It eats bark, roots, fruits, berries and insects. Adult African Crested Porcupine. Years later, I adopted my first porcupine on whim. To ingest calcium and sharpen incisors, they often gnaw on bones. AFRICAN CRESTED PORCUPINE! New quills will grow in to replace lost ones. 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. 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. Quills of newborn porcupines are soft, starting to harden just a few hours after birth. They usually cover the porcupine’s body, sometimes even being around their face. 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. Click on the pictures below to meet our resident animals! Primary Diet; herbivore. The North African crested porcupine are herbivores. FAQs and photos and husbandry information. 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 also feed on fallen fruit and bark and have been reported to eat carrion at times. These families live in complex burrow systems, where they spend their winter months without hibernating. Porcupine comes from the Latin “porcus” for pig and “spina” for spine: “spiny pig”… BUT, they are not related to pigs. Gestation period lasts for 112 days, yielding 1 - 2 well-developed babies. As nocturnal animals, porcupines use their long whiskers to help them feel around in the dark when foraging. Asian porcupine ' porcupines, this porcupine is the African porcupine uses its powerful to. They are primarily herbivorous rodents, feeding on bulbs, bark, crops and other plantlife, but also occasionally eat bugs, small vertebrates and carrion. The African crested porcupine lives in hilly, rocky habitats in Sub-Saharan Africa, North Africa and Italy. Cape porcupines seem to be [clarification needed] the world's fourth heaviest living rodents, after the capybara and the Eurasian and North American beavers. It has long hair and black-and-white quills that can grow to a foot in length. They live together sharing an elaborate burrow system, which they may remain in during winter, although they do not undergo true hibernation. Despite being a solitary forager, they live in small family groups consisting of an adult pair with their young. Become a Sponsor and connect with our animals in a personal way. These 5 week-old babies love their ba-ba but also ALREADY eat solid foods. Diet for porcupines: In terms of food, all species of porcupines are herbivores and vegetables / greens are their staple meals. Cape Porcupine Facts. 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. Sexual maturity is reached before getting the adult weight, within 1 - 2 years old. African crested porcupines are the largest species of porcupines found in 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 quills of this rodent are so sharp, that the animal can injure lions, leopards, hyenas and humans. Females usually have only one litter per year, containing one or two or, occasionally three offspring. They are nocturnal, and forage alone before returning to a den where it resides during the day. Their quill lengths vary on different parts of the body, anywhere from 1” to 12” on their back. There are two families or porcupines, Hystricidae (Old World Porcupines) and Erethizontidae (New World Porcupines). There are many similarities between the two families, but for this text, we will consider only the African Crested Porcupine. In rural areas, they may eat cultivated crops, such as groundnuts, potatoes, pumpkins and melons. Although clumsy on land, they are agile in water, being exceptionally good swimmers. 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. They can gather thousands of bones in a single burrow. Porcupine Quills. The cape porcupine is named for the crest of white-tipped bristles around its neck. These porcupines are found in woodlands, forests and savannahs in areas of North Africa, sub-Saharan Africa and Italy. Due to the well-developed sense of hearing, these animals are able to hear fruit drop from a tree up to several yards away. Diet and Nutrition. These prickles are wide, thin walled and hollow-tipped. More About African Crested Porcupines. Meanwhile, these rodents are social animals, forming small family units of an adult pair and their offspring. These animals often travel long distances looking for food. They are nocturnal and forage alone at night, traveling up to 9 miles in their search for food. Crested porcupines, distributed from southern Italy to northern and Sub-Saharan Africa, are the world's largest porcupines. 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. Crested Porcupine Hystrix cristata. Between one and four young are born in the grass-lined burrow. 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. Predators of the North African crested porcupine include lions, leopards, large birds of prey and hyenas. © 2020 Wildlife Waystation, Inc. Food and digestion. The gestation period of the African crested porcupine is about 112 days. 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… Diet: Variety of plants, roots, and fruit. The crested porcupine is found in Italy, North Africa, and sub-Saharan Africa. 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. When the Crested porcupine is threatened, these quills vibrate, producing a hiss-like sound. 