cape porcupine quills

Newborns and juveniles have high survivorship (Barthelmess 2006). Cape porcupines mate throughout the year, although births are most common during the rainy season, between August and March. Although the body is robust, the legs are very stocky and short, while the tail is practically unseen. Father defends territory, protects young, grooms young, and chaperones young on foraging trips (van Aarde 1998; Barthelmess 2016b). Dark brown to black. Its proportions are not as attractive as its animal itself. Populations in the Wild The cape porcupine is covered in bristly quills varying in thickness. Pair defends territory, which shifts in size and location over time and from season to season (van Aarde 1998; Corbet 1991; Skinner and Chimimba 2005; Barthelmess 2016b). Found in most vegetation types of southern Africa: savanna grassland, brushland, acacia and miombo woodlands, semi-arid deserts, and margins of lowland and montane tropical forests (Skinner and Chimimba 2005; Barthelmess 2016b; Cassola 2016). Questions and comments may be addressed to library@sandiegozoo.org. The word porcupine means “quill pig” in Latin; however, porcupines are large rodents and have no relation to pigs. Most Popular Safaris. 300 to 400 g (0.7 to 0.9 lb) [managed care] (van Aarde 1985). Available for students in Year 4 and above, as well as community groups. Population trend: stable (Cassola 2016). Cape porcupines are the largest rodents in Africa and also the world's largest porcupines. 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. Unfortunately for porcupines, their quills have become popular for use in the fashion industry and in décor items. Image credit: © San Diego Zoo Global. The black-and-white speckled quills grow up to 50 cm long. Diet It has a distinctive appearance with its protective body covering of long rigid quills and flexible spines, banded in black and white. THe porcupine does not shoot its quills out in defence, as it is rumoured to do. The Cape porcupine has black hair and there is an obvious crest of lighter hair running from the head and down to the shoulders. The photo of the quill is mine, the one of the porcupine also downloaded from google images. Mating System Help to reduce populations of bulbs that are poisonous to cattle (Homeria spp. Rodents make up about 40% of all the mammal species on Earth. https://animaldiversity.org/accounts/Hystrix_africaeaustralis Cape porcupine (Hystrix africaeaustralis). The porcupine’s body is black. One can only pick up a handful of quills that are naturally shed by porcupines in the bush. Fact sheet index, San Diego Zoo Global Library, Email the librarians at library@sandiegozoo.org, (note: replace YYYY Mmm dd with date accessed, e.g., 2019 Dec 31), https://ielc.libguides.com/sdzg/factsheets/cape-porcupine, International Environment Library Consortium. From the stocky Cape porcupine in South Africa (and across central and southern Africa), to the North American porcupine known as the New World porcupine. They are covered in quills which is where their name porcupine derives … Reproduction . Legs relatively short (Barthelmess 2006, 2016b). Another amazing adaptation we see here is the quills of an African/Cape porcupine. Diet and habitat . Crest of long hair from top of head to top of shoulders. 1. Lactation period: about 100 days, on average (range: 37 to 163 days) [obs. Lactation and Weaning If contact is made the porcupine’s quills can become dislodged and embedded in face and body of its pursuer. Grunting, snuffling noises, and piping calls (Skinner and Chimimba 2005; Happold 2013). Join Zoo News for exclusive updates from Perth Zoo. Locomotion Hunted for their meat and quills (Barthelmess 2006, 2016b; Cassola 2016). 10.0-24.1 kg (22.0-52.1 lb) (Barthelmess 2006, 2016b), Head-body Length When attacked, the porcupine freezes.If cornered, it turns vicious and charges to stab its attacker with its quills. It is very unlikely that these quills have been ethically harvested. When chased by a predator, however, a porcupine will stop suddenly, causing the predator to run into the quills. They are heavily built animals, with stocky bodies, short limbs, and an inconspicuous tail. Adapts well to agricultural areas (Pillay et al. Well-developed sense of smell; scent mark feeding areas (de Villiers et al. It also rattles the short quills on its tail. Mainly eat plants; take bones back to burrow to chew as a source of dietary minerals, or possibly to sharpen teeth (de Graff 1981). Bulbs, roots, shoots, root vegetables (e.g., potatoes, carrots), groundnuts, fruits, stems, and tree bark. Sexual Maturity The Cape porcupine is very similar to the somewhat smaller crested porcupine ... Like all porcupines, most of the backside and flanks are covered in long spines and quills. IUCN Status Communication One can only pick up a handful of quills that are naturally shed by porcupines in the bush. When Nova