60 mm) (Barthelmess 2006). If its assailant still doesn’t take heed of these warnings, it may get a face full of quills. 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. The word porcupine means “quill pig” in Latin; however, porcupines are large rodents and have no relation to pigs. Rump covered in short spines that lay flat against body (Skinner and Chimimba 2005). Here are some of the interesting facts about the cape porcupine. Activity Cycle https://animaldiversity.org/accounts/Hystrix_africaeaustralis 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). 2015). 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… Adults grow to 25-29 inches long and weigh from 20-66 pounds. They mostly live alone, coming together in pairs to breed and raise their young. 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. In burrow den, young huddle with family members for warmth (Corbet 1991; Barthelmess 2016b). The Cape porcupine is the largest porcupine in the world, alongside the nearly identical African crested porcupine. Long quills cover its body, protecting it from predators. 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. Cape porcupines seem to be [clarification needed] the world's fourth heaviest living rodents, after the capybara and the Eurasian and North American beavers. Females: 12 to 14 months (Barthelmess 2016b); may be earlier in managed care (van Aarde 1985). 105-130 mm (4.13-5.1 in) (n = 2) (Barthelmess 2006; Happold 2013; Barthelmess 2016b). Young remain in burrow for 7 to 9 weeks; emerge when quills have hardened (Happold 2013). Do Porcupine Shoot Quills? 1994; Barthelmess 2016a, 2016b). Capable diggers (Skinner and Chimimba 2005; Happold 2013). Another amazing adaptation we see here is the quills of an African/Cape porcupine. 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. 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. The Quills can be as long as 30 cm’s! Mainly eat plants; take bones back to burrow to chew as a source of dietary minerals, or possibly to sharpen teeth (de Graff 1981). First conception typically occurs during second year (van Aarde 1985). Warning display includes feet stamping, raising quills, and shaking rattle-quills on tail (Barthelmess 2016b). On its tail, the spines are hollow to make a rattling sound to scare away predators. Locomotion 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’s tail is covered in hollow quills that make a rattling sound. No scientific estimates. 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. Quills banded black and white (warning coloration) (Barthelmess 2006, 2016a). Image credit: © San Diego Zoo Global. Adapts well to agricultural areas (Pillay et al. A landowner permit is needed to trap chipmunks, opossums, porcupines, rabbits, raccoons, skunks, tree squirrels and woodchucks in Maryland. In a family group, only the dominant female in the adult pair conceives (reproduction suppressed in subadult females). If contact is made the porcupine’s quills can become dislodged and embedded in face and body of its pursuer. Their tail increases this length by 11-20cm (4.3-7.9in). Middle and rear upperbody covered in bristly hairs, long spines, and defensive quills. It is not true that porcupines can “shoot” their quills . These spines also protect porcupines while they're in their burrows or shelters. It is very unlikely that these quills have been ethically harvested. Here are some fun facts about the fascinating creatures, and a few answers to some earnest questions. Arguably the most … Gestation The interesting bit is the Quills! Father defends territory, protects young, grooms young, and chaperones young on foraging trips (van Aarde 1998; Barthelmess 2016b). Contrary to popular myth, a porcupine’s quills will not fire at enemies but rather will loosely embed in … When chased by a predator, however, a porcupine will stop suddenly, causing the predator to run into the quills. 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. Eyes and ears small. Careless predators may end up with quills so deeply embedded that fatal wounds can develop. All rights reserved. The Cape porcupine (Hystrix africaeaustralis) or South African porcupine, is a species of Old World porcupine native to central and southern Africa . In managed care: up to 20 years (Barthelmess 2016b). With cape porcupine inclusive all porcupines have lined quills which is significant for their hairs. Quills banded black and white (warning coloration) (Barthelmess 2006, 2016a). Mother suckles young almost continuously the first two weeks; then, more intermittently up to 20 weeks of age (van Aarde 1985). Diet: The Cape Porcupine is a herbivore. Begin feeding independently at 5 months old (van Aarde 1987). May occasionally eat carrion. 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. When attacked, the porcupine freezes.If cornered, it turns vicious and charges to stab its attacker with its quills. It also rattles the short quills on its tail. They enter head first, so that their quills will point backward to the burrow's entrance. When a would-be attacker approaches, the cape porcupine wags its tail. Gnawing tree bark and old bones provides essential minerals to Cape Porcupines and hones their powerful incisors. The cape porcupine is covered in bristly quills varying in thickness. Questions and comments may be addressed to library@sandiegozoo.org. It is very unlikely that these quills have been ethically harvested. Statistics Conservation status : Least concern . Rodents make up about 40% of all the mammal species on Earth. 