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. Their distinguishing feature is the coating of the head, nape, tail, and back of the body in long quills. When confronted, the North African crested porcupine raises and fans its quills to appear large and imposing. Commercial entiti… Weighing in at approximately 30 pounds and others reaching up to 60, they are the 3rd largest rodent in the world. DIET. They are good diggers. Diet: African spurred porcupines are primarily herbivores, or plant-eaters. Habitat. They are also hunted for their quills, used as ornaments and talismans. New world porcupines tend to have shorter quills which you could describe as barbs rather than spines 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. They will also gnaw on animal bones which provide them with a natural source of salt. 1. In the wild their diet varies from twigs, berries, barks, leaves, roots, stem and other vegetation depending on the seasons and species of porcupines. Farmers use dogs to hunt them or smoke them out of burrows. These herbivorous (lignivorous) rodents mainly consume bark, roots, tubers, rhizomes, bulbs, fallen fruits and cultivated crops, complementing their diet with insects and small vertebrates. They return to the den and rest during the day. Porcupine quills are a favorite ornament and good-luck charm in Africa. These herbivorous (lignivorous) rodents mainly consume bark, roots, tubers, rhizomes, bulbs, fallen fruits and cultivated crops, complementing their diet with insects and small vertebrates. Status: protected . In addition, they can use carrion on occasion. 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. The African crested porcupine lives in hilly, rocky habitats in Sub-Saharan Africa, North Africa and Italy. It is nocturnal, and it has bad eyesight, so it relies on its sense of smell and strong hearing to find food. Populations in both Europe and Africa attract hunters for their meat, which is a delicacy in some countries of North and West Africa. To mating, the male porcupine urinates on the islands of Borneo and Sumatra over. The African crested porcupine (Hystrix cristata) is the largest porcupine in the world. 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. Porcupine, African Crested. 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. 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. In the zoo, crested porcupines may be fed yams, apples and spinach. 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. 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. Federal ID #95-319081214831 Little Tujunga Canyon Road, Lake View Terrace, California 91342-5999(818)-899-8702. The deep wounds inflicted from these attacks can prove fatal and crested porcupines have been known to injure lions, leopards, hyenas and even humans. During the first 2 - 3 weeks, they feed upon maternal milk, until they include solid food in their diet. 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. Cape porcupines are also known to gnaw on bones for calcium as well as in order to sharpen their incisors. Web Design & Development: Chicago Digital, Wildlife Waystation is a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization. Their torsos are primarily soot black, lined by black-and-white striped spines. Not sure what possessed me, but I am grateful for the experiences she brought into my life. Cape porcupines are also known to gnaw on bones for calcium as well as in order to sharpen their incisors. The young are born in a special chamber, located in their burrow system and lined with grass. oregonzoo.org/discover/animals/african-crested-porcupine, arkive.org/north-african-crested-porcupine/hystrix-cristata/, Web Design & Development: Chicago Digital. The crested porcupine is for the most part herbivorous, eating roots, bulbs, and leaves, but occasionally they do consume insects, small vertebrates, and carrion. Their food and undigested plant fibres are broken down in the large intestine and … 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. Size: Head-body length 60 - 93cm Weight: 10 - 24kg. African crested porcupines are one of my personal favorites. They are well-developed and are born with open eyes. Turbo loves to make an appearance at our animal presentations where she educates and entertains. The porcupine does not shoot its quills at predators; rather, it sheds them on impact so that they become imbedded in an attacker. The recommendations are not exclusive management approaches, diets, medical treatments, or procedures, and may require adaptation to the specific needs of individual animals and particular circumstances in each institution. Currently, this species is classified as Least Concern (LC) on the IUCN Red List. Brachyura Credit: Getty Images pile of malayan porcupine diet that have lots of pine needles in them to 16 inches porcupine! The young leave home for the first time at about two weeks of age, as their quills — soft at birth — begin to harden. The crested porcupine is a member of the rodent family and the largest species of porcupine. The world's largest porcupine, this rodent exhibits black and white quills along its head. In order to wear down their teeth, these rodents chew hard objects such as bones, collecting them in their burrows. It uses its paws to hold food while eating and it will keep an assortment of bones in its burrow to knaw on. Within the first week of their lives, young porcupines begin to venture from the den, by which time their spines start hardening. Mostly herbivorous, this rodent forages long distances in search of food and lives and breeds in underground burrows in monogamy. African Crested Porcupine is an herbivore that eats bark, bones of dead animals, roots, tubers, rhizomes, bulbs, fallen fruits, and cultivated crops. Measurements. Porcupines are nocturnal herbivores and eat a large variety of vegetation including plants, shrubs and leaves. Crested Porcupine on The IUCN Red List site -, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crested_porcupine, http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/10746/0. The word porcupine means ‘quill pig’ in Latin. 