Scotia SPCA enforcement officers first saw the dog in late April, things looked bleak. In a family group, only the dominant female in the adult pair conceives (reproduction suppressed in subadult females). A large porcupine, up to 50-60 pounds but more commonly 30-45, closely related to the African crested porcupine (Hystrix cristata), with which its range somewhat overlaps. The Cape porcupine is the largest porcupine in the world, alongside the nearly identical African crested porcupine. The Cape Porcupine is the largest species of porcupine in the world growing up to 90cm long. This porcupine (Hystrix africaeaustralis) is known as the Cape Porcupine, the African Porcupine and South African Porcupine. Krantzkloof Nature Reserve < > At a Glance: Size: 70cm: Mass: 30kg max: Lifespan: 12-15 years in the wild: Conservation Status: Least Concern : Description. This is a real African Cape Porcupine (Hystrix africaeaustralis) skull! Seek out calcium-rich food sources (de Graff 1981; Skinner and Chimimba 2005; Barthelmess 2006, 2016b; Cassola 2016). These spines also protect porcupines while they're in their burrows or shelters. The Quills can be as long as 30 cm’s! Forage above the ground (Happold 2013). Cape Porcupines feed on tree bark – a habit that may help with the health of the African savannah ecosystem – and even gnaw bones. We quite often see the quills, and very occassionally the porcupines themselves and we love to think of them, snuffling around in the dark, happily digging up fynbos bulbs, of which we have plenty on the mountain. Length : 84 cm . Size These incredible, large, animals put the North American Porcupine to shame. Dig holes that open up soil surface, allowing water to seep into ground and new plants to grow (Bragg et al. The quills themselves are essentially modified hairs. The Cape Porcupine (Hystrix africaeaustralis)- or the old world porcupines are members of the “Shy Five” Appearance. A cape porcupine’s back is covered in spines that can be up to 20 inches long. Porcupine quills are commonly found embedded in the muzzle, face, head, and neck of dogs, but can be found anywhere. Quills banded black and white (warning coloration) (Barthelmess 2006, 2016a). They break off easily but grow back rapidly. Parental Care Body Weight In the wild: about 10 years (Barthelmess 2016b) It is very unlikely that these quills have been ethically harvested. 2015). Capable diggers (Skinner and Chimimba 2005; Happold 2013). Description. Both parents care for offspring. Facial whiskers long (Skinner and Chimimba 2005). Adults grow to 25-29 inches long and weigh from 20-66 pounds. The Cape Porcupine cannot be mistaken for any other animal in southern Africa. Careless predators may end up with quills so deeply embedded that fatal wounds can develop. Armed with quills reaching up to 20" (50cm) long, they make an incredibly difficult meal - even for the most clever of predators. These por­cu­pines are cov­ered with flat, bristly hairs and have quills and spines on the pos­te­rior back and flanks. Hyenas (de Graff 1981) Quills are not barbed. The only thing you can do if it does come at you is to try and hit it as hard as you can on the nose; that’s the way some lions have learnt to deal with them. Reproductive behavior occurs throughout the year (may reinforce pair bond) (van Aarde 1985; Morris and van Aarde 1985; van Aarde and Skinner 1986a, 1986b; van Aarde and van Wyk 1991; Happold 2013; Barthelmess 2016b). Porcupine quills are not only bleeding sore, they cause wounds that suppurate and which will eventually kill any dog, or even lion or leopard that’s unwise enough to take one on. Adults grow to 25-29 inches long and weigh from 20-66 pounds. It’s not because they are carnivore but because of the minerals it gets from them. Each Cape Porcupine is covered in bristly quills which vary in thickness. It can be found in most habitats with the exception of the Namib Desert coastal strip. If cornered, it turns vicious and charges to stab its attacker with its quills. 93 days, on average (van Aarde 1985; van Aarde and Skinner 1986b), Litter Size The quills on the neck and back are black and white and the tips of the tail quills can range up to 20 inches long. Caught and killed by some farmers. Disclaimer: Although San Diego Zoo Global makes every attempt to provide accurate information, some of the facts provided may become outdated or replaced by new research findings. The longest spines grow as long as the animal's body and quills only eight inches shorter. Get the latest news and events straight to your inbox. This porcupine rattles special quills on the end of its tail as a warning. Lions have been known to prey on Cape Porcupine. Porcupine quills have long been a favorite ornament and good-luck charm in Africa. Go behind-the-scenes to experience our rare and extraordinary animals up-close! It turns out Bear might have the heart of a lion. It’s one prickly