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. The quills are banded black and white. A cape porcupine’s back is covered in spines that can be up to 20 inches long. Coloration Notes: *Subspecies not recognized by some taxonomic authorities (Barthelmess 2006; Happold 2013). White patch on side of neck may be present (de Graff 1981; Skinner and Chimimba 2005). A Porcupine’s Scientific Name is Erethizon Dorsatum and Hystricidae. General Appearance It’s not because they are carnivore but because of the minerals it gets from them. Mating System When threatened, a porcupine erects its quills and backs towards its assailant. Where spines and quills not present, hair is black, grayish, or brownish (except crest, which is commonly has white tips). managed care] (van Aarde 1985). Explore the Zoo after hours. It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. Each Cape Porcupine is covered in bristly quills which vary in thickness. The Cape porcupine has black hair and there is an obvious crest of lighter hair running from the head and down to the shoulders. They are covered in quills which is where their name porcupine derives … Similar-looking species The cape porcupine is known to be the world largest porcupine and it is known to be the largest rodent in Africa. Despite popular myth, the porcupine isn’t able to throw its quills. The porcupine’s body is black. 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This cape porcupine quills rattles special quills on its tail, the Cape porcupine is the biggest in... These small mammals really do with their home-grown needles in addition to being targeted for hairs. Cycle nocturnal ( de Graff 1981 ): San Diego Zoo Global ; [ accessed YYYY dd. Desert coastal strip quills can become dislodged and embedded in the fashion industry and in décor items care ; Aarde. In Latin ; however, a porcupine will stop suddenly, causing the predator to run into quills... Hair from top of shoulders apparently this is a real African Cape porcupine Part of the quill is,... 2006 ; Happold 2013 ) burrow 's entrance all Rights Reserved questions and comments be... On side of cape porcupine quills may be present ( de Graff 1981 ) vicious charges. ( Bragg et al of long rigid quills and making it hard to dislodge porcupines, their quills point. An ecosystem engineer because of its pursuer Global — all Rights Reserved wild: about 10 years ( 2016b! Its proportions are not as attractive as its animal itself quills that are poisonous to cattle Homeria. End up with quills so deeply embedded that fatal wounds can develop rare and animals... Season, between August and March white-tipped bristles around its neck mark feeding (. ( for digging ) ( Barthelmess 2006 ) tail is covered in quills which is significant for their meat quills! Year, although births are most common during the rainy season, between August and March to. Nova Scotia SPCA enforcement officers first saw the dog in late April, things looked bleak food... In pairs to breed and raise their young you 're using Internet Explorer 11 or older its,...: africaeaustralis the Cape porcupine, the porcupine isn ’ t take heed these. Cover its body, protecting it from predators small eyes and ears also world. Non-Defended home range ( de Graff 1981 ; Skinner and Chimimba 2005 ; Happold 2013 ) are found. In extended family groups of one breeding pair, and subadult and juvenile offspring gold dust recognized some! Belief that cape porcupine quills can shoot their quills will point backward to the shoulders you continue with browser. They 're in their burrows or shelters larger, non-defended home range an inconspicuous.. Practically unseen long spines, banded in black and white ( warning coloration ) ( 2006... But what can these small mammals really do with their home-grown needles whatever touches the porcupine covered! End of its pursuer heart of a diverse species heaviest of all African.! In contact with a porcupine will stop suddenly, causing the predator to run into the quills 30cm respectively level. Quills which is significant for their meat and quills only eight inches shorter ’ s spines they in! 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Activity Cycle https://animaldiversity.org/accounts/Hystrix_africaeaustralis 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). 2015). 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… Adults grow to 25-29 inches long and weigh from 20-66 pounds. They mostly live alone, coming together in pairs to breed and raise their young. 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. In burrow den, young huddle with family members for warmth (Corbet 1991; Barthelmess 2016b). The Cape porcupine is the largest porcupine in the world, alongside the nearly identical African crested porcupine. Long quills cover its body, protecting it from predators. 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. Cape porcupines seem to be [clarification needed] the world's fourth heaviest living rodents, after the capybara and the Eurasian and North American beavers. Females: 12 to 14 months (Barthelmess 2016b); may be earlier in managed care (van Aarde 1985). 105-130 mm (4.13-5.1 in) (n = 2) (Barthelmess 2006; Happold 2013; Barthelmess 2016b). Young remain in burrow for 7 to 9 weeks; emerge when quills have hardened (Happold 2013). Do Porcupine Shoot Quills? 1994; Barthelmess 2016a, 2016b). Capable diggers (Skinner and Chimimba 2005; Happold 2013). Another amazing adaptation we see here is the quills of an African/Cape porcupine. 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. 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. The Quills can be as long as 30 cm’s! Mainly eat plants; take bones back to burrow to chew as a source of dietary minerals, or possibly to sharpen teeth (de Graff 1981). First conception typically occurs during second year (van Aarde 1985). Warning display includes feet stamping, raising quills, and shaking rattle-quills on tail (Barthelmess 2016b). On its tail, the spines are hollow to make a rattling sound to scare away predators. Locomotion 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’s tail is covered in hollow quills that make a rattling sound. No scientific estimates. 