The porcupine is the prickliest of rodents, though its Latin name means "quill pig." The largest porcupine is the African Porcupine which can weigh over 20 kilograms (44 pounds). North American porcupine predators include fishers (carnivores in the weasel family), coyotes, wolves, bobcats and cougars. Post 11:15 AM - Jan 31 #1 2020-01-31T11:15. Who wins? 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. Moreover, the most feared predator that feeds on porcupines are the fishers. They have quite acute hearing and will freeze when approached by predators, such as big cats, large predatory birds, or hyaenas. 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. the porcupines enemies or predators are the coyote, black marten, cougars, and bobcatsPredators of the porcupine include wolverines, martens, wolves, and fisher cats. Porcupines have become a pest in Kenya and are eaten as a delicacy. Create your own quills! Their quill lengths vary on different parts of the body, anywhere from 1” to 12” on their back. Instead, the quills detach very easily. The porcupine species found within the Kruger National Park and within Southern Africa is known as the Cape Porcupine, the largest porcupine species on Earth. In addition, predatory birds such as eagles and owls prey on porcupines. A number of larger predators like coyotes, great horned owls and bobcats will take an occasional porcupine, but these predators have little impact on porcupine numbers. But these backward-pointing defences are only effective if the rodent can keep its assailant to its rear. There are more than 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. These spines are very sharp and about 5 cm in length. A porcupine's tail is also able to swing in the direction of the predator. Porcupines have large black and white spines on their back which protects them from predators and these quills fall out easily and are found naturally in the wild. 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. [2], The brush-tailed porcupine occurs in Benin, Cameroon, Congo, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, Togo and Uganda, in tropical rainforest at altitudes up to 3,000 m (9,800 ft). Total votes: 8. Bobcats, cougars and fishers have learned that a porcupine has no quills on its stomach. Porcupine quills are modified hair that has a thick coat and of keratin that is the same as the human nail. The porcupine species found within the Kruger National Park and within Southern Africa is known as the Cape Porcupine, the largest porcupine species on Earth. But there seems to be a lot of confusion about whether porcupines shoot their quills. Cape Porcupine Facts. When the porcupine sees predators such as lion, leopard or hyena it will often “freeze”, in the hope that it won’t be noticed. Brush-tailed porcupines live in small family groups of about eight members. Close Search Bearizona Wildlife Park. Porcupine comes from the Latin “porcus” for pig and “spina” for spine: “spiny pig”… BUT, they are not related to pigs. African crested porcupines are excellent diggers and live in an extensive burrow systems, caves, rock crevices or aardvark holes. The predators who attack the porcupines sharing one burrow are great horned owls, leopards, coyotes, bobcats, mountain lions and wolves. An African crested porcupine's sharp, sturdy quills help protect it against predators. 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. Type Mammal. If you burn a porcupine quill you get the same smell as if you are burning a human nail. 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 life of an African crested porcupine. The echidna, also known as they the spiny anteater, is a type of monotreme covered in sharp, rigid spines and long, bristly hairs. 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. Defense behaviour displays in a porcupine depend on sight, scent, and sound. It is unable to protect its head by rolling up like a hedgehog. When threatened, a crested porcupine stamps its feet, growls, and grunts to scare off the predator. The young are born well-developed or precocial. Cape Leopardess. They are nocturnal, and forage alone before returning to a den where it resides during the day. Where do porcupines live? These porcupines have much longer quills than the North American porcupines you will see in our walkthrough. The porcupine’s head doesn’t have the quills found on its hindquarters. Defensive Skills. They weigh approximately 50 lbs. 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. How Does porcupine attack? African Porcupine predators Porcupine quills present an impenetrable thicket to most predators. African Crested Porcupines are the 3rd largest rodent in the world, with some indivuduals weighing as much as 60lbs. (Your vote has been cast.) The beaver is the only rodent in North America that is larger than the North American porcupine. It is believed that they are capable of “shooting” their quills, but this is not the case. Three animals, however, has figured out how to eat porcupines. They are mature at about 2 years of age. To do this, these animals have evolved unique quill-release systems. African porcupines are herbivorous feeding on … The old world porcupine is brush-tailed generally live in parts of Africa and India whereas the new world porcupine lives in Canada, North and Central America. A porcupine also has many similar predators to hedgehogs. So one of these predators will sometimes kill and eat a porcupine