Downloaded on 11 May 2020. The remainder of the animal, including the undersides, is covered with dark hair. In general, porcupines live in just about any terrain, including deserts, grasslands, mountains, rainforests and forests. Other porcupine species live in Africa, Europe, and Asia. The quills have multiple bands of black and white along their length, and grow from regularly spaced grooves along the animal's body; each groove holding five to eight quills. During the day they will often go out foraging on their own. Extending from the face are long whiskers. Both the male and female cape porcupines grow to about two feet long and weigh up to 60 pounds. Cape porcupines, also called South African porcupines, are common throughout central and southern Africa.  Newborn young weigh 300 to 440 grams (11 to 16 oz), and initially have soft quills. About This Fact Sheet Perth Zoo Crocodile Enjoys His First Meal After Winter, Orana Wildlife Park Welcome Back Sumatran Tigers, Holly the Rescued Wombat is a Christmas Miracle. It will be another three to five months after weaning before the mother gives birth again. During the day, they will either build their own den or shelter in a cave or crevice. 2005; Barthelmess 2016b). Porcupines are most common in hilly, rocky country, but they can adapt to most habitats — excessively moist forests and the most barren of deserts seem to be the only exceptions. Hystrix africaeaustralis (errata version published in 2017). Diet: African spurred porcupines are primarily herbivores, or … As a result, their habit of fatally ring-barking trees has a … Cape porcupines mate throughout the year, although births are most common during the rainy season, between August and March. Kilimanjaro, as high up as 3,500 meters (11,480 feet). They are more likely to be found in open rather than wooded areas, though, and seek out rocky crevices and caves for shelter. Part of their ability to have a wide range is a tolerance for both hot and cold. To defend themselves they will freeze. They can be found from areas at sea level to 2000 m above where there is vegetation. On each foot is five toes each with a claw. Here they are found across the south and central areas of the continent. Sexual size monomorphism in the crested porcupine (. New World and Old World porcupines occupy a wide range of habitats. Predators of the cape porcupine include big cats, hyenas and large birds. Cape porcupines are one of the world’s largest porcupine species. The Cape porcupine is found in many different habitats, and the only areas it seems to avoid are very dense forests, the driest deserts and swamplands. In some areas they are known to eat carrion. 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. Cape porcupines are the largest rodents in Africa and also the world's largest porcupines. It is very common in semi-deserts, grasslands, savannahs and open woodlands. They are highly adaptable and can survive just about anywhere that vegetation is available. The cape porcupine is a nocturnal animal. These are born in a grass lined chamber which the parents make in their den. They prefer rocky hills and outcrops, as they must have shelter during the day. There are no currently recognised subspecies. The porcupine grows new spines and quills to … Porcupine habitats range from deserts, forests and grasslands. Habitat Adaptable – found in forests, on plantations, in rocky or mountainous areas and in deserts. They are often considered pests by local farmers, because they can feed on crops and damage trees. , The eyes and ears are relatively small, and the mobile whiskers are short. They also build dens which can … The porcupine species found within the Kruger National Park and within Southern Africa is known as the Cape Porcupine, the largest porcupine species on Earth. They have even been found on Mt. Cape porcupine considered an ecosystem engineer because of its foraging habits. When a Cape porcupine feels threatened, it will stomp its feet, click its teeth, growl and vibrate its quills before it pokes its predator. Email. Cape leopards mainly target rock rabbits (dassies), klipspringers, Cape grysbok and porcupines.  There are no currently recognised subspecies. They may also hide in a burrow and puff their quills out to full size. About Animal Facts. Some species of New World porcupines live in trees, however, Old World porcupines are exclusively terrestrial (ground dwellers).  They weigh from 10 to 24 kilograms (22 to 53 pounds), with exceptionally large specimens weighing up to 30 kg (66 lb); males and females are not significantly different in size. Facts About the Porcupine. Reproduction Porcupine or Cape Porcupine [Hystrix africaeaustralis] Appearance. These make them appear twice as large when raised. Over half of litters are single births. The spines on the tail are hollow, and used to make a rattling sound to scare away predators. PicFacts(1-500) PicFacts(501-1000) PicFacts(1001-1500) PicFacts(1501-2000) Otherwise, the porcupine may retreat into its burrow, exposing only its quills and making it hard to dislodge. The quills are modified hairs and if they fall out they will grow back. When threatened, the Cape porcupine erects its spines and quills to look bigger. The feet have five clawed toes, although the first toes on the forefeet are vestigial. They collect bones which they gnaw on. Porcupines build dens that can have a living chamber of 20 m and 2 m deep. Cape porcupines are found across the whole of southern and central Africa, to southern Kenya, Uganda, and Congo at the northern edge of their range. LIFESPAN: Wild - 12 - 15 yrs; Human Care - 20 yrs SIZE: Length - 2 - 3 ft WEIGHT: 22 - 66 lbs STATUS: Stable THREATS: Lions, leopards, birds of prey, hyenas, and humans FUN FACT: The pines and quills of a porcupine are modified hairs that are soft at birth but then harden. Their most noticeable feature is the quills and spines which extend from their back. Cassola, F. 2016. Download Zoo Map. Baboons do not form a major part of their diet. The cape porcupine is known to be the world largest porcupine and it is known to be the largest rodent in Africa. They feed upon roots, tubers, fruit, bark and cultivated crops. Africa is the native home of the cape porcupine. Rodents are mammals including rats, mice, porcupines, beavers, and more. Both the male and female African Porcupines weigh from 10 to 24 kilograms (22 to 53 pounds) with very large specicimens weighing up to 30 kg (66 lb). Following a successful mating it will take 94 days for the offspring to be born. They also build dens which can be up to 20m long with a 2m deep living chamber. Habitat. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T10748A115099085. , Cape porcupines are nocturnal and monogamous, typically living as mated pairs of adults, caring for any young together. The quills of the cape porcupine are the longest in the world. The Cape porcupine (Hystrix africaeaustralis) or South African porcupine, is a species of Old World porcupine native to central and southern Africa. An erectile crest of long, bristly hairs runs from the top of the head down to the shoulders. Part of their ability to have a wide range is a tolerance for both hot and cold. They can be found in high and low elevations, and in a variety of conditions. They are hunted by farmers when they dig up crops. The Desert is a glass-domed building designed to recreate an arid, colorful desert. One habitat which is avoided are swamps. The spines and quills cover the back and flanks of the animal, starting about a third of the way down the body, and continuing onto the tail. Their tail increases this length by 11-20cm (4.3-7.9in). COMMON NAME: Cape Porcupine SCIENTIFIC NAME: Hystrix africaeaustralis TYPE: Mammal DIET: Herbivore GROUP NAME: Prickle. These are long and measure up to 30cm (11.8in) long for quills and 50cm (20in) for spines. Rodents make up about 40% of all the mammal species on Earth. One habitat which is avoided are swamps. Each pair may inhabit up to six burrows, jointly defending their shared territory, although they typically forage as individuals. The Internet connection is missing right now, but you're able to browse previously opened pages offline. Dens in tree branches or tangles of roots, rock crevices, brush or logs are the porcupine's home. Males and females are similar sizes, typically weighing between 18 and 30kg (39.7 and 66lb). They often take cover in aardvark holes or caves. Burnie, D.; Wilson, D. E. By Steven Lek (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons. Share . A group may maintain up to 6 burrows which they move between. Cape Porcupines are found from sea level to 2000 m above sea level in most areas with vegetation. Indian porcupines are almost the same size on average as well, being slightly heavier on average than crested porcupine but slightly lighter than Cape porcupines. Oestrus lasts for an average of nine days, during which a membrane across the vagina opens to allow insemination. Predators of the cape porcupine include big cats. Porcupines can also be found living in rock crevices, hollow logs and small caves. The rest of the body is coated with dark fur. temperate. Its proportions are not as attractive as its animal itself. From the head to the base of it’s tail, a cape porcupine measures between 63 and 81cm (25 and 32in) long. Location: The Desert. Five Fascinating facts about Cape Porcupines. "Reproductive biology of the male Cape porcupine, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Cape_porcupine&oldid=967452516, Wikipedia articles needing clarification from June 2017, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 13 July 2020, at 09:53. The Cape Porcupine (Hystrix africaeaustralis)- or the old world porcupines are members of the “Shy Five” Appearance. , This article is about an African porcupine. Although they are born with their incisor teeth fully erupted, the remaining teeth begin to appear at 14 days, with the full set of adult teeth present by 25 months. A litter can range from 1 to 4 offspring. ), Animal: The Definitive Visual Guide to the World's Wildlife. The mother usually takes minimal care of her porcupette after the first week, when it is able to feed on its own. The body is covered in long spines up to 50 centimetres (20 in) in length, interspersed with thicker, sharply pointed, defence quills up to 30 centimetres (12 in) long, and with bristly, blackish or brownish fur. Females have two pairs of teats.. The North American porcupine (Erethizon dorsatum), also known as the Canadian porcupine, is a large rodent in the New World porcupine family. Cape Porcupine. They are a large species of rodent covered by black, but mostly white spines, used for protection and can … 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 porcupin… The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T10748A115099085. If attacked they move sideways and backwards to dig their quills in to the attacker.  Both sexes scent mark their territory, although males do so more frequently, and may play a more active role in its defence. Breeding takes place between May and December in the wild while in captivity they will breed year-round. When the female comes into estrus (heat) in late fall, her scent can attract numerous suitors who may fight for hours to win her favor. Here they are found across the south and central areas of the continent. 35.627510781751, -79.757441394032. The porcupette eventually leaves its mother after six months. Cape porcupines are found in sub-Saharan Africa and are able to inhabit many different types of habitats as long as cover and vegetation are present. Hystrix africaeaustralis (errata version published in 2017). However, they are absent in swamplands, and are very seldom found in very arid areas or in dense forests.  However, their debarking of trees may also play a role in the maintenance of local savannah ecosystems, helping to prevent the development of denser forested environments. The beaver is the only rodent in North America that is larger than the North American porcupine. This locks them in the den so they are not able to be dislodged. They reach their full size by the end of their first year of life. When attacked, the porcupine freezes. Weaning does not occur till between their third and fourth month. Cape Porcupine, Newfoundland and Labrador, "Aspects of the digestion in the Cape porcupine", "Reproduction in captive female Cape porcupines (. They prefer rocky hills and outcrops, as they must have shelter during the day. When it is cold the group will huddle in their burrow for warmth.  The size of the home range varies depending on the local habitat and availability of food, but can range between at least 67 and 203 hectares (170 and 500 acres).. https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-3.RLTS.T10748A22232321.en. They can inhabit a wide range of habitats from tropical forests to deserts.