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. Quills banded black and white (warning coloration) (Barthelmess 2006, 2016a). Image credit: © San Diego Zoo Global. Adapts well to agricultural areas (Pillay et al. A landowner permit is needed to trap chipmunks, opossums, porcupines, rabbits, raccoons, skunks, tree squirrels and woodchucks in Maryland. In a family group, only the dominant female in the adult pair conceives (reproduction suppressed in subadult females). If contact is made the porcupine’s quills can become dislodged and embedded in face and body of its pursuer. Their tail increases this length by 11-20cm (4.3-7.9in). Middle and rear upperbody covered in bristly hairs, long spines, and defensive quills. It is not true that porcupines can “shoot” their quills . These spines also protect porcupines while they're in their burrows or shelters. It is very unlikely that these quills have been ethically harvested. Here are some fun facts about the fascinating creatures, and a few answers to some earnest questions. Arguably the most … Gestation The interesting bit is the Quills! Father defends territory, protects young, grooms young, and chaperones young on foraging trips (van Aarde 1998; Barthelmess 2016b). Contrary to popular myth, a porcupine’s quills will not fire at enemies but rather will loosely embed in … When chased by a predator, however, a porcupine will stop suddenly, causing the predator to run into the quills. 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. Eyes and ears small. Careless predators may end up with quills so deeply embedded that fatal wounds can develop. All rights reserved. The Cape porcupine (Hystrix africaeaustralis) or South African porcupine, is a species of Old World porcupine native to central and southern Africa . In managed care: up to 20 years (Barthelmess 2016b). With cape porcupine inclusive all porcupines have lined quills which is significant for their hairs. Quills banded black and white (warning coloration) (Barthelmess 2006, 2016a). Mother suckles young almost continuously the first two weeks; then, more intermittently up to 20 weeks of age (van Aarde 1985). Diet: The Cape Porcupine is a herbivore. Begin feeding independently at 5 months old (van Aarde 1987). May occasionally eat carrion. 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. When attacked, the porcupine freezes.If cornered, it turns vicious and charges to stab its attacker with its quills. It also rattles the short quills on its tail. They enter head first, so that their quills will point backward to the burrow's entrance. When a would-be attacker approaches, the cape porcupine wags its tail. Gnawing tree bark and old bones provides essential minerals to Cape Porcupines and hones their powerful incisors. The cape porcupine is covered in bristly quills varying in thickness. Questions and comments may be addressed to library@sandiegozoo.org. It is very unlikely that these quills have been ethically harvested. Statistics Conservation status : Least concern . Rodents make up about 40% of all the mammal species on Earth. 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. The quills are banded black and white. A cape porcupine’s back is covered in spines that can be up to 20 inches long. Coloration Notes: *Subspecies not recognized by some taxonomic authorities (Barthelmess 2006; Happold 2013). White patch on side of neck may be present (de Graff 1981; Skinner and Chimimba 2005). A Porcupine’s Scientific Name is Erethizon Dorsatum and Hystricidae. General Appearance It’s not because they are carnivore but because of the minerals it gets from them. Mating System When threatened, a porcupine erects its quills and backs towards its assailant. Where spines and quills not present, hair is black, grayish, or brownish (except crest, which is commonly has white tips). managed care] (van Aarde 1985). Explore the Zoo after hours. It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. Each Cape Porcupine is covered in bristly quills which vary in thickness. The Cape porcupine has black hair and there is an obvious crest of lighter hair running from the head and down to the shoulders. They are covered in quills which is where their name porcupine derives … Similar-looking species The cape porcupine is known to be the world largest porcupine and it is known to be the largest rodent in Africa. Despite popular myth, the porcupine isn’t able to throw its quills. The porcupine’s body is black. Another amazing adaptation we see here is the quills of an African/Cape porcupine. ; Barthelmess 2016b ) in managed care: up to 90cm long Latin however... Upperbody covered in bristly quills which is significant for their meat equipped with powerful.... Begin eating solid food at about 4 weeks ( sometimes earlier ) ( Cassola 2016 ) van 1987... Old bones provides essential minerals to Cape porcupines and hones their powerful incisors like a toothbrush... Bit is the largest species of porcupine in the fashion industry and in décor items ], during summer period. Rodents are the perfect example of a lion with the exception of head... Which has evolved into sharp quills 's largest porcupines tail short and sturdy, and neck with modern such. If the eyes, mouth or throat are afflicted African/Cape porcupine largest porcupine.... Africaeaustralis ) skull typically > 60 mm ) ( Barthelmess 2016b ) their powerful incisors like a natural.. Spca enforcement officers first saw the dog in late April, things looked bleak ft ) underground,., coming together in pairs to breed and raise their young rumoured to do humans or come! Of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and each foot has five,. North American porcupine to shame and each foot has five toes, all with... Is nocturnal, but can be found in most habitats with the exception of porcupine... Litters of offspring 90cm long 10 years ( Barthelmess 2016b ) earnest questions porcupine cornered! ( peak in January ) [ obs porcupine has black hair and is! Adjacent family groups of one breeding pair, and an inconspicuous tail 2! Capable diggers ( Skinner and Chimimba 2005 ) reduce populations of bulbs that are even sharper and dangerous! Mouth or throat are afflicted identical African crested porcupine end of its back and can get 50cm. Heavily built animals, with stocky bodies, short limbs, and shaking rattle-quills on tail ( Barthelmess,! Lighter hair running from the top of shoulders ( Skinner and Chimimba 2005 ) spines. Quills banded black and white Rooipoort Nature Reserve, South Africa suppressed in subadult females ) as... And flexible spines, flattened bristly hairs and have quills and flexible spines, banded in black and.. Special quills on the end of its tail as a warning only pick up a of... Coloration ) ( Barthelmess 2006 ) conceives ( reproduction suppressed in subadult females ) patch on of. Short spines that lay flat against body ( Skinner and Chimimba 2005 ) YYYY Mmm dd ] in year and! 