baby, an African Cape Porcupine. Mother suckles young almost continuously the first two weeks; then, more intermittently up to 20 weeks of age (van Aarde 1985). Threats: The Cape Porcupine is widespread, however, because of its taste for underground food, farmers consider them pests as they eat potatoes and other root vegetables. We quite often see the quills, and very occassionally the porcupines themselves and we love to think of them, snuffling around in the dark, happily digging up fynbos bulbs, of which we have plenty on the mountain. Otherwise, the porcupine may retreat into its burrow, exposing only its quills and making it hard to dislodge. They make a rattling sound when the porcupine feels threatened. Otherwise, the porcupine may retreat into its burrow, exposing only its quills and making it hard to dislodge. Offspring often disperse when mature but may stay with family group, if dispersal opportunities are limited (typically when competing for space and food in high-density populations) (Corbet 1991). The spines covering the body measure about 50mm in length, with sharp black defence quills scattered in … A crest of erectile long coarse hairs runs from the top of the head along the neck to the shoulder. They weigh from 10 to 24 kilograms (22 to 53 pounds), with exceptionally large specimens weighing up to 30 kg (66 lb). Warning display includes feet stamping, raising quills, and shaking rattle-quills on tail (Barthelmess 2016b). The quills are banded black and white. Once imbedded, quills cannot easily be pulled out. managed care] (van Aarde 1985). Description: The Cape Porcupine is the largest rodent in Africa. SDZG Library Mission: to provide outstanding information resources and services to advance knowledge in animal and plant care and conservation, inspire passion for nature, ignite personal responsibility, and strengthen our organization’s capacity to save species worldwide. These porcupines are covered with flat, bristly hairs and have quills and spines on the posterior back and flanks. head. 2005; Barthelmess 2016b). Facts . Nocturnal (de Graff 1981; Corbet 1991). Rather, they get stuck in whatever touches the porcupine. Weight : 10 to 19 kg. Forage at night, singly or near each other in a small group: parent–offspring groups or adult pairs (possible mate guarding) (van Aarde 1987; Barthelmess 2016b). When alarmed the porcupine erects it’s quills and shakes it’s tail to scare away predators with the loud noise produced by the butt wiggle! Diet: The Cape Porcupine is a herbivore. The porcupine has quite an … Here are some of the interesting facts about the cape porcupine. Considered fairly common. No scientific estimates. Gnawing tree bark and old bones provides essential minerals to Cape Porcupines and hones their powerful incisors. No major threats. Coloration Eyes and ears small. In the wild: When cornered by a predator, the Cape Porcupine becomes aggressive, running backwards or sideways in an attempt to spear its attacker with its quills. Statistics Conservation status : Least concern . The cape porcupine’s tail is covered in hollow quills that make a rattling sound. Cape porcupines are the largest rodents in Africa and also the world's largest porcupines. Cape porcupine considered an ecosystem engineer because of its foraging habits. When alarmed the porcupine erects it’s quills and shakes it’s tail to scare away predators with the loud noise produced by the butt wiggle! General Appearance Species: africaeaustralis The cape porcupine is named for the crest of white-tipped bristles around its neck. Rump covered in short spines that lay flat against body (Skinner and Chimimba 2005). A Porcupine’s Scientific Name is Erethizon Dorsatum and Hystricidae. A large porcupine, up to 50-60 pounds but more commonly 30-45, closely related to the African crested porcupine (Hystrix cristata), with which its range somewhat overlaps. The Cape Porcupine is nocturnal, but can sometimes be spotted during the day. If its assailant still doesn’t take heed of these warnings, it may get a face full of quills. Do Porcupine Shoot Quills? 60% of litters have 1 young (Delany 1975; de Graff 1981; van Aarde 1985; Barthelmess 2006, 2016b), Interbirth Interval These incredible, large, animals put the North American Porcupine to shame. Overall, dark brown to black (de Graff 1981). The African porcupine is the largest rodent in the regions they inhabit. http://ielc.libguides.com/sdzg/factsheets/cape-porcupine. Each porcupine quill has a greasy coating and at the tip is a small, backward projecting barb that serves to work the quills ever deeper into the flesh. When chased by a predator, however, a porcupine will stop suddenly, causing the predator to run into the quills. Description: The Cape Porcupine is the largest rodent in Africa. The photo of the quill is mine, the one of the porcupine also downloaded from google images. 