Though they forage alone, they live in small family groups made up of an adult pair and their young, both infants and juveniles. There are two families or porcupines, Hystricidae (Old World Porcupines) and Erethizontidae (New World Porcupines). Females usually have only one litter per year, containing one or two or, occasionally three offspring. Despite a mistaken belief that porcupines shoot their quills, these animals, in fact, spread their quills, backing into the opponent and opening them upon contact. It uses its paws to hold food while eating and it will keep an assortment of bones in its burrow to knaw on. They gnaw on the bones to sharpen their incisor teeth and to obtain calcium at the same time. Although they have been found at altitudes of 11,480 feet on Mount Kilimanjaro, they are not found in dry, empty deserts or damp forests. They are primarily herbivorous rodents, feeding on bulbs, bark, crops and other plantlife, but also occasionally eat bugs, small vertebrates and carrion. Between one and four young are born in the grass-lined burrow. lignivore; eats sap or other plant foods They are also hunted for their quills, used as ornaments and talismans. Our resident superstar african crested porcupine! The African crested porcupine (Hystrix cristata) is the largest porcupine in the world. Cape Porcupine Facts. The majority of the diet of our African crested porcupines in the park is made up of fresh vegetables but they also have access to specialist biscuit pellets which give these rodents something hard to chew on, keeping their sharp teeth in check. They spend the h African crested porcupines are the largest species of porcupines found in Africa. Crested Porcupine Hystrix cristata. Diet. According to IUCN, The Crested porcupine is generally common and widespread throughout its range but no overall population estimate is available. Porcupine, African Crested. Their food and undigested plant fibres are broken down in the large intestine and … As a young child, I was always fascinated by their quills, but it never once crossed my mind that you could bond with them or create mutual relationships. African porcupines are largely herbivorous, digging out bulbs, roots and tubers with their strong claws. Their quill lengths vary on different parts of the body, anywhere from 1” to 12” on their back. Due to consuming cultivated crops and gnawing on plantation trees, these rodents are persecuted and poisoned with bait by farmers as a pest species. Food and digestion. Despite being a solitary forager, they live in small family groups consisting of an adult pair with their young. Diet: Variety of plants, roots, and fruit. New world porcupines tend to have shorter quills which you could describe as barbs rather than spines Cape porcupines are the largest rodents in Africa and also the world's largest porcupines. 1. As nocturnal animals, porcupines use their long whiskers to help them feel around in the dark when foraging. Primary Diet; herbivore. The quills are a modified hair, made from keratin like human hair, but hardened. Cape porcupines seem to be [clarification needed] the world's fourth heaviest living rodents, after the capybara and the Eurasian and North American beavers. In order to wear down their teeth, these rodents chew hard objects such as bones, collecting them in their burrows. Their quills have bacteria, which is extremely dangerous for other animals, and can be fatal once getting into their blood. Click on the pictures below to meet our resident animals! Diet: African spurred porcupines are primarily herbivores, or plant-eaters. The African crested porcupine lives in hilly, rocky habitats in Sub-Saharan Africa, North Africa and Italy. These herbivorous (lignivorous) rodents mainly consume bark, roots, tubers, rhizomes, bulbs, fallen fruits and cultivated crops, complementing their diet with insects and small vertebrates. Within the first week of their lives, young porcupines begin to venture from the den, by which time their spines start hardening. Turbo loves to make an appearance at our animal presentations where she educates and entertains. © 2020 Wildlife Waystation, Inc. Cape porcupines are also known to gnaw on bones for calcium as well as in order to sharpen their incisors. Brachyura Credit: Getty Images pile of malayan porcupine diet that have lots of pine needles in them to 16 inches porcupine! African Crested Porcupines are the largest species of porcupines in the world and heaviest of all African rodents. There are many similarities between the two families, but for this text, we will consider only the African Crested Porcupine. Their quills are the primary mean of self-defense: when the animal is disturbed or threatened, the quills raise and vibrate, making the porcupine look larger than it is. The gestation period of the African crested porcupine is about 112 days. Although the crested porcupine has been confirmed as a “generalist” species in terms of food selection, with adaptations to dig underground storage organs, a strong preference for fruits and epigeal parts of plants was detected in our study. 