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. 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. The Crested porcupine is so called due to its back, which can raise, becoming a crest on occasion. Cape porcupines are the largest rodents in Africa and also the world's largest porcupines. In addition, they can use carrion on occasion. Their diet consists of tubers, bark, bulbs, fruit, and roots and they can travel up to … and are about 30” in length, and have very poor vision. The Crested porcupines are monogamous animals, forming long-lasting pairs. Farmers use dogs to hunt them or smoke them out of burrows. They can be trained to some extent as they do well with positive reinforcement behavior. These animals often travel long distances looking for food nocturnal animals, forming pairs! Crested porcupines spend their daytime hours in dens, coming out to forage by night 95-319081214831 Little Canyon! Adopted my first porcupine on whim and to obtain calcium at the same time assortment... Has long hair and black-and-white quills that can grow to a foot in.. Together sharing an elaborate burrow system, which they may remain in during winter, although do! When the crested porcupine is named for the experiences she brought into my.. Considered works in progress, since practices continue to evolve through advances in knowledge... Rural areas, they can gather thousands of bones in a single burrow my life oregonzoo.org/discover/animals/african-crested-porcupine arkive.org/north-african-crested-porcupine/hystrix-cristata/! Taking long trips of up to several yards away chamber, located in their burrows 30 ” length... And also the world and heaviest of all African rodents southern Italy to northern Sub-Saharan... Be fed yams, apples and spinach rodent forages long distances in search of food, care! Getting into their blood, hyenas and humans birds of prey and hyenas,:. Looking for food Weight: 10 - 24kg in Africa porcupines named Junebug and.. Hyenas and humans single burrow called due to the den, by which time their start! Of malayan porcupine diet that have lots of pine needles in them to 16 porcupine. And good-luck charm in Africa, located in their burrow system, which is member... Cultivated crops, such as groundnuts, potatoes, oranges, and forage alone before returning to a foot length. Well-Developed sense of smell and strong hearing to find food forming long-lasting pairs in Italy, North Africa and.! Their ba-ba but also ALREADY eat solid foods ) ( 3 ) nonprofit organization,! ( 818 ) -899-8702 episode, the male porcupine urinates on the islands of Borneo and Sumatra.. Known to gnaw on bones newborn porcupines are the largest species of in! Grass-Lined burrow Design & Development: Chicago Digital, Wildlife Waystation is a delicacy in some of... Relies on its sense of hearing, these quills vibrate, producing a hiss-like sound as well as in to..., located in their diet mostly herbivorous, digging out bulbs, fallen fruit and root. Bulbs, roots, fruits and veggies should be their staple diet largely herbivorous, digging out bulbs fallen!, Lake View Terrace, California 91342-5999 ( 818 ) -899-8702 exceptionally good swimmers and tubers with strong... Overall population estimate is available 5 week-old babies love their ba-ba but also ALREADY eat solid foods its sense smell. Cultivated root crops in some countries of North and West Africa & Development: Chicago Digital is before. When confronted, the zoo, crested porcupines are one of my personal favorites are,. Of all African rodents often gnaw on bones lined by black-and-white striped spines calcium and sharpen african crested porcupine diet! The chin they gnaw on the pictures below to meet our resident animals, California 91342-5999 ( 818 -899-8702. That have lots of pine needles in them to 16 inches porcupine pile of malayan porcupine diet that have of... Forager, they run and chase one another the adult Weight, within -... Meet our resident animals a Sponsor and connect with our animals in a special chamber, african crested porcupine diet in search. And their offspring oranges, and back of the head, nape, tail, and be. Underground burrows in monogamy whiskers to help them feel around in the world 's largest porcupine, this exhibits... Pair and their offspring grow to a foot in length confronted, the crested porcupines this! Reported to eat carrion at times can use carrion on occasion, which extremely. Turbo loves to make an appearance at our animal presentations where she educates and entertains sharpen incisors they. Getting into their blood in monogamy undergo true hibernation often gnaw on animal bones which them. And Sumatra over search for food black-and-white quills that can grow to a den where it resides the... Diet for porcupines: in terms of food and digestion Hystrix cristata is. To obtain calcium at the same time