively moist forests and the most barren of deserts seem to be the only exceptions. They have quite acute hearing and will freeze when approached by predators, such as big cats, large predatory birds, or hyaenas. They have even been found on Mt. Learn how we're protecting Africa's species each and every day so we never have to live in a world without elephants, rhinos, and other precious wildlife. and are about 30” in length, and have very poor vision. Rodents, such as our African crested porcupines, have ever growing front teeth (called incisors). If this fails, it runs backwards and rams the attacker with the short, thick quills on its backside. Fishers will scratch at a porcupine’s face to try to get it to turn over so they can bite into its vulnerable side (the area without quills). The young leave home for the first time at about two weeks of age, as their quills — soft at birth — begin to harden. Predators of the North African crested porcupine include lions, leopards, large birds of prey and hyenas. Scales on quill tips lodge in the skin like fishhooks and are difficult to pull out. They are well-developed and are born with open eyes. Both sexes are about 84 cm in length. African Crested Porcupine is an herbivore that eats bark, bones of dead animals, roots, tubers, rhizomes, bulbs, fallen fruits, and cultivated crops. oregonzoo.org/discover/animals/african-crested-porcupine, arkive.org/north-african-crested-porcupine/hystrix-cristata/, Web Design & Development: Chicago Digital. The African cape porcupine is one of the largest members of the rodent family. They make sniffing and quill-rattling noises that can be heard from several meters. Porcupines also have a group of hollow quills on their tails which rattle when shaken. The young are suckled from six to eight weeks of age and then begin to eat vegetable matter. Rodents are mammals including rats, mice, porcupines, beavers, and more. They make little attempt to conceal themselves from potential predators. Create your own quills! The porcupine is Africa’s largest rodent. The young are suckled from … The black & white quills along the head and back can be raised into a crest, thus the name. © 2020 Wildlife Waystation, Inc. New World porcupines’ predators include martens, wolverines, pythons, eagles, and great-horned owls. They are smoked out of their burrows and hunted with spears, nets, or dogs. The reverse charge is most effective because the hindquarters are the most heavily armed, and the quills are directed to the rear. When porcupine populations close to cultivated areas surge, they can become serious agricultural pests. The predators who attack the porcupines sharing one burrow are great horned owls , leopards, coyotes, bobcats , mountain lions and wolves. Which Predators attack Porcupine? These large rodents modify natural shelters among roots and rocks, inhabit holes made by other animals, or dig their own hideaways. [An African crested porcupine will] use all those defenses: the stomping, the rattling, and the shaking of the quills. Click on the pictures below to meet our resident animals! The crested porcupine takes care of the young for a long time and small family groups consist of the adult pair and young of various ages. Although African crested porcupines Hystrix spp. Its body is covered with coarse quills 1 to 13 inches long and of varying thicknesses, with the thickest quills covering its hindquarters. African leopards: iconic big cats survive mounting threats, Building better ranger forces for wildlife conservation, China-Africa Youth Dialogues connect conservation champions. AWF engages local communities to set aside land for wildlife to live undisturbed. Their most recognizable feature is, of course, its quills. The brush-tailed porcupine is hunted in such large quantities, many in those areas fear that it is no longer a sustainable option. They erect their spikes like other animals would do with their hair, to make them seem bigger, and make grunting noises while swaying back and forth to produce rattling sounds with their quills. Porcupines can not shoot quills but will attack predator by running backward and stabbing their enemy. Farmers use dogs to hunt them or smoke them out of burrows. They are terrestrial, rarely climbing trees, but able to swim. The African porcupine is not a climber and forages on the ground. They inhabit a wide range of habitats, from sea level to 2,000 metres (6,600 ft), although they are only marginally present in dense forests and the driest of deserts, and are not found in swampland. Females usually have only one litter per year, containing one or two or, occasionally three offspring. The young leave home for the first time at about two weeks of age, as their quills — soft at birth — begin to harden. Our solutions to protecting the porcupine: African Wildlife Foundation educates communities about the importance of sustainable practices for agricultural and settlement growth by providing training on best practices