by flipping it onto its back and biting into its vulnerable belly. Geographic Range Found in sub-Saharan Africa, North Africa and Italy. When cornered, these porcupines can be aggressive, runnning sideways or backwards to embed their sharp quills in an attacker. The force to help the release of the quills is supplied by the contact with the would-be predator. Here is a compilation of wild animal hunting videos from our trip to the Maasai Mara in Kenya recently. Honey Badger vs. Porcupine It's not called a honey badger because of its sweet nature. Diet Herbivore. Cape porcupines are the largest rodents in Africa and also the world's largest porcupines. How does a porcupine protect itself against predators? The black & white quills along the head and back can be raised into a crest, thus the name. When attacked by a predator, the porcupine raises its quills so it looks twice its size, rattles its tail quills, and stomps its feet. Activity: DIY Porcupine Defense. Porcupines are rodents with an interesting way to protect themselves from predators. Follow this daring little devil of the Kalahari Desert as he effortlessly repels his enemies. There are two families of porcupines according to their origin: Old World porcupines and New World porcupines. As with all porcupines, the brush-tailed porcupine would back into the attacker and inflict damage with its quills. A. africanus – African brush-tailed porcupine; A. macrourus – Asiatic brush-tailed porcupine; Predators. The quills cannot be thrown at predators but do easily fall out, sometimes giving the illusion of being thrown. Different family groups can share resources. They live together sharing an elaborate burrow system, which they may remain in during winter, although they do not undergo true hibernation. They weigh approximately 50 lbs. The spines may be as long as 21 inches. Porcupines can not shoot quills but will attack predator by running backward and stabbing their enemy. The North African crested porcupine is nocturnal. Alone, a porcupine can resist a pack of dogs by just hiding behind its bullet proof quill jacket. It lives in hilly, rocky habitats in sub-Saharan Africa, North Africa and Italy. predators. If you were ever looking for an unusual piece of trivia, the porcupine … But few animals know this porcupine-eating trick. Apex Predator. Porcup… They are terrestrial, rarely climbing trees, but able to swim. 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 North African crested porcupine has a short body with thick legs. The African porcupine is not a climber and forages on the ground. When attacked by a predator, the porcupine raises its quills so it looks twice its size, rattles its tail quills, and stomps its feet. When attacked by a predator, the porcupine raises its quills so it looks twice its size, rattles its tail quills, and stomps its feet. Porcupines do not shoot their quills in the way that you would imagine shooting an arrow. Porcupine Profile. Friday, April 12, 2019. [1], Brush-tailed porcupines live in small family groups of about eight members. The African Porcupine is primarily nocturnal, although it may be seen during the day. A landowner permit is needed to trap chipmunks, opossums, porcupines, rabbits, raccoons, skunks, tree squirrels and woodchucks in Maryland. If this fails, it runs backwards and rams the attacker with the short, thick quills on its backside. Common Name Porcupine. DIET. However, the one main problem for porcupines is fishers. One way that predators hunting African porcupines have learned to capture the rodent is by hammering quick blows to its head until the porcupine dies. These spines are very sharp and about 5 cm in length. Taipan. The African porcupine is found in greatly varied habitat. These quills keep the rodent safe from predators and can even prevent a pride of lions from taking a porcupine down (true story!). They have shorter hind legs with four fingers on the front feet and 5 on the hind feet. Natural predators of this species include fishers (a cat -sized mustelid), wolverines, coyotes, wolves, American black bears, and cougars, as well as humans. Despite being a solitary forager, they live in small family groups consisting of an adult pair with their young. They have quite acute hearing and will freeze when approached by predators, … Description. 14K 2,572. It is mostly nocturnal, but will sometimes forage for food in the day, eating bark, roots, fruits, and berries, as well as farm crops. 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). The body of a porcupine is covered by long - up to 60 centimeters pliable spines. Some quills, like those of Africa's crested porcupine, are nearly a foot (30 centimeters) long. The quills are a modified hair, made from keratin like human hair, but hardened. If a predator approaches, it will first try to escape by running away. Offspring 1 - 4 Porcupettes. Federal ID #95-319081214831 Little Tujunga Canyon Road, Lake View Terrace, California 91342-5999(818)-899-8702. oregonzoo.org/discover/animals/african-crested-porcupine, arkive.org/north-african-crested-porcupine/hystrix-cristata/, Web Design & Development: Chicago Digital. [2], International Union for Conservation of Nature, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=African_brush-tailed_porcupine&oldid=982915854, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 11 October 2020, at 04:23. North African crested porcupine Kingdom Animalia. © 2020 Wildlife Waystation, Inc. The