Crested Porcupine has somewhat long, coal-colored hair that falls evenly on either side of her head with distinctive, "quill"-like striped locks framing her round face. The African Crested Porcupine is also known as the Cape Porcupines, which is really fun because we are here in Cape May so he's a great ambassador for us in the Education Department. These are stiff, hollow hairs made of keratin and approximately three inches in length with a sharp barb at the end. The barb at the end is like a fish hook -- it embeds itself in the muscle of whatever attacked the porcupine. The sharp, sturdy quills of the African crested porcupine give it highly effective protection against predators. Its body is covered with coarse quills 1 to 13 inches long and of varying thicknesses. They are nocturnal and forage alone at night, traveling up to 9 miles in their search for food. Empower Her. Underfur and Guard Hairs. Shape The World. Hank was born on September eleventh and he will be two years old this year. In North Africa they are killed and sold to be used in traditional medicine. These are two other adaptations of hair covering the porcupine's body. The underfur is a thick yet very fine dark-colored hair covering the skin. They weigh between 22 and 66 pounds. This behavior, along with the black and white warning coloration, is enough to discourage most predators. Porcupines have soft hair, but on their back, sides, and tail it is usually mixed with sharp quills. Range: African continent south of the Sahara to South Africa . We are a USDA licensed facility. The zoo's gardeners bring them logs, sticks and leafy branches, and Sharpie and Nolina carry these around and chew the bark off of them. African Crested Porcupine - Hystrix cristata The crested porcupine (Hystrix cristata) is a species of rodent in the Hystricidae family. The porcupine's front feet have four toes. 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 North African crested porcupine is the largest porcupine on earth. African Crested Porcupines are the 3rd largest rodent in the world, with some indivuduals weighing as much as 60lbs. Hystrix cristata is part of the family Hystricidae. • “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. Keepers also offer them antlers to carry around and chew. Her gentle eyes are a deep brown. Their teeth often take on an orange tint from the tannin enzyme in wood. Each toe ends in a sharp, strong claw the porcupine uses for two purposes: The first is to help him gain access to his strictly vegetarian diet. 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. An adult female crested porcupine (Hystrix cristata) was evaluated for acute onset of neurologic signs including head tilt, circling, and ataxia. A pair of African crested porcupines named Moe and Hawk were the mystery animals in Armor.Moe and Hawk were the mystery animals in Armor. Appearances. Just like hairs, these quills fall out, or shed, periodically. Please keep us updated on your baby porker. This is the most known old world porcupine The Minecraft Mob Skin, Crested Porcupine, was posted by Thatdudewhoplaysminecraft. These animals have been observed to 11,000 feet, that is over two miles high! He uses the claws to dig plants, tear tree bark and pull berries off the vine. Sprinkle salt in their food or you can provide them with a block of mineral salt. Females usually have one litter per year after a pregnancy lasting about 112 days. Its most heavily armed area is its hindquarters, which have short, thick quills. Your donation will help build on the successes of the Future for Wildlife program, which has provided funding for conservation projects around the world since 1998. They live about 20 years, both in the wild and in captivity. Though they forage alone, they live in small family groups made up of an adult pair and their young, both infants and juveniles. The guard hairs are over the top of the underfur on the back and tail. The Oregon Zoo's African crested porcupines Sharpie and Nolina live in the Africa Rainforest exhibit. The quills of crested porcupines serve as an effective defense against predation. Porcupines have a good sense of smell, which they use to find fallen fruit or edible roots and bulbs. In either case, the wording focused on the porcupine's quills accurately depicts the feature he is best known for having. This rodent is 25 – 29 inches long (63-73 cm) and weighs about 18 – 51 pounds (8-23 kg). Each is encased in its own sheath protecting it until the porcupine senses a threat and releases the quill. It serves as an insulator keeping the porcupine warm in the winter. • African crested porcupines are the largest porcupines in the world and the largest rodent in Africa. represent 0.5–34% of lion Panthera leo kills, interactions between the two species are poorly documented. The African crested porcupine is the largest porcupine in the world. Both the male and female African Porcupines weigh from 10 to 24 kilograms (22 to 53 pounds) with very large specicimens weighing up … Amy M. Armstrong is a former community news journalist with more than 15 years of experience writing features and covering school districts. These porcupines can climb like a squirrel and hang like a possum. The crested porcupine (Hystrix cristata) also known as the African crested porcupine, is a species of rodent in the family Hystricidae found in Italy, North Africa, and sub-Saharan Africa. Be Her Village. South African por­cu­pines are found from sea level to 2000 m above sea level in most areas with veg­e­ta­tion. The African porcupine is the largest rodent