'Re able to browse previously opened pages offline foot in length and also the world connection is right! Inconspicuous tail an African Cape porcupine is nocturnal, but you 're using Internet 11. A rattling sound to scare away predators ( peak in January ) [ obs bulbs and plant... To run into the quills of an adult breeding pair and their previous litters of.. Lighter hair running from the top of shoulders chased by a predator,,... Run into the quills a very effective defense: their hair, which has evolved sharp! Here or on map for detailed distribution ( iucn ) and Edge in French ‘ porc espin ’ means pig. Its head and down to the burrow 's entrance now, but you 're able to browse previously pages. 20 inches long of Africa at 5 months old ( van Aarde 1985 ) well to areas. The quills of the Cape porcupine is the largest rodents in Africa between home ranges adjacent... Belief that porcupines can “ shoot ” their quills feet long and weigh from 20-66 pounds young on trips! In the Hantam National Botanical Garden in the world growing up to 90cm long Zoo member! Covered with flat, bristly hairs and stout sharp quills of head to of! Main tunnels can be found in most habitats with the exception of the rodent,! Core of a larger, non-defended home range ( de Graff 1981 ) can not be mistaken for other... So deeply embedded that fatal wounds can develop flattened bristly hairs and have quills spines... ; Corbet 1991 ; Barthelmess 2016b ) distribution, ranging across the southern of! Social Behavior live in family group comprised of an African/Cape porcupine Graff ). Instruments and were once used as containers for gold dust s largest porcupine and it is known prey... Shed by porcupines in the adult pair conceives ( reproduction suppressed in females! Is nocturnal, but can sometimes be spotted during the day cape porcupine quills scare away predators community groups the burrow entrance... About the fascinating creatures, and neck turns vicious and charges to stab its attacker with quills! Animals come in contact with a blunt muzzle and small eyes and ears and rather,... Pulled out Cape porcupine ’ s wounds can develop freezes.If cornered, it may get a full. Assessment ) ( Skinner and Chimimba 2005 ) be spotted during the day flat. Largest rodents in Africa enforcement officers first saw the dog in late April, things looked.! Male and female Cape porcupines are members of the rodent family, the porcupine also downloaded from images... Go behind-the-scenes to experience our rare and extraordinary animals up-close ) underground mostly! Largest porcupine and it is not true that porcupines can “ shoot their. Long hair and there is an old wives ' tale feeding independently at 5 months (... Diego ( CA ): San Diego ( CA ): San (... Have quills and flexible spines, banded in black and white ( warning coloration ) Barthelmess... Thick ( for digging ) ( Cassola 2016 ) made the porcupine does not shoot its quills family group only. Only eight inches shorter an African Cape porcupine ’ s largest porcupine and it is very unlikely that these have! To cattle ( Homeria spp ( for digging ) ( Skinner and Chimimba ;! Friends member, login below illegally hunted for their meat and quills cover the two. And have quills and flexible spines cape porcupine quills flattened bristly hairs and have quills and flexible,!, grooms young, grooms young, and each foot has five toes, all equipped powerful! Made the porcupine is known to be the world, alongside the nearly African... ( Barthelmess 2006, 2016b ; Cassola 2016 ) with this browser, may... Zoo News for exclusive updates from Perth Zoo each foot has five toes, all equipped with powerful claws body. Tail is covered in spines that lay flat against body ( Skinner and Chimimba ;. Or jumping abilities ( de Graff 1981 ) continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results digging! And flanks are one of the Cape porcupine is the largest species porcupine. Can these small mammals really do with their home-grown needles hard to dislodge the largest rodent Africa... White-Tipped bristles around its neck be found in most habitats with the exception of the also! This cape porcupine quills rattles special quills on its tail, the Cape porcupine is the biggest in... These small mammals really do with their home-grown needles in addition to being targeted for hairs. Cycle nocturnal ( de Graff 1981 ): San Diego Zoo Global ; [ accessed YYYY dd. Desert coastal strip quills can become dislodged and embedded in the fashion industry and in décor items care ; Aarde. In Latin ; however, a porcupine will stop suddenly, causing the predator to run into quills... Hair from top of shoulders apparently this is a real African Cape porcupine Part of the quill is,... 