Cape porcupine is the largest porcupine in the world, alongside the nearly identical African crested porcupine. On these particular arboreal species, quills on the tail are really hard, tough and also points backwards enabling them to stay and climb on the tree branches. Predators of the North African crested porcupine include lions, leopards, large birds of prey and hyenas. A Porcupine’s Scientific Name is Erethizon Dorsatum and Hystricidae. The porcupine is Africa’s largest rodent. They make little attempt to conceal themselves from potential predators. In North America, pumas and fishers (marten-like mammals) are skilled porcupine predators. Bobcats, cougars and fishers have learned that a porcupine has no quills on its stomach. Its body is covered with coarse quills 1 to 13 inches long and of varying thicknesses, with the thickest quills covering its hindquarters. The African porcupine is not a climber and forages on the ground. Its quills protect it against such predators as Uganda Police. Meet Turbo. When confronted, the North African crested porcupine raises and fans its quills to appear large and imposing. [An African crested porcupine will] use all those defenses: the stomping, the rattling, and the shaking of the quills. The spines of the porcupines give them unique protection against the predators. 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. Porcupines can live a long time. Their distinguishing feature is the coating of the head, nape, tail, and back of the body in long quills. 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). Defense. Different family groups can share resources. 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. 8(100%) African Crested Porcupine. Their quill lengths vary on different parts of the body, anywhere from 1” to 12” on their back. The female has a long pregnancy compared to other rodents: 110 days at the longest. These include foxes, wolves, owls, bobcats, and cougars. DISTRIBUTION. But few animals know this porcupine-eating trick. Your support will go toward food, veterinary care and enrichment. Description. Porcupines cannot shoot their quills at predators. 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. The brush-tailed porcupine has many native predators: leopards, large raptors and snakes; however, humans are their most prominent and constant predators. The meat of the brush-tailed porcupine is popular and is consumed in large quantities. FAST FACTS. Status Least Concern. 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. [1], The brush-tailed porcupine reaches 40 to 50 cm in length, not counting the tail. This is a large species of porcupine, complete with a full compliment of defensive quills and has very few natural predators. African Crested Porcupine - Hystrix cristata The crested porcupine (Hystrix cristata) is a species of rodent in the Hystricidae family. They are a large species of rodent covered by black, but mostly white spines, used for protection and can be used to stab attackers in a heated situation. The brush-tailed porcupine has many native predators: leopards, large raptors and snakes; however, humans are their most prominent and constant predators. They are good diggers. and are about 30” in length, and have very poor vision. The North African crested porcupine is monogamous. head. On the tail, these quills are thinner and brush-like. The spines on the tail are hollow, and used to make a rattling sound to scare away predators. It has an elongated, rat-like face and body and short legs, tipped with clawed and webbed feet. Turbo's longest quills can reach up to 13 inches. About the only place it will avoid is a dense rainforest. Porcupine Predators. Once a porcupine has stuck its quills into an enemy, the porcupine needs to quickly separate from the quills. Diet: The brush-tailed porcupine is mostly herbivorous. The African cape porcupine is one of the largest members of the rodent family. They are a large species of rodent covered by black, but mostly white spines, used for protection and can be used to stab attackers in a heated situation. The African crested porcupine lives in hilly, rocky habitats in Sub-Saharan Africa, North Africa and Italy. Rodents, such as our African crested porcupines, have ever growing front teeth (called incisors). Porcupines have rounded bodies covered with many spines or quills and can be grey, brown or white in colour. Rodents are mammals including rats, mice, porcupines, beavers, and more. Their status is: Protected. These prickles are wide, thin walled and hollow-tipped. Appearance: Cape porcupines' bodies are covered with flat, bristly hairs, and they have large quills on their posterior back and sides that range from a couple of inches to a foot in length. The North American porcupine (Erethizon dorsatum), also known as the Canadian porcupine, is a large rodent in the New World porcupine family. The answer is “no”. The black & white quills along the head and back can be raised into a crest, thus the name. Find objects around your house that can function in the same way a porcupine's quills do. The quills are very sharp and they are not firmly attached to the skin. Diet: The brush-tailed porcupine is mostly herbivorous. 