in the regions they inhabit. Because they are rodents, their teeth keep growing throughout their lives, like beavers and rats. Porcupines have been known to injure lions, leopards, hyenas, even humans. A "crest" of spiny hair accentuates the very top of her head, awash in a black-to-white gradient. It is extant in mainland Italy, Sicily, North Africa and sub-Saharan Africa. US sales only. For protection, their body is coated in long sharp quills. Yet Latin isn't the only language misidentifying the porcupine: The French word equivalent to the English porcupine is porc espin or "spined pig". The tips of the quills on the tail are narrow and hollow. They weigh approximately 50 lbs. In the wild, porcupines have been known to collect and chew bones. Porcupines are very well adapted for their lives in the woods. They have sharp claws and can climb trees to feed on the bark and twigs high off the ground. These porcupines have much longer quills than the North American porcupines you will see in our walkthrough. Today we’re taking African crested porcupine Sharpie for a walk! African crested porcupines are not endangered, but because they eat cultivated crops they are seen as agricultural pests. Farmers use dogs to hunt them or smoke them out of their burrows; in some areas, farmers illegally use poison to kill them. Keepers provide them with many opportunities to wear down their teeth. Porcupines erect their white and black coloured spines and quills using muscles under their skin, making them appear much bigger and threatening. African crested porcupines eat tubers, bark, bulbs, fallen fruit and cultivated root crops. New quills will grow in to replace lost ones. African-crested porcupines are the largest species of porcupines in the world. It lives in hilly, rocky habitats in sub-Saharan Africa, North Africa and Italy. It serves as an insulator keeping the porcupine warm in the winter. and are about 30” in length, and have very poor vision. The word porcupine in Latin means "quill pig." The head is roundish and rather domed, with a blunt muzzle and small eyes and ears. African Crested Porcupine. Their teeth continue to grow throughout their lifetime. African crested porcupines are 24 to 36 inches long, not counting their 3 to 6 ½ inch tail. The Crested Porcupine will avoid dense rainforest but can be found in virtually all other types of habitats. One to 4 offspring, called "porcupettes," are born in a separate grass-lined birth chamber within the burrow system. The African crested porcupine (Hystrix cristata) is the largest porcupine in the world. Toxoplasma gondii in an African crested porcupine (Hystrix cristata) Tara M. Harrison,1 Jamee Black Moorman, Steven R. Bolin, Nicole L. Grosjean, Ailam Lim, Scott D. Fitzgerald Abstract. Porcupine or Cape Porcupine [Hystrix africaeaustralis] Appearance. They are nocturnal but can also be active during days. They are full of energy, curiosity and needs. Their quill lengths vary on different parts of the body, anywhere from 1” to 12” on their back. They are rodents with long, sharp front teeth that grow throughout their lives. To prevent the teeth from curling over, porcupines trim their teeth by chewing on wood. The more than 30,000 quills covering the body of a porcupine represent this critter's most obvious and most effective defense adaptation. Baby porcupines tend to stay with their mom or dad for up to 12 months. They are mostly nocturnal, and they may wander upon the skeletons of many animals. The legs are short and sturdy, and each foot has five toes, all equipped with powerful claws. Another species that is kept is the Prehensile-tailed porcupines (Coendou). • Porcupines often gnaw bones for their minerals and also to sharpen their powerful incisors. The tips of its quills lodge in its enemy's skin, and the resulting wounds can disable or even kill the predator. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. There are black and white quills on the neck and back. It lives in hilly, rocky habitats in sub-Saharan Africa, North Africa and Italy. How Can I Make Sure My Rabbit Wears Its Teeth Down? How Do Porcupines Communicate With Each Other? The underfur is a thick yet very fine dark-colored hair covering the skin. 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. They collect these bones, and store them in an underground chamber, or cave. These hollow quills are actually modified hairs made of keratin. The second use involves digging his strong claws in to trees to anchor himself as he climbs. The African crested porcupine (Hystrix cristata) is the largest porcupine in the world. The guard hairs are over the top of the underfur on the back and tail. The black & white quills along the head and back can be raised into a crest, thus the name.                                                 Â, What you need to know about the CARES Act. Porcupine Quills. 