10 Days Uganda Safari tour; 3 Days Uganda Gorilla Trekking; 5 Days Gorilla and Chimpanzee trekking Adult male–female pair spends most time within a small territory at the core of a larger, non-defended home range. Apparently this is the biggest porcupine in the world. Most young born August to March (peak in January) [obs. Burrows Cape Porcupine Part of the Rodent family, the Cape Porcupine is the largest species of Porcupine in the world. Both species have long, white, stiletto-like quills running the length of their backs that, when raised, make the animals appear at least twice as large as they actually are. They live in extended family groups of one breeding pair and their previous litters of offspring. If contact is made the porcupine’s quills can become dislodged and embedded in face and body of its pursuer. Cape porcupines mate throughout the year, although births are most common during the rainy season, between August and March. Cape porcupines are one of the world’s largest porcupine species. During the day, shelter in rock crevices, caves, or abandoned aardvark burrows; also dig holes in the ground or termite mounds (de Graff 1981; Barthelmess 2016b). Live in family group comprised of an adult breeding pair, and subadult and juvenile offspring. Here are some of the interesting facts about the cape porcupine. Also hunted by humans for their meat and quills (Barthelmess 2016b). It has long hair and black-and-white quills that can grow to a foot in length. The difference between quills and spines is largely one of length and thickness, with spines up to 50 cm long and quills up to 30 cm long. Perth Zoo's Conservation Calendar is back! When threatened, a porcupine erects its quills and backs towards its assailant. They enter head first, so that their quills will point backward to the burrow's entrance. The interesting bit is the Quills! managed care; van Aarde 1985], during summer rainy period. Dark brown to black. The Cape porcupine has black hair and there is an obvious crest of lighter hair running from the head and down to the shoulders. Both species have long, white, stiletto-like quills running the length of their backs that, when raised, make the animals appear at least twice as large as they actually are. Armed with quills reaching up to 20" (50cm) long, they make an incredibly difficult meal - even for the most clever of predators. Gestation The trouble is, quills keep moving inward. Porcupines sport a very effective defense: their hair, which has evolved into sharp quills! They are an enormous family of creatures, and although the Old World porcupines, and New World porcupines, are all from the same branch of the rodent family, they are actually not closely related. On its tail, the spines are hollow to make a rattling sound. Although the Cape porcupine's quills are not barbed like those of the new world porcupines, they can penetrate very deeply and cause great pain and discomfort. The Cape porcupine (Hystrix africaeaustralis) or South African porcupine, is a species of Old World porcupine native to central and southern Africa . The quills of the cape porcupine are the longest in the world. No climbing or jumping abilities (de Graff 1981). The Cape Porcupine is the largest species of porcupine in the world growing up to 90cm long. The major difference between Old and New world species is that the Old World porcupines live on the ground and often in small groups, while the New World porcupine… These lo Contrary to popular myth, a porcupine’s quills cannot be fired at enemies but are loosely embedded in the skin and easily shed on contact. From the head to the base of it’s tail, a cape porcupine measures between 63 and 81cm (25 and 32in) long. Despite popular myth, the porcupine isn’t able to throw its quills. Southern half of Africa (Congo–Uganda, southward) (Barthelmess 2016b). The belief that porcupines can shoot their quills is an old wives' tale. This skull measures ~5" long and is avail Can run quickly, when necessary. This is a real African Cape Porcupine (Hystrix africaeaustralis) skull! San Diego (CA): San Diego Zoo Global; [accessed YYYY Mmm dd]. The black and white quills of the Cape porcupine are an iconic African symbol and are sometimes used in curios and other products including lamp shades, bracelets, mirror frames and hats. Breeding Tail short and covered in hollow rattle-quills (typically > 60 mm) (Barthelmess 2006). The head is roundish and rather domed, with a blunt muzzle and small eyes and ears. The Cape porcupine is the largest porcupine in the world, alongside the nearly identical African crested porcupine. Males: 8 to 18 months (van Aarde and Skinner 1986a) When a would-be attacker approaches, the cape porcupine wags its tail. 1994; Barthelmess 2016a, 2016b). Cape porcupines have a large distribution, ranging across the southern half of Africa. They enter head first, so that their quills will point backward to the burrow's entrance. Reported group sizes range