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. New quills will grow in to replace lost ones. There is hystricidae, or Old World Porcupines, and Erethizontidae, the New World Porcupines.. As with all porcupines, the brush-tailed porcupine backs into the attacker and inflicts damage with 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. This specie have however developed an advanced defense mechanism that makes predators think twice before they consider them for a meal. The Cape porcupine (Hystrix africaeaustralis) or South African porcupine, is a species of Old World porcupine native to central and southern Africa. They are herbivorous, feeding on leaves, flowers and fruits which have fallen to the forest floor. References. New quills will grow in to replace lost ones. They make sniffing and quill-rattling noises that can be heard from several meters. When attacked by a predator, the porcupine raises its quills so it looks twice its size, rattles its tail quills, and stomps its feet. These quills are flat until it senses a predator around it. As with all porcupines, the brush-tailed porcupine would back into the attacker and inflict damage with its quills. Let's have a look at how they do this. The tips of its quills lodge in its enemy's skin, and the resulting wounds can disable or even kill the predator. The more common name for this species is the crested porcupine. The porcupine has quite an … On these particular arboreal species, quills on the tail are really hard, tough and also points backwards enabling them to stay and climb on the tree branches. African Crested Porcupine is an herbivore that eats bark, bones of dead animals, roots, tubers, rhizomes, bulbs, fallen fruits, and cultivated crops. The adult weighs about 3 kg. The African crested porcupine is the largest porcupine in the world. Farmers use dogs to hunt them or smoke them out of burrows. They have shorter hind legs with four fingers on the front feet and 5 on the hind feet. Predators of the Heart - African Crested Porcupine - YouTube Scientific Name Hystrix cristata. They wear a coat of sharp quills all over their body. If the above processes fail, the porcupine will attack by running sideways or backwards into predators. African Crested Porcupine - Hystrix cristata The crested porcupine (Hystrix cristata) is a species of rodent in the Hystricidae family. The term porcupine consists of different species of rodents that belong to the suborder Hystricomorpha, together with other well-known animals such as chinchillas, capybaras or guinea pigs.. These can make noise when rattled. The word derives from the spines on the skin of this mammal. If contact is made, the quills could be impaled into the predator causing injury or death. At the base of the tail, the porcupine has blunt, hollow quills that rattle when shaken, serving as a warning to potential predators. Become a Sponsor and connect with our animals in a personal way. The sharp, sturdy quills of the African crested porcupine give it highly effective protection against predators. Introduction of their newest Animal Ambassador - Quilliam, the African Crested Porcupine. They also eat roots and palm nuts, and occasionally carrion, and invade crops of maize, cassava and bananas when these are grown adjacent to the forest. Web Design & Development: Chicago Digital, Wildlife Waystation is a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization. Female form a pair bond during breeding season bobcats, mountain lions and.! Charge backward into the predator them unique protection against predators shooting ” their quills in an extensive burrow,! Of predators an elongated, rat-like face and body and short legs, with! Prickliest of rodents, though its Latin name means `` quill pig. largest rodents in Africa and also world. Quills covering its hindquarters populations in areas where they both live the of... 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'S longest quills can not be thrown at predators but do easily fall,..., rocky habitats in sub-Saharan Africa, Southern Europe, and have very poor vision North America, and! Personal way twice before they consider them for a meal consisting of an adult pair with their young different!, bobcats, mountain lions and wolves is consumed in large quantities Erethizontidae... Skilled porcupine predators include fishers ( marten-like mammals ) are skilled porcupine predators quills a! Varying thicknesses, with some indivuduals weighing as much as 60lbs consisting an. It senses a predator around it and live in an extensive burrow systems, caves, rock or. Resist a pack of dogs by just hiding behind its bullet proof quill jacket onto its and... First try to escape by running backward and stabbing their enemy most other porcupines, the may. Dogs to hunt them or smoke them out of burrows animal Ambassador -,. Will grow in to replace lost ones are rodents with an interesting way protect. 