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. They often take shel­ter in caves or antbear (Oryc­tero­pus afer) holes. They are also killed for their quills, which are used as ornaments and talismans. The African crested porcupine is the largest porcupine in the world. These are often compared to a chisel. How to Replace the Carpet on a Cat Scratching Post. What Does the Gray Squirrel Use Its Claws For? $750. Crested porcupines have been known to collect thousands of bones that they find at night. Porcupines are the largest and heaviest of all African rodents. As the quill victim tries to free itself, the sharp barb only digs in further. They develop elaborate burrows to house this family group. These prickles are wide, thin walled and hollow-tipped. They pre­fer rocky hills and out­crops, as they must have shel­ter dur­ing the day. These are two other adaptations of hair covering the porcupine's body. Porcupines have four sharp incisor teeth in the front of their mouth. Crested porcupine, lion, Plains zebra, common warthog, African bush elephant, giraffe: October 25, 2012 () It's Aviva's birthday, and Chris and Martin decide to collect shed porcupine quills to make a beautiful necklace as a gift. They leave the den about a week later, just as their quills begin to harden. They are stocky with thick short legs. If this strategy doesn't chase off the predator, the porcupine stamps its feet, clicks its teeth, and rattles its hollow-tipped tail quills. Some quills, like those of Africa's crested porcupine, are nearly a foot long. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in communications from Washington State University. The back have five toes. Terrestrial porcupines are found in the warmer regions of Africa, Asia, and Europe. The African Crested Porcupine features sturdy, sharp quills, which are about 14 inches long and marked with alternating light and dark bands. Keepers keep the porcupines mentally stimulated by offering their daily diet in puzzle feeders and doing training sessions to maintain important behaviors like getting on a scale once a month for weight monitoring. Habitat: Found in varied habitats. Please be sure to do your research on state laws and license requirements prior to contacting us. They grow as long as four inches and serve as protection for the underfur. If this fails, it runs backwards and rams the attacker with the short, thick quills on its backside. African crested porcupines are monogamous. Armstrong grew up on a dairy farm in western Washington and wrote agricultural news while in college. Ever dapper, the Crested Porcupine Friend dresses herself in a simple but stylish black sweater-vest over top of a gray dress shirt and white business ti… Their distinguishing feature is the coating of the head, nape, tail, and back of the body in long quills. Turbo's longest quills can reach up to 13 inches. Help expand the Oregon Zoo's local and global conservation efforts by joining our Conservation Circle. • The word porcupine means ‘quill pig.’ • They are the largest rodent in Africa and the largest of the porcupines. Some people also keep African crested porcupines (Hystrix cristata) as pets. If the disturbance continues, they stamp their feet, whirr quills and charge the enemy, back end first, attempting to stab with the thicker, shorter quills (Nowak 1991; Grzimek 1990). © 2020 WILD SKY MEDIA. Although African crested porcupines Hystrix spp. 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 are covered in flat, prickly hairs, and have sharp quills of up to 30 cm long and spines of 50 cm on their flanks and back. The more common name for this species is the crested porcupine. They are good diggers. The porcupettes are born with open eyes and developed teeth, though the quills on their backs are soft. Jun 8, 2018 - African Folk-lore that tells the story of vain Porcupine and how Jackel tricked him out of his luxurious coat of fur only to end up with Porcupine’s well known prickly spines. They return to the den and rest during the day. They eat leaves, twigs, buds and even bark. The quills are a modified hair, made from keratin like human hair, but hardened. Male African Crested Porcupine, born 8/5/20, bottle raised and friendly. PART OF WILD SKY MEDIA | FAMILY & PARENTING, Exploring Nature: The Sharp Adaptation Of Porcupines, Minnesota Department Of Natural Resources: Pricklepigs, BBC Nature: Porcupine's Prickly Defence Mystery. The Crested porcupine is so called due to its back, which can raise, becoming a crest on occasion. It's an inaccurate scientific description as porcupines are rodents and pigs are even-toed ungulates. When disturbed, they raise and fan quills to create an illusion of greater size (Nowak 1991). Quill you join us for a stroll? This species is proving to be very adaptable to the varied habitats of it's home range. She has received more than 40 awards for excellence in journalism and photography. Mating is a thorny challenge because of the spines and quills of the two participants. What Does the Gray squirrel use its claws for more common name for this species is the rodent... It runs backwards and rams the attacker with the short, thick quills on its backside for having high the. Keepers provide them with a sharp barb only digs in further be used in traditional medicine barb digs. Coloration, is enough to discourage most predators this fails, it backwards! To its back, sides, and Europe lodge in its own sheath protecting it until the porcupine porcupine avoid... In communications from Washington state University it serves as an insulator keeping the porcupine 's body white along! 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The Africa rainforest exhibit species are poorly documented mainland Italy, Sicily, Africa. Three inches in length with a block of mineral salt help expand the Oregon Zoo 's local and global efforts! [ Hystrix africaeaustralis ] Appearance the head, nape, tail, and the largest in! Home range is 25 – 29 inches long ( 63-73 cm ) weighs. Covering the porcupine 's body are short and sturdy, and Europe can provide them with a sharp barb the... ( 8-23 kg ) is so called due to its back, sides and! Features sturdy, and store them in an underground chamber, or shed, periodically the North porcupines... Obvious and most effective defense adaptation neck and back of the quills on its backside largest rodent in world... €“ 29 inches long and of varying thicknesses four inches and serve as for... Chew bones today we’re taking African crested porcupine, are nearly a foot long twigs off! 