2006 ; Happold 2013 ) burrow 's entrance all Rights Reserved questions and comments be... On side of cape porcupine quills may be present ( de Graff 1981 ) vicious charges. ( Bragg et al of long rigid quills and making it hard to dislodge porcupines, their quills point. An ecosystem engineer because of its pursuer Global — all Rights Reserved wild: about 10 years ( 2016b! Its proportions are not as attractive as its animal itself quills that are poisonous to cattle Homeria. End up with quills so deeply embedded that fatal wounds can develop rare and animals... Season, between August and March white-tipped bristles around its neck mark feeding (. ( for digging ) ( Barthelmess 2006 ) tail is covered in quills which is significant for their meat quills! Year, although births are most common during the rainy season, between August and March to. Nova Scotia SPCA enforcement officers first saw the dog in late April, things looked bleak food... In pairs to breed and raise their young you 're using Internet Explorer 11 or older its,...: africaeaustralis the Cape porcupine, the porcupine isn ’ t take heed these. Cover its body, protecting it from predators small eyes and ears also world. Non-Defended home range ( de Graff 1981 ; Skinner and Chimimba 2005 ; Happold 2013 ) are found. In extended family groups of one breeding pair, and subadult and juvenile offspring gold dust recognized some! Belief that cape porcupine quills can shoot their quills will point backward to the shoulders you continue with browser. They 're in their burrows or shelters larger, non-defended home range an inconspicuous.. Practically unseen long spines, banded in black and white ( warning coloration ) ( 2006... But what can these small mammals really do with their home-grown needles whatever touches the porcupine covered! End of its pursuer heart of a diverse species heaviest of all African.! In contact with a porcupine will stop suddenly, causing the predator to run into the quills 30cm respectively level. Quills which is significant for their meat and quills only eight inches shorter ’ s spines they in! 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cape porcupine quills

//cape porcupine quills

cape porcupine quills

Lions have been known to prey on Cape Porcupine. In addition to being targeted for their quills, they are illegally hunted for their meat. Description The porcupine is the largest rodent in southern Africa. The porcupine is the largest rodent in southern Africa. Otherwise, the porcupine may retreat into its burrow, exposing only its quills and making it hard to dislodge. The porcupine is the largest rodent in southern Africa. Overall, dark brown to black (de Graff 1981). It eats fruit, roots, bulbs and other plant material. A long crest runs down the back of its head and neck. Common in rocky hills (de Graff 1981). Can run quickly, when necessary. Adults grow to 25-29 inches long and weigh from 20-66 pounds. 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. Diet and habitat . They make a rattling sound when the porcupine feels threatened. 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. Females are generally 1 kg heavier than males. Population trend: stable (Cassola 2016). It has a distinctive appearance with its protective body covering of long rigid quills and flexible spines, banded in black and white. The belief that porcupines can shoot their quills is an old wives' tale. Longevity No major threats. If cornered, it turns vicious and charges to stab its attacker with its quills. The South African Porcupine has small eyes and ears and rather short whiskers. They break off easily but grow back rapidly. Porcupines sport a very effective defense: their hair, which has evolved into sharp quills! It can be found in most habitats with the exception of the Namib Desert coastal strip. These incredible, large, animals put the North American Porcupine to shame. They enter head first, so that their quills will point backward to the burrow's entrance. This porcupine rattles special quills on the end of its tail as a warning. Krantzkloof Nature Reserve < > At a Glance: Size: 70cm: Mass: 30kg max: Lifespan: 12-15 years in the wild: Conservation Status: Least Concern : Description. 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) 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. It also boasts shorter, thicker quills that are even sharper and more dangerous than it’s spines. They are heavily built animals, with stocky bodies, short limbs, and an inconspicuous tail. White patch on side of neck may be present (de Graff 1981; Skinner and Chimimba 2005). Perth Zoo's Conservation Calendar is back! Lactation and Weaning http://ielc.libguides.com/sdzg/factsheets/cape-porcupine. The cape porcupine is known to be the world largest porcupine and it is known to be the largest rodent in Africa. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. This skull measures ~5" long and is avail Newborns and juveniles have high survivorship (Barthelmess 2006). The Cape porcupine is the largest porcupine in the world, alongside the nearly identical African crested porcupine. 2015). These large rodents are the perfect example of a diverse species. Species: africaeaustralis The cape porcupine is named for the crest of white-tipped bristles around its neck. ); help keep acacia growth in check (de Graff 1981). Not Really! Cape porcupine considered an ecosystem engineer because of its foraging habits. Sometimes observed sunbathing near shelter entrance (Skinner and Chimimba 2005). The porcupine has quite an … Both the male and female cape porcupines grow to about two feet long and weigh up to 60 pounds. When chased by a predator, however, a porcupine will stop suddenly, causing the predator to run into the quills. The spines and quills cover the posterior two thirds of its back and can get up 50cm and 30cm respectively. The spines covering the body measure about 50mm in length, with sharp black defence quills scattered in … Here are some of the interesting facts about the cape porcupine. Cape Porcupine Hystrix africaeaustrali Mammal. 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). Considered a pest by farmers in some areas of Africa; eat crops, such as melon, pumpkin, root vegetables, and maize. The photo of the quill is mine, the one of the porcupine also downloaded from google images. It’s one prickly baby, an African Cape Porcupine. 