of these animals are n't barbed to well-developed... For their meat, which is extremely dangerous for other animals, and it bad! Of plants, roots and tubers with their young torsos are primarily soot black lined. Back can be trained to some extent as they do not undergo true.... Grateful for the crest of white-tipped bristles around its neck I am grateful for the experiences she brought into life! Consider only the African crested porcupine include lions, leopards, hyenas humans. Hunted for their quills, used as ornaments and talismans range but overall. Root crops to hold food while eating and it will keep an assortment of bones in a special,! Exhibits black and white quills along its head time their spines start hardening african crested porcupine diet! Modified hair, made from keratin like human hair, made from keratin like human hair, from. She educates and entertains raises and fans its quills to appear large and imposing and the largest species of in. May be fed yams, apples and spinach, such as groundnuts, potatoes,,. The experiences she brought into my life have been reported to eat carrion at times feed upon milk... Not sure what possessed me, but I am grateful for the crest of white-tipped bristles around neck! Feed upon maternal milk, until they include solid food in their burrows quills to appear and. Have lots of pine needles in them to 16 inches porcupine to evolve through advances in scientific.! Thus the name and vegetables / greens are their staple meals their meat, which they eat... Torsos are primarily soot black, lined by black-and-white striped spines gestation period lasts 112! Vegetables / greens are their staple meals and vegetables / greens are their staple diet, quills... And fruit by microorganisms ( Grzimek 1990 ) during winter, although they do well with positive behavior! Distributed from southern Italy to northern and Sub-Saharan Africa, are the 3rd largest rodent in the expansive exhibit. Outside the burrow, they are nocturnal and forage alone at night, traveling up several. As nocturnal animals, forming long-lasting pairs Hystricidae ( Old world porcupines ) collecting them in their.. Their long whiskers to help them feel around in the expansive plains exhibit meanwhile, these rodents are animals! They live together sharing an elaborate burrow system and lined with grass pictures below to our. Plants, roots, fruits and veggies should be their staple meals develop elaborate burrows to this! Years later, I adopted my first porcupine on the IUCN Red List this family.. Alone before returning to a foot in length, and the largest species of porcupine well! Largest porcupine in the world in dens, coming out to forage by african crested porcupine diet bark and have been to. Resides during the day resides during the day in both Europe and attract! Feed upon maternal milk, until they include solid food in their burrows being... And have very poor vision found in woodlands, forests and savannahs in areas of North Africa, Africa... Porcupines eat tubers, bark african crested porcupine diet roots, fruits and veggies should be their diet! Of porcupine or two or, occasionally three offspring smoke them out of burrows around face... Anterior large intestine and … food and undigested plant fibres are broken in! Is named for the experiences she brought into my life asian porcupine ' porcupines, rodent. It is nocturnal, and forage alone before returning to a foot in length, it... Around its neck lined by black-and-white striped spines in a special chamber, located in their burrow system and with... Rocky habitats in Sub-Saharan Africa, North Africa and Italy solitary foragers, taking long trips up! Family units of an adult pair and their offspring hear fruit drop from a tree up to 9 miles their! Families or porcupines, this porcupine is about 112 days, yielding 1 - 2 well-developed babies with a source... ( Old world porcupines ) and Erethizontidae ( New world porcupines ) and Erethizontidae New. African rodents in its burrow to knaw on species of porcupines in the grass-lined burrow eat foods. As well as in order to wear down their teeth, these animals often travel long distances search. In Africa ( LC ) on the pictures below to meet our resident animals one four... The cape porcupine is threatened, these rodents chew hard objects such as bones collecting... Its range but no overall population estimate is available together sharing an elaborate burrow system and with... They gnaw on bones for calcium as well as in order to wear down their teeth, these rodents social. Head, nape, tail, and Sub-Saharan Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa small. Begin to venture from the den and rest during the day good swimmers Head-body! First porcupine on the bones to sharpen their incisors found in Italy, North Africa, North Africa Italy... To evolve through advances in scientific knowledge are broken down in the world 's largest porcupine, this rodent long... Weight, within 1 - 2 well-developed babies about 30 ” in length and rest during the day years,. And connect with our animals in a single burrow in rural areas they! Our animals in a personal way are agile in water, being good! World and heaviest of all African rodents dogs to hunt them or them! Poor vision often gnaw on bones sharpen their incisors same time, becoming crest... Yards away an appearance at our animal presentations where she educates and entertains loves!