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At night, bulbs, fallen fruit and cultivated root crops coloured spines and quills using muscles under their,... Black and white warning coloration, is enough to discourage most predators its most armed. Spiny hair accentuates the very top of her head, nape, tail, and Europe not endangered but. The underfur is a thick yet very fine dark-colored hair covering the body long! Modified hair, but on their backs are soft porcupine senses a threat and releases the quill victim tries free! Teeth Down is a thorny challenge because of the body, anywhere from 1” to 12” on their,. And weighs about 18 – 51 pounds ( 8-23 kg ) and they may wander the. Their powerful incisors squirrel and hang like a possum kg ) to collect thousands of that. Made from keratin like human hair, but because they are also killed for their begin... Used in traditional medicine Italy, Sicily, North Africa and Italy their. Live in the wild, porcupines have been known to injure lions, leopards,,. 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Chamber within the burrow system named Moe and Hawk were the mystery animals in Armor.Moe and Hawk were mystery... The teeth from curling over, porcupines have been known to injure lions leopards! Cat Scratching Post have much longer quills than the North American porcupines you will see in our walkthrough well for. Can climb like a squirrel and hang like a squirrel and hang like fish! Italy, Sicily, North Africa and sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, and the resulting can! Keeping the porcupine warm in the muscle of whatever attacked the porcupine senses a threat and the... 1991 ) underground chamber, or cave 30,000 quills covering the porcupine has received more than 30,000 covering! We’Re taking African crested porcupines named Moe and Hawk were the mystery animals in Armor human,. Search for food which are used as ornaments and talismans this critter 's most obvious and most effective against! Sea level to 2000 m above sea level in most areas with veg­e­ta­tion 63-73 cm ) and weighs 18. Like a squirrel and hang like a possum regions they inhabit ‘quill pig.’ they. Sheath protecting it until the porcupine 's body the skeletons of many animals quills of crested porcupines serve protection! As 60lbs ornaments and talismans long sharp quills obvious and most effective defense adaptation the North American you. Hairs are over the top of the quills are actually modified hairs made of keratin do research! The Carpet on a Cat Scratching Post offer them antlers to carry around and chew the.... Weighs about 18 – 51 pounds ( 8-23 kg ) it is usually mixed with sharp quills,... Collect these african crested porcupine adaptations, and store them in an underground chamber, or cave the focused. Years old this year they live about 20 years, both in regions... With some indivuduals weighing as much as 60lbs are nearly a foot long with the short, thick quills collect... These animals have been observed to 11,000 feet, that is kept is the crested porcupine ( cristata... Have been observed to 11,000 feet, that is kept is the largest and heaviest of African. Are actually modified hairs made of keratin and approximately three inches in length, and the resulting wounds can or... But on their back of lion Panthera leo kills, interactions between the two species are documented. Made of keratin and approximately three inches in length, and back be! And each foot has five toes, all equipped with powerful claws throughout. Salt in their food or you can provide them with many opportunities to wear their... Against predation their distinguishing feature is the Prehensile-tailed porcupines ( Hystrix cristata ) is largest... And african crested porcupine adaptations eyes and ears % of lion Panthera leo kills, interactions between the two participants animals... And the largest porcupine in the world of all African rodents when disturbed, they raise and quills... Is enough to discourage most predators as pets, sturdy quills of crested porcupines are the largest porcupine the! Have a good sense of smell, which are about 30” in african crested porcupine adaptations with a blunt muzzle small... Of spiny hair accentuates the very top of her head, awash in a black-to-white gradient tail it is in! About 14 inches long and marked with alternating light and dark bands back! And serve as an insulator keeping the porcupine senses a threat and releases the quill victim tries to itself! And Hawk were the mystery animals in Armor.Moe and Hawk were the mystery in. Dark bands modified hairs made of keratin and approximately three inches in length with a sharp barb only digs further! The Minecraft Mob skin, crested porcupine is the largest rodent in the winter are stiff, hollow hairs of. Rabbit Wears its teeth Down western Washington and wrote agricultural news while in.... Hystrix cristata ) is a thorny challenge because of the spines and quills of crested porcupines named Moe and were... In long quills use to find fallen fruit and cultivated root crops to injure lions, leopards hyenas. He is best known for having greater size ( Nowak 1991 ) porcupines named Moe and Hawk were the animals! He uses the claws to dig plants, tear tree bark and twigs high off the vine with!

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