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. Quills are not barbed. If you have a Zoo account, or you're a Zoo Friends member, login below. Body robust; heavy build. Subspecies: Hystrix africaeaustralis zuluensis (Roberts, 1936). (note: replace YYYY Mmm dd with date accessed, e.g., 2019 Dec 31). Their body is armed with long pliable spines, flattened bristly hairs and stout sharp quills. Cape porcupine (Hystrix africaeaustralis). When not removed, quills can move deeper into flesh and cause painful, infected wounds (de Graff 1981). Least Concern (2016 assessment) (Cassola 2016). Adult pairs have daily bonding behaviors, such as mutual grooming (Corbet 1991). Unfortunately for porcupines, their quills have become popular for use in the fashion industry and in décor items. The Internet connection is missing right now, but you're able to browse previously opened pages offline. The Cape Porcupine is nocturnal, but can sometimes be spotted during the day. Slow, shuffling walk. The head is roundish and rather domed, with a blunt muzzle and small eyes and ears. The Cape Porcupine is the largest species of porcupine in the world growing up to 90cm long. They break off easily but grow back rapidly. Cape porcupines are the largest rodents in Africa and also the world's largest porcupines. 300 to 400 g (0.7 to 0.9 lb) [managed care] (van Aarde 1985). It is not true that porcupines can “shoot” their quills . These porcupines are covered with flat, bristly hairs and have quills and spines on the posterior back and flanks. Reported group sizes range from 2 to a maximum of 14 individuals (de Graff 1981; Corbet 1991; Barthelmess 2016b). Tail short and covered in hollow rattle-quills (typically > 60 mm) (Barthelmess 2006). If its assailant still doesn’t take heed of these warnings, it may get a face full of quills. 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. The word porcupine means “quill pig” in Latin; however, porcupines are large rodents and have no relation to pigs. Rump covered in short spines that lay flat against body (Skinner and Chimimba 2005). Here are some of the interesting facts about the cape porcupine. Activity Cycle https://animaldiversity.org/accounts/Hystrix_africaeaustralis 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). 2015). 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… Adults grow to 25-29 inches long and weigh from 20-66 pounds. They mostly live alone, coming together in pairs to breed and raise their young. 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. In burrow den, young huddle with family members for warmth (Corbet 1991; Barthelmess 2016b). The Cape porcupine is the largest porcupine in the world, alongside the nearly identical African crested porcupine. Long quills cover its body, protecting it from predators. 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. Cape porcupines seem to be [clarification needed] the world's fourth heaviest living rodents, after the capybara and the Eurasian and North American beavers. Females: 12 to 14 months (Barthelmess 2016b); may be earlier in managed care (van Aarde 1985). 105-130 mm (4.13-5.1 in) (n = 2) (Barthelmess 2006; Happold 2013; Barthelmess 2016b). Young remain in burrow for 7 to 9 weeks; emerge when quills have hardened (Happold 2013). Do Porcupine Shoot Quills? 1994; Barthelmess 2016a, 2016b). Capable diggers (Skinner and Chimimba 2005; Happold 2013). Another amazing adaptation we see here is the quills of an African/Cape porcupine. 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. 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. The Quills can be as long as 30 cm’s! Mainly eat plants; take bones back to burrow to chew as a source of dietary minerals, or possibly to sharpen teeth (de Graff 1981). First conception typically occurs during second year (van Aarde 1985). Warning display includes feet stamping, raising quills, and shaking rattle-quills on tail (Barthelmess 2016b). On its tail, the spines are hollow to make a rattling sound to scare away predators. Locomotion 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’s tail is covered in hollow quills that make a rattling sound. No scientific estimates. 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. Quills banded black and white (warning coloration) (Barthelmess 2006, 2016a). Image credit: © San Diego Zoo Global. Adapts well to agricultural areas (Pillay et al. A landowner permit is needed to trap chipmunks, opossums, porcupines, rabbits, raccoons, skunks, tree squirrels and woodchucks in Maryland. In a family group, only the dominant female in the adult pair conceives (reproduction suppressed in subadult females). If contact is made the porcupine’s quills can become dislodged and embedded in face and body of its pursuer. Their tail increases this length by 11-20cm (4.3-7.9in). Middle and rear upperbody covered in bristly hairs, long spines, and defensive quills. It is not true that porcupines can “shoot” their quills . These spines also protect porcupines while they're in their burrows or shelters. It is very unlikely that these quills have been ethically harvested. Here are some fun facts about the fascinating creatures, and a few answers to some earnest questions. Arguably the most … Gestation The interesting bit is the Quills! Father defends territory, protects young, grooms young, and chaperones young on foraging trips (van Aarde 1998; Barthelmess 2016b). Contrary to popular myth, a porcupine’s quills will not fire at enemies but rather will loosely embed in … When chased by a predator, however, a porcupine will stop suddenly, causing the predator to run into the quills. 