• African-Crested Porcupine

    Hystrix cristata

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    DISTRIBUTION

    • North Africa

    • Length: 25-29 inches
    • Weight: 18-51 lbs

    HABITAT

    • Forests, on plantations, in rocky or mountainous areas, and deserts.
    • They are usually found in caves or rock crevices, or burrows that they dig themselves

    REPRODUCTION

    • Gestation period: 107-112 days
    • Produce 1-2 litters per year which produce 1-3 young each
    • When born, the young’s quills are white and soft, although they start to become hard within hours. Their eyes are open and incisors are already crowning shortly after birth

    DIET

    • Bark, roots, fruits, berries and insects
    • They also gnaw on the bones to sharpen their incisor teeth and to obtain calcium at the same time

    OTHER FACTS

    • Life span: 10-18 years
    • They have black and white quills on their neck and backs. The quills are narrow and hollow and can be up to 20 inches long. But not all quills are the same length they vary in length throughout the body
    • The quills are used for protection, and they make a rattling sound when animal feels threatened
    • The back quills of the porcupine can be erected into a crest, this crest starts form the top of the head and extends down to the shoulders
    • The underside of the porcupine is covered with rough, dark brown or black bristles
    • Males and females look very similar, both having a short body and thick legs
    • Largest porcupine in the world
    • Nocturnal
    • Can be social animals, sometimes sharing a burrow with their families, and scavenging at night for food
    • Can travel up to 9 miles at night searching for food
    • Porcupines are rodents, so their teeth grow constantly. To keep them from growing out of control, they eat non-stop. As a rodent, they are able to chew through almost anything
    • Are known for their backward charges

     

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