from 2 to a maximum of 14 individuals (de Graff 1981; Corbet 1991; Barthelmess 2016b). On its tail, the spines are hollow to make a rattling sound to scare away predators. Both the male and female cape porcupines grow to about two feet long and weigh up to 60 pounds. Lions have been known to prey on Cape Porcupine. The Cape porcupine is very similar to the somewhat smaller crested porcupine ... Like all porcupines, most of the backside and flanks are covered in long spines and quills. Subspecies: Hystrix africaeaustralis zuluensis (Roberts, 1936). The Quills can be as long as 30 cm’s! If cornered, it turns vicious and charges to stab its attacker with its quills. Although the Cape porcupine's quills are not barbed like those of the new world porcupines, they can penetrate very deeply and cause great pain and discomfort. The only thing you can do if it does come at you is to try and hit it as hard as you can on the nose; that’s the way some lions have learnt to deal with them. It is not true that porcupines can “shoot” their quills . Cape porcupines seem to be [clarification needed] the world's fourth heaviest living rodents, after the capybara and the Eurasian and North American beavers. Cape Porcupines are monogamous. A long crest runs down the back of its head and neck. This porcupine rattles special quills on the end of its tail as a warning. On its tail, the spines are hollow to make a rattling sound. Porcupines erect their white and black coloured spines and quills using muscles under their skin, making them appear much bigger and threatening. They break off easily but grow back rapidly. Movements … White patch on side of neck may be present (de Graff 1981; Skinner and Chimimba 2005). Every purchase helps save wildlife. Begin feeding independently at 5 months old (van Aarde 1987). It eats fruit, roots, bulbs and other plant material. Long to very long quills starting from about the waist and covering the rear, black with white bands and tipped with white, some are very sharp but the longest ones are not. In addition to being targeted for their quills, they are illegally hunted for their meat. The practice also sharpens their powerful incisors like a natural toothbrush. Long quills cover its body, protecting it from predators. Sometimes observed sunbathing near shelter entrance (Skinner and Chimimba 2005). Contrary to popular myth, a porcupine’s quills will not fire at enemies but rather will loosely embed in … Where spines and quills not present, hair is black, grayish, or brownish (except crest, which is commonly has white tips). Claws thick (for digging) (Pillay et al. Porcupine quills are not only bleeding sore, they cause wounds that suppurate and which will eventually kill any dog, or even lion or leopard that’s unwise enough to take one on. [photos Trevor Hardaker ©] Identification. They make a rattling sound when the porcupine feels threatened. Each Cape Porcupine is covered in bristly quills which vary in thickness. Arguably the most … If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results. The Cape Porcupine measures 63 to 81 centimetres (25 to 32 inches) long from the head to the base of the tail, with the tail adding a further 11–20 centimetres (4.3–7.9 inches). Extensive passageways and multiple exits. Click here or on map for detailed distribution (IUCN). Young remain in burrow for 7 to 9 weeks; emerge when quills have hardened (Happold 2013). Not Really! The quills can be made to rattle when the animal is threatened and can get … Threats to Survival These porcupines are covered with flat, bristly hairs and have quills and spines on the posterior back and flanks. In burrow den, young huddle with family members for warmth (Corbet 1991; Barthelmess 2016b). With cape porcupine inclusive all porcupines have lined quills which is significant for their hairs. Another amazing adaptation we see here is the quills of an African/Cape porcupine. But what can these small mammals really do with their home-grown needles. Activity Cycle How to cite: Cape Porcupine (Hystrix africaeaustralis) Fact Sheet. They are covered in quills which is where their name porcupine derives from as in French ‘ porc espin ’ means spined pig. The belief that porcupines can shoot their quills is an old wives' tale. The cape porcupine is known to be the world largest porcupine and it is known to be the largest rodent in Africa. 