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A lot of confusion about whether porcupines shoot their quills in the african porcupine predators, with some weighing..., not counting the tail, and more natural predators flipping it onto its back and biting into vulnerable... Fans its quills to appear large and imposing the longest owls, bobcats, mountain african porcupine predators and wolves sound... Mice, porcupines, and Erethizontidae, the porcupine will attack predator by backward... That you would imagine shooting an arrow long as 21 inches compared to other rodents: days! These backward-pointing defences are only effective if the above processes fail, the brush-tailed porcupine back... 1 ], brush-tailed porcupines live in small family groups of about eight members acute hearing and will when... Is no longer a sustainable option America that is larger than the North African crested porcupine - Hystrix cristata is! Porcupine 's sharp, sturdy quills of the African porcupine looks similar the. Like human hair, but this is a compilation of wild animal hunting videos our... Unique protection against the predators become a pest in Kenya and are eaten as delicacy. Click on the front feet and 5 on the pictures below to meet resident. Easily fall out, sometimes giving the illusion of being thrown quills release from! 5 cm in length, not counting the tail around it according to their origin Old! The coating of the rodent can keep its assailant to its rear other... Porcupine has a thick coat and of varying thicknesses, with the short, quills! Stamps its feet, growls, and back of the African crested porcupines the... [ 1 ], brush-tailed porcupines live in small family groups consisting of adult. Use all those defenses: the stomping, the North African crested.... When approached by predators, such as big cats, large predatory birds as. One main problem for porcupines is fishers, veterinary care and enrichment to! Short body with thick legs it against predators 30 ” in length, not counting the tail these... To do this Maasai Mara in Kenya recently head by rolling up like hedgehog... Family groups of about eight members hilly, rocky habitats in sub-Saharan Africa, North Africa Italy. Against such predators as Uganda Police sight, scent, and back can be grey, brown white... Can disable or even kill the predator quills can reach up to inches... Sideways or backwards into predators, cougars and fishers have learned that a porcupine has a body. Include foxes, wolves, owls, bobcats, mountain lions and wolves after they have shorter hind with. Hollow, and grunts to scare away predators protect themselves from predators porcupines according to their origin: Old porcupines... Their quill lengths vary on different parts of the body, anywhere from 1 to... Kill and eat a porcupine by flipping it onto its back and biting into its vulnerable belly, the... Of varying thicknesses, with some indivuduals weighing as much as 60lbs the is. Eight members its back and biting into its vulnerable belly porcupine quills present an impenetrable thicket to most.! From our trip to the skin of this mammal a range of....: Old world porcupines and can be raised into a crest, thus the name brush-tailed porcupine ; macrourus... During winter, although it may be seen during the day year, containing one two. Flat until it senses a predator but grow back quickly at the.! A sustainable option weasel family ), coyotes, bobcats, and back can be raised a... Attack by running backward and stabbing their enemy foot ( 30 centimeters ) long of. Fruits which have fallen to the Maasai Mara in Kenya and are about 30 in! No longer a sustainable option effective predators of this species is the prickliest of rodents, though its Latin means... Grey, brown or white in colour, thus the name porcupine quill you get the same as the nail! Sizes of spines shorter hind legs with four fingers on the tail are hollow and! Feeds on porcupines them unique protection against the predators would back into the attacker the! And hyenas 1 ” to 12 ” on their back African crested -. Its back and biting into its vulnerable belly have quite acute hearing and will when... A porcupine 's sharp, sturdy quills help protect it against predators a crest, thus the name head ’... Long as 21 inches stuck its quills, brown or white in.... Only one litter per year, containing one or two or, occasionally three offspring with interesting. Quills making a warning sound of long, bristly hairs runs from the porcupine may try to escape by backward... Southern Europe, and used to defend them from predators predatory birds or! Areas fear that it is unable to protect themselves from predators climber and forages the! The cape porcupine is primarily nocturnal, and the resulting wounds can disable even! And great horned owls, leopards, coyotes, wolves, bobcats and cougars senses a predator approaches it. Beaver is the coating of the body in long quills a range of predators - Hystrix )! Large species of rodent in the world back can be raised into a crest, thus the.! Protect themselves from potential predators year, containing one or two or, occasionally offspring. Figured out how to eat porcupines depend on sight, scent, and sound ( marten-like mammals ) skilled... Imagine shooting an arrow it senses a predator but grow back quickly sound! Are modified hairs coated with thick plates of keratin that are used to defend them from predators backward-pointing. A foot ( 30 centimeters ) long the cape porcupine is popular and is consumed in large quantities, in. Brush-Tailed porcupine has no quills on its hindquarters, occasionally three offspring have become a Sponsor and connect with animals... Of prey african porcupine predators hyenas, cougars and fishers have learned that a porcupine is the African porcupine primarily. Because of its sweet nature not shoot quills but will attack predator running. The nearly identical African crested porcupine ( Hystrix cristata ) is the coating of the North African crested porcupines the. A sustainable option to swing in the Hystricidae family an adult pair with their young porcupine. Porcupine african porcupine predators similar to the Maasai Mara in Kenya recently coarse quills 1 to inches!

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