and incentivizing conservation agriculture when appropriate. In the Old World such as Africa, the biggest predators for porcupines are the whole gamut of large wild cats, especially lions, who are clever enough to carefully flip the porcupines over and attack them in this way. predators. They live together sharing an elaborate burrow system, which they may remain in during winter, although they do not undergo true hibernation. Porcupine or Cape porcupine (Hystrix africaeaustralis) Order Rodentia. Three animals, however, has figured out how to eat porcupines. Activity: DIY Porcupine Defense. FAST FACTS. In the Laikipia region of Kenya — which has no formal protected areas — we partnered with the Koija community and a private operator to construct the Koija Starbeds Lodge. When the porcupine sees predators such as lion, leopard or hyena it will often “freeze”, in the hope that it won’t be noticed. Between one and four young are born in the grass-lined burrow. Not many predators are interested in porcupine meat, mainly due the strong protection it has, but those who do may experience quite a performance from the porcupine’s part. The quills are striped black and white, which serves as a warning to potential predators. It is believed that they are capable of “shooting” their quills, but this is not the case. Become a Sponsor and connect with our animals in a personal way. These … A Porcupine’s Scientific Name is Erethizon Dorsatum and Hystricidae. Any predators that live where the porcupines live can be predators to it. Despite being a solitary forager, they live in small family groups consisting of an adult pair with their young. It is unable to protect its head by rolling up like a hedgehog. The tips of its quills lodge in its enemy's skin, and the resulting wounds can disable or even kill the predator. Your support will go toward food, veterinary care and enrichment. Usually, the quills lie flat against the body, but if danger threatens, they raise and spread them. They warn potential enemies of their defense system when alarmed. African crested porcupines have shorter tails than their New World cousins and the presence of rattle quills at the end of the tail make a hiss- Moreover, the most feared predator that feeds on porcupines are the fishers. Porcupine comes from the Latin “porcus” for pig and “spina” for spine: “spiny pig”… BUT, they are not related to pigs. The video isn’t the first to show a porcupine defending itself from big cats. Porcupines are the largest and heaviest of all African rodents. The beaver is the only rodent in North America that is larger than the North American porcupine. If this strategy doesn't chase off the predator, the porcupine stamps its feet, clicks its teeth, and rattles its hollow-tipped tail quills. Cape porcupines are found across the whole of southern and central Africa, to southern Kenya, Uganda, and Congo at the northern edge of their range. In defense, when disturbed, they raise and fan their quills to make themselves look bigger. Federal ID #95-319081214831 Little Tujunga Canyon Road, Lake View Terrace, California 91342-5999(818)-899-8702. These burrows are most commonly occupied in family units. Predators of the Heart - African Crested Porcupine - YouTube They are nocturnal, and forage alone before returning to a den where it resides during the day. Defensive Skills. ... only the African porcupine would eat ants and other insects. Family Hystricidae. Quills were folded, twisted, wrapped, plaited and sewn using a wide range of techniques to decorate articles of clothing, bags, knife sheaths, baskets, wooden handles and pipe stems. However, the one main problem for porcupines is fishers. There are about two dozen porcupine species, and all boast a coat of needle-like quills to give predators a sharp reminder that this animal is no easy meal. They are well-developed and are born with open eyes. The African Porcupine is primarily nocturnal, although it may be seen during the day. Porcup… These include foxes, wolves, owls, bobcats, and cougars. They are good diggers. How does a porcupine protect itself against predators? Unleash more canine heroes to save elephants. North american porcupines predators can be bears,wolves,cougars,weasles,coyotes,bobcats,lynxes,and jaguars used to be but there range no … and are about 30” in length, and have very poor vision. New quills will grow in to replace lost ones. They are herbivores, primarily eating roots, tubers, bark and fallen fruit, and will seek out cultivated root crops like potatoes and carrots, making them agricultural pests. Surprisingly, however, studies show that porcupines can … Porcupines primarily eat roots, tubers, bark, and fallen fruit but also have a fondness for cultivated root crops such as cassava, potatoes, and carrots. Bobcats, cougars and fishers have learned that a porcupine has no quills on its stomach. Kilimanjaro, as high up as 3,500 meters (11,480 feet). 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