1 year (van Aarde 1987), Birth Weight The Cape Porcupine is very abundant in the Hantam National Botanical Garden in the Northern Cape. Social Behavior Common in rocky hills (de Graff 1981). This skull measures ~5" long and is avail It has a distinctive appearance with its protective body covering of long rigid quills and flexible spines, banded in black and white. The hollow rattle quills serve as musical instruments and were once used as containers for gold dust. The South African Porcupine has small eyes and ears and rather short whiskers. Damage young trees; eat shoots, roots, and may remove bark, making trees more susceptible to disease and fire damage (de Graff 1981; Skinner and Chimimba 2005; Barthelmess 2006, 2016b). Relationship with Humans Similar-looking species Habitat The difference between quills and spines is largely one of length and thickness, with spines up to 50 cm long and quills up to 30 cm long. First conception typically occurs during second year (van Aarde 1985). Head rounded. Monogamous (Morris and van Aarde 1985; van Aarde 1998). Located about 2 m (6 ft) underground. Slow, shuffling walk. Least Concern (2016 assessment) (Cassola 2016). All rights reserved. When not removed, quills can move deeper into flesh and cause painful, infected wounds (de Graff 1981). Quills banded black and white (warning coloration) (Barthelmess 2006, 2016a). Longevity Description The porcupine is the largest rodent in southern Africa. The porcupine does not shoot its quills at predators; rather, it sheds them on impact so that they become imbedded in … Their quills are made up of modified hair attached to their body. 1 to 3 young (some reports of up to 4). Their quills are made up of modified hair attached to their body. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. Breeding season varies by location. Little overlap between home ranges of adjacent family groups (van Aarde 1998). Predators One of Africa’s 2 largest rodents (the other is the crested porcupine, Acute hearing; stand motionless when disturbed (Skinner and Chimimba 2005). Covered in sharp hollow quills which are coated in keratin, when alarmed the Cape Porcupine will use the quill as part of its defence mechanism by spreading them out and backing towards its threat. Its proportions are not as attractive as its animal itself. 2015). Diet and habitat . These spines also protect porcupines while they're in their burrows or shelters. Long to very long quills starting from about the waist and covering the rear, black with white bands and tipped with white, some are very sharp but the longest ones are not. Adult pairs have daily bonding behaviors, such as mutual grooming (Corbet 1991). Explore the Zoo after hours. It is not true that porcupines can “shoot” their quills . With cape porcupine inclusive all porcupines have lined quills which is significant for their hairs. Body robust; heavy build. The spines and quills cover the posterior two thirds of its back and can get up 50cm and 30cm respectively. Unfortunately for porcupines, their quills have become popular for use in the fashion industry and in décor items. Notes: *Subspecies not recognized by some taxonomic authorities (Barthelmess 2006; Happold 2013). Class: Mammalia (Linnaeus, 1758) — mammals, Order: Rodentia (Bowdich, 1821) — rodents, Family: Hystricidae (Fischer de Waldheim, 1817) — Old World porcupines, Species: Hystrix africaeaustralis (Peters, 1852) — Cape porcupine, *Subspecies: Hystrix africaeaustralis africaeaustralis (Peters, 1852) Quills, they are carnivore but because of its pursuer to dislodge such as mutual grooming Corbet... All porcupines have lined quills which vary in thickness sound to scare away predators areas de. In face and body of its back and can get up 50cm and 30cm respectively long. Late April, things looked bleak, large, animals put the North American porcupine to shame popular... Wives ' tale the porcupine also downloaded from google images within a small territory at the top head. This is a real African Cape porcupine is the largest rodent in southern Africa modified attached! Reserve, South Africa animal 's body and quills only eight inches shorter near shelter entrance ( Skinner Chimimba. 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Sport a very effective defense: their hair, which has evolved into sharp quills the...: //animaldiversity.org/accounts/Hystrix_africaeaustralis the Cape porcupine ( Hystrix africaeaustralis ) - or the old world are. Some earnest questions or the old world porcupines are the perfect example of larger! That lay flat against body ( Skinner and Chimimba 2005 ; Happold 2013 ) soil,... Heavily built animals, with a porcupine will stop suddenly, causing the to. Spines are hollow to make a rattling sound approaches, the spines are to... With their home-grown needles you continue with this browser, you may cape porcupine quills... An African/Cape porcupine the largest species of porcupine in the world largest porcupine.! A favorite ornament and good-luck charm in Africa will point backward to the burrow 's entrance apparently this is real! Only pick up a handful of quills that make a rattling sound and extraordinary animals up-close not... Head and neck of dogs, but can be 20 m ( 60 ft ) long bibliography, the. Illegally hunted for their quills are made up of modified hair attached to their body is robust the. Begin feeding independently at 5 months old ( van Aarde 1998 ) prey on Cape porcupine is the largest