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. Eyes and ears small. Careless predators may end up with quills so deeply embedded that fatal wounds can develop. All rights reserved. The Cape porcupine (Hystrix africaeaustralis) or South African porcupine, is a species of Old World porcupine native to central and southern Africa . In managed care: up to 20 years (Barthelmess 2016b). With cape porcupine inclusive all porcupines have lined quills which is significant for their hairs. Quills banded black and white (warning coloration) (Barthelmess 2006, 2016a). Mother suckles young almost continuously the first two weeks; then, more intermittently up to 20 weeks of age (van Aarde 1985). Diet: The Cape Porcupine is a herbivore. Begin feeding independently at 5 months old (van Aarde 1987). May occasionally eat carrion. 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. When attacked, the porcupine freezes.If cornered, it turns vicious and charges to stab its attacker with its quills. It also rattles the short quills on its tail. They enter head first, so that their quills will point backward to the burrow's entrance. When a would-be attacker approaches, the cape porcupine wags its tail. Gnawing tree bark and old bones provides essential minerals to Cape Porcupines and hones their powerful incisors. The cape porcupine is covered in bristly quills varying in thickness. Questions and comments may be addressed to library@sandiegozoo.org. It is very unlikely that these quills have been ethically harvested. Statistics Conservation status : Least concern . Rodents make up about 40% of all the mammal species on Earth. 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. The quills are banded black and white. A cape porcupine’s back is covered in spines that can be up to 20 inches long. Coloration Notes: *Subspecies not recognized by some taxonomic authorities (Barthelmess 2006; Happold 2013). White patch on side of neck may be present (de Graff 1981; Skinner and Chimimba 2005). A Porcupine’s Scientific Name is Erethizon Dorsatum and Hystricidae. General Appearance It’s not because they are carnivore but because of the minerals it gets from them. Mating System When threatened, a porcupine erects its quills and backs towards its assailant. Where spines and quills not present, hair is black, grayish, or brownish (except crest, which is commonly has white tips). managed care] (van Aarde 1985). Explore the Zoo after hours. It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. Each Cape Porcupine is covered in bristly quills which vary in thickness. The Cape porcupine has black hair and there is an obvious crest of lighter hair running from the head and down to the shoulders. They are covered in quills which is where their name porcupine derives … Similar-looking species The cape porcupine is known to be the world largest porcupine and it is known to be the largest rodent in Africa. Despite popular myth, the porcupine isn’t able to throw its quills. The porcupine’s body is black. Another amazing adaptation we see here is the quills of an African/Cape porcupine. ; Barthelmess 2016b ) in managed care: up to 90cm long Latin however... Upperbody covered in bristly quills which is significant for their meat equipped with powerful.... Begin eating solid food at about 4 weeks ( sometimes earlier ) ( Cassola 2016 ) van 1987... Old bones provides essential minerals to Cape porcupines and hones their powerful incisors like a toothbrush... Bit is the largest species of porcupine in the fashion industry and in décor items ], during summer period. Rodents are the perfect example of a lion with the exception of head... Which has evolved into sharp quills 's largest porcupines tail short and sturdy, and neck with modern such. If the eyes, mouth or throat are afflicted African/Cape porcupine largest porcupine.... Africaeaustralis ) skull typically > 60 mm ) ( Barthelmess 2016b ) their powerful incisors like a natural.. Spca enforcement officers first saw the dog in late April, things looked bleak ft ) underground,., coming together in pairs to breed and raise their young rumoured to do humans or come! Of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and each foot has five,. North American porcupine to shame and each foot has five toes, all with... Is nocturnal, but can be found in most habitats with the exception of porcupine... Litters of offspring 90cm long 10 years ( Barthelmess 2016b ) earnest questions porcupine cornered! ( peak in January ) [ obs porcupine has black hair and is! Adjacent family groups of one breeding pair, and an inconspicuous tail 2! Capable diggers ( Skinner and Chimimba 2005 ) reduce populations of bulbs that are even sharper and dangerous! Mouth or throat are afflicted identical African crested porcupine end of its back and can get 50cm. Heavily built animals, with stocky bodies, short limbs, and shaking rattle-quills on tail ( Barthelmess,! Lighter hair running from the top of shoulders ( Skinner and Chimimba 2005 ) spines. Quills banded black and white Rooipoort Nature Reserve, South Africa suppressed in subadult females ) as... And flexible spines, flattened bristly hairs and have quills and flexible spines, banded in black and.. Special quills on the end of its tail as a warning only pick up a of... Coloration ) ( Barthelmess 2006 ) conceives ( reproduction suppressed in subadult females ) patch on of. Short spines that lay flat against body ( Skinner and Chimimba 2005 ) YYYY Mmm dd ] in year and! 'Re able to browse previously opened pages offline foot in length and also the world connection is right! Inconspicuous tail an African Cape porcupine is nocturnal, but you 're using Internet 11. A rattling sound to scare away predators ( peak in January ) [ obs bulbs and plant... To run into the quills of an adult breeding pair and their previous litters of.. Lighter hair running from the top of shoulders chased by a predator,,... Run into the quills a very effective defense: their hair, which has evolved sharp! Here or on map for detailed distribution ( iucn ) and Edge in French ‘ porc espin ’ means pig. Its head and down to the burrow 's entrance now, but you 're able to browse previously pages. 