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. Quills of newborn porcupines are soft, starting to harden just a few hours after birth. The Crested porcupine is so called due to its back, which can raise, becoming a crest on occasion. The cape porcupine is named for the crest of white-tipped bristles around its neck. The North African crested porcupine are herbivores. Adult African Crested Porcupine. However; porcupines are not related to pigs, they are actually rodents. They mate in November-December. If this action doesn't work, it will stamp its feet, vibrate its quills, attacking the opponent back first in order to stab the rival with thicker and shorter quills on its back end. Farmers use dogs to hunt them or smoke them out of burrows. These porcupines are found in woodlands, forests and savannahs in areas of North Africa, sub-Saharan Africa and Italy. FAQs and photos and husbandry information. The North African crested porcupine is monogamous. As nocturnal animals, the Crested porcupines spend their daytime hours in dens, coming out to forage by night. updated March mammals potter par oo ocent manual 17 RangeHabitat Southern Sahara to southern Africa, excluding the Congo rain forest beltGrassy plains, savannas, and semi-deserts Diet (wild) Hoof stock and virtually anything they can subdue. To ingest calcium and sharpen incisors, they often gnaw on bones. African crested porcupines eat tubers, bark, bulbs, fallen fruit and cultivated root crops. In addition, they can use carrion on occasion. They develop elaborate burrows to house this family group. Cape porcupines are also known to gnaw on bones for calcium as well as in order to sharpen their incisors. Undigested fibers are retained in the enlarged appendix and anterior large intestine and broken up by microorganisms (Grzimek 1990). The Crested porcupines are monogamous animals, forming long-lasting pairs. Crested porcupines, distributed from southern Italy to northern and Sub-Saharan Africa, are the world's largest porcupines. Status: protected . 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. Populations in both Europe and Africa attract hunters for their meat, which is a delicacy in some countries of North and West Africa. Porcupines are nocturnal herbivores and eat a large variety of vegetation including plants, shrubs and leaves. Diet for porcupines: In terms of food, all species of porcupines are herbivores and vegetables / greens are their staple meals. The size of the spikes can depend on the porcupine’s species with one of the largest belonging to the African Crested Porcupine as stated by National Geographic. The black & white quills along the head and back can be raised into a crest, thus the name. The porcupine does not shoot its quills at predators; rather, it sheds them on impact so that they become imbedded in an attacker. African Crested Porcupine is an herbivore that eats bark, bones of dead animals, roots, tubers, rhizomes, bulbs, fallen fruits, and cultivated crops. The crested porcupine is for the most part herbivorous, eating roots, bulbs, and leaves, but occasionally they do consume insects, small vertebrates, and carrion. Crested Porcupine on The IUCN Red List site -, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crested_porcupine, http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/10746/0. It has long hair and black-and-white quills that can grow to a foot in length. Crested porcupines have high crowned teeth with plane chewing surfaces for grinding plant cells that are then digested in the stomach (Grzimek 1990). As opposed North American porcupines, quills of these animals aren't barbed. Your support will go toward food, veterinary care and enrichment. Size: Head-body length 60 - 93cm Weight: 10 - 24kg. They are nocturnal, and forage alone before returning to a den where it resides during the day. Years later, I adopted my first porcupine on whim. ACMs are considered works in progress, since practices continue to evolve through advances in scientific knowledge. In rural areas, they may eat cultivated crops, such as groundnuts, potatoes, pumpkins and melons. New quills will grow in to replace lost ones. They return to the den and rest during the day. Asian porcupine ' porcupines, this porcupine is the African porcupine uses its powerful to. They live together sharing an elaborate burrow system, which they may remain in during winter, although they do not undergo true hibernation. They usually cover the porcupine’s body, sometimes even being around their face. The quills of this rodent are so sharp, that the animal can injure lions, leopards, hyenas and humans. In the wild their diet varies from twigs, berries, barks, leaves, roots, stem and other vegetation depending on the seasons and species of porcupines. In Morocco, these animals are believed to have a pharmaceutical value, being killed and sold in large numbers to be used in traditional ‘medicines’ and witchcraft. Plains – A slice of Africa is recreated in Indianapolis in the expansive Plains exhibit. Her favorite rewards are sweet potatoes, oranges, and the occasional scratch on the chin! These animals often travel long distances looking for food. These herbivorous (lignivorous) rodents mainly consume bark, roots, tubers, rhizomes, bulbs, fallen fruits and cultivated crops, complementing their diet with insects and small vertebrates. To mating, the male porcupine urinates on the islands of Borneo and Sumatra over. These rodents inhabit forests, rocky and mountainous areas, croplands and sandhill deserts of Italy, Sicily and the Mediterranean coast of Africa up to northern Zaire and Tanzania. The world's largest porcupine, this rodent exhibits black and white quills along its head. Predators of the North African crested porcupine include lions, leopards, large birds of prey and hyenas. Their diet consists of tubers, bark, bulbs, fruit, and roots and they can travel up to … They can be trained to some extent as they do well with positive reinforcement behavior. Gestation period lasts for 112 days, yielding 1 - 2 well-developed babies. The word porcupine means ‘quill pig’ in Latin. It eats bark, roots, fruits, berries and insects. Like all members of the family Hystricidae, the crested porcupine is covered in fearsome quills of varying lengths and thickness which provide it highly effectiv… Their distinguishing feature is the coating of the head, nape, tail, and back of the body in long quills. The use of information within the manuals should be in accordance with all local, state, and federal laws and regulations concerning the care of animals. 