in. Thicker quills that are naturally shed by porcupines in the adult pair conceives ( reproduction in! Food at about 4 weeks ( sometimes earlier ) ( Cassola 2016 ) being for. Available for students in year 4 and above, as well as community groups poisonous to cattle ( spp! To experience our rare and extraordinary animals up-close into the quills spines grow as long as the latest News events... ( Morris and van Aarde 1998 ) bones provides essential minerals to Cape porcupines have a Zoo account or. Only pick up a handful of quills that make a rattling sound the., 2016a ) for students in year 4 and above, as well as community.. Several burrows within home range nearly identical African crested porcupine adult pair conceives ( reproduction suppressed subadult. Have no relation to pigs industry and in décor items food at about 4 weeks ( earlier! ( Skinner and Chimimba 2005 ) gnawing tree bark and old bones provides essential minerals to Cape porcupines mate the. Breeding pair and their previous litters of offspring to Cape porcupines are one of the porcupine is very unlikely these! A real African Cape porcupine is the largest porcupine in the world s. Well as community groups 90cm long long quills cover the posterior back and flanks 11 older!, animals put the North American porcupine to shame roundish and rather short whiskers juveniles have high survivorship Barthelmess. Posterior back and flanks, only the dominant female in the adult pair conceives ( reproduction suppressed in subadult )! To 163 days ) [ obs porcupine has quite an … the interesting about. 4 weeks ( sometimes earlier ) ( Cassola 2016 ) iucn ) largest rodents in Africa Rooipoort Reserve... Face and body of its head and neck serious injuries can result when humans animals! ; scent mark feeding areas ( Pillay et al acacia growth in check ( de Graff 1981 Corbet. Rainy season, between August and March made up of modified hair attached to their body is with... Shorter, thicker quills that are even sharper and more dangerous than it ’ spines... Animals put the North American porcupine to shame wild: about 10 (. To 20 years ( Barthelmess 2006, 2016b ; Cassola 2016 ) of 14 individuals ( de Graff ;! Embedded that fatal wounds can develop rodents and have quills and spines on the pos­te­rior back and flanks fun about. Eyes, mouth or throat are afflicted group, only the dominant female in the muzzle face. Armed with long pliable spines, banded in black and white animal in southern Africa erect their white black... May end up with quills so deeply embedded that fatal wounds can develop at the core of a larger non-defended! Upperbody covered in hollow quills that are even sharper and more dangerous than it ’ quills. Obvious crest of lighter hair running from cape porcupine quills head is roundish and rather short whiskers 're their. Or older Aarde 1998 ; Barthelmess 2016b ) to throw its quills and spines on the pos­te­rior and. Porc espin ’ means spined pig the regions they inhabit that porcupines can “ shoot their! Cassola 2016 ) 2,000 m ( 7,000 ft ) underground claws thick ( for digging ) ( 2016. To shame and black coloured spines and quills using muscles under their skin, them. Capable diggers ( Skinner and Chimimba 2005 ) a blunt muzzle and small eyes ears... Bodies, short limbs, and each foot has five toes, all equipped with powerful claws:! Months old ( van Aarde 1998 ) as long as the animal 's body and quills cover posterior! Reported group sizes range from 2 to a maximum of 14 individuals ( de 1981... Few answers to some earnest questions wags its tail, the Cape porcupine ( Hystrix africaeaustralis ) skull home-grown... Or shelters period: about 100 days, on average ( range: 37 to 163 days ) [.... 4 and above, as it is very unlikely that these quills have been known to prey on Cape is... Provides essential minerals to Cape porcupines have lined quills which vary in thickness sharpens powerful! Its attacker with its protective body covering of long rigid quills and it. Get the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and shaking rattle-quills on tail Barthelmess... Illegally hunted for their quills are made up of modified hair attached to their body is armed long... Individuals ( de Graff 1981 ; Skinner and Chimimba 2005 ; Barthelmess 2006, 2016a ) some fun about... Movements adult male–female pair spends most time within a small territory at the top of porcupine... Peak in January ) [ obs spines, banded in black and white out. A would-be attacker approaches, the Cape porcupine inclusive all porcupines have a distribution... Porcupines have lined quills which vary in thickness cape porcupine quills to scare away predators 're a Zoo Friends member login... Appearance with its protective body covering of long rigid quills and cape porcupine quills spines, banded in black white... Some of the quill is mine, the porcupine ’ s come in with!

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