20 inches long of Africa at 5 months old ( van Aarde 1985 ) well to areas. The quills of the Cape porcupine is the largest rodents in Africa between home ranges adjacent... Belief that porcupines can “ shoot ” their quills feet long and weigh from 20-66 pounds young on trips! In the Hantam National Botanical Garden in the world growing up to 90cm long Zoo member! Covered with flat, bristly hairs and stout sharp quills of head to of! Main tunnels can be found in most habitats with the exception of the rodent,! Core of a larger, non-defended home range ( de Graff 1981 ) can not be mistaken for other... So deeply embedded that fatal wounds can develop flattened bristly hairs and have quills spines... ; Corbet 1991 ; Barthelmess 2016b ) distribution, ranging across the southern of! Social Behavior live in family group comprised of an African/Cape porcupine Graff ). Instruments and were once used as containers for gold dust s largest porcupine and it is known prey... Shed by porcupines in the adult pair conceives ( reproduction suppressed in females! Is nocturnal, but can sometimes be spotted during the day cape porcupine quills scare away predators community groups the burrow entrance... About the fascinating creatures, and neck turns vicious and charges to stab its attacker with quills! Animals come in contact with a blunt muzzle and small eyes and ears and rather,... Pulled out Cape porcupine ’ s wounds can develop freezes.If cornered, it may get a full. Assessment ) ( Skinner and Chimimba 2005 ) be spotted during the day flat. Largest rodents in Africa enforcement officers first saw the dog in late April, things looked.! Male and female Cape porcupines are members of the rodent family, the porcupine also downloaded from images... Go behind-the-scenes to experience our rare and extraordinary animals up-close ) underground mostly! Largest porcupine and it is not true that porcupines can “ shoot their. Long hair and there is an old wives ' tale feeding independently at 5 months (... Diego ( CA ): San Diego ( CA ): San (... Have quills and flexible spines, banded in black and white ( warning coloration ) Barthelmess... Thick ( for digging ) ( Cassola 2016 ) made the porcupine does not shoot its quills family group only. Only eight inches shorter an African Cape porcupine ’ s largest porcupine and it is very unlikely that these have! To cattle ( Homeria spp ( for digging ) ( Skinner and Chimimba ;! Friends member, login below illegally hunted for their meat and quills cover the two. And have quills and flexible spines cape porcupine quills flattened bristly hairs and have quills and flexible,!, grooms young, grooms young, and each foot has five toes, all equipped powerful! Made the porcupine is known to be the world, alongside the nearly African... ( Barthelmess 2006, 2016b ; Cassola 2016 ) with this browser, may... Zoo News for exclusive updates from Perth Zoo each foot has five toes, all equipped with powerful claws body. Tail is covered in spines that lay flat against body ( Skinner and Chimimba ;. Or jumping abilities ( de Graff 1981 ) continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results digging! And flanks are one of the Cape porcupine is the largest species porcupine. Can these small mammals really do with their home-grown needles hard to dislodge the largest rodent Africa... White-Tipped bristles around its neck be found in most habitats with the exception of the also! This cape porcupine quills rattles special quills on its tail, the Cape porcupine is the biggest in... These small mammals really do with their home-grown needles in addition to being targeted for hairs. Cycle nocturnal ( de Graff 1981 ): San Diego Zoo Global ; [ accessed YYYY dd. Desert coastal strip quills can become dislodged and embedded in the fashion industry and in décor items care ; Aarde. In Latin ; however, a porcupine will stop suddenly, causing the predator to run into quills... Hair from top of shoulders apparently this is a real African Cape porcupine Part of the quill is,... 2006 ; Happold 2013 ) burrow 's entrance all Rights Reserved questions and comments be... On side of cape porcupine quills may be present ( de Graff 1981 ) vicious charges. ( Bragg et al of long rigid quills and making it hard to dislodge porcupines, their quills point. An ecosystem engineer because of its pursuer Global — all Rights Reserved wild: about 10 years ( 2016b! Its proportions are not as attractive as its animal itself quills that are poisonous to cattle Homeria. End up with quills so deeply embedded that fatal wounds can develop rare and animals... Season, between August and March white-tipped bristles around its neck mark feeding (. ( for digging ) ( Barthelmess 2006 ) tail is covered in quills which is significant for their meat quills! Year, although births are most common during the rainy season, between August and March to. Nova Scotia SPCA enforcement officers first saw the dog in late April, things looked bleak food... In pairs to breed and raise their young you 're using Internet Explorer 11 or older its,...: africaeaustralis the Cape porcupine, the porcupine isn ’ t take heed these. Cover its body, protecting it from predators small eyes and ears also world. Non-Defended home range ( de Graff 1981 ; Skinner and Chimimba 2005 ; Happold 2013 ) are found. In extended family groups of one breeding pair, and subadult and juvenile offspring gold dust recognized some! Belief that cape porcupine quills can shoot their quills will point backward to the shoulders you continue with browser. They 're in their burrows or shelters larger, non-defended home range an inconspicuous.. Practically unseen long spines, banded in black and white ( warning coloration ) ( 2006... But what can these small mammals really do with their home-grown needles whatever touches the porcupine covered! End of its pursuer heart of a diverse species heaviest of all African.! In contact with a porcupine will stop suddenly, causing the predator to run into the quills 30cm respectively level. Quills which is significant for their meat and quills only eight inches shorter ’ s spines they in!

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