African crested porcupines eat tubers, bark, bulbs, fallen fruit and cultivated root crops. In addition, they can use carrion on occasion. These 5 week-old babies love their ba-ba but also ALREADY eat solid foods. African porcupines are largely herbivorous, digging out bulbs, roots and tubers with their strong claws. Cape porcupines are also known to gnaw on bones for calcium as well as in order to sharpen their incisors. Their diet consists of tubers, bark, bulbs, fruit, and