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. Meanwhile, these rodents are social animals, forming small family units of an adult pair and their offspring. Farmers use dogs to hunt them or smoke them out of burrows. Established in 1964, the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species has evolved to become the world’s most comprehensive information source on the global conservation status of animal, fungi and plant species. Sexual maturity is reached before getting the adult weight, within 1 - 2 years old. African crested porcupines are one of my personal favorites. They are good diggers. The young are born in a special chamber, located in their burrow system and lined with grass. Become a Sponsor and connect with our animals in a personal way. These prickles are wide, thin walled and hollow-tipped. They will also gnaw on animal bones which provide them with a natural source of salt. They weigh approximately 50 lbs. Web Design & Development: Chicago Digital, Wildlife Waystation is a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization. The African crested porcupine lives in hilly, rocky habitats in Sub-Saharan Africa, North Africa and Italy. The crested porcupine is found in Italy, North Africa, and sub-Saharan Africa. Interesting Facts: • Like other rodents, they have a single pair of sharp, continually growing incisor teeth that they use to gnaw and rip tough plant material. The African crested porcupine is the largest rodent in Africa, and the 3rd largest rodent in the world, behind the capybara and beaver. These families live in complex burrow systems, where they spend their winter months without hibernating. and are about 30” in length, and have very poor vision. They are nocturnal and forage alone at night, traveling up to 9 miles in their search for food. Porcupine 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. Measurements. Federal ID #95-319081214831 Little Tujunga Canyon Road, Lake View Terrace, California 91342-5999(818)-899-8702. Porcupine comes from the Latin “porcus” for pig and “spina” for spine: “spiny pig”… BUT, they are not related to pigs. Crested Porcupine Wikipedia article -, 2. Due to the well-developed sense of hearing, these animals are able to hear fruit drop from a tree up to several yards away. Porcupine quills are a favorite ornament and good-luck charm in Africa. Habitat. Diet and Nutrition. DIET. Mostly herbivorous, this rodent forages long distances in search of food and lives and breeds in underground burrows in monogamy. In the zoo, crested porcupines may be fed yams, apples and spinach. The crested porcupine is a member of the rodent family and the largest species of porcupine. 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. They can gather thousands of bones in a single burrow. These 5 week-old babies love their ba-ba but also ALREADY eat solid foods. 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. In captivity, fruits and veggies should be their staple diet. They are well-developed and are born with open eyes. In addition, they can use carrion on occasion. They are solitary foragers, taking long trips of up to 15 km each night. The deep wounds inflicted from these attacks can prove fatal and crested porcupines have been known to injure lions, leopards, hyenas and even humans. Not sure what possessed me, but I am grateful for the experiences she brought into my life. The young leave home for the first time at about two weeks of age, as their quills — soft at birth — begin to harden. Commercial entiti… The African crested porcupine is usually found in rocky, hill country but they are very adaptable animals who make their home in most types of environment, though there are a few exceptions. The African Crested Porcupine is a large, stout rodent with small eyes, a blunt rounded head, and erect quills which cover its crown, back and flanks. The crested porcupine is an Old World porcupine inhabiting Italy, North Africa, and sub-Saharan Africa named for its impressive and defensive crest of 35 centimeter-long quills. On this episode, The Zoo take in two African Crested Porcupines named Junebug and Sneedy. Their status is: Protected. More About African Crested Porcupines. They are quite playful and, outside the burrow, they run and chase one another. During the first 2 - 3 weeks, they feed upon maternal milk, until they include solid food in their diet. Currently, this species is classified as Least Concern (LC) on the IUCN Red List. When the Crested porcupine is threatened, these quills vibrate, producing a hiss-like sound. oregonzoo.org/discover/animals/african-crested-porcupine, arkive.org/north-african-crested-porcupine/hystrix-cristata/, Web Design & Development: Chicago Digital. They also feed on fallen fruit and bark and have been reported to eat carrion at times. Although clumsy on land, they are agile in water, being exceptionally good swimmers. Their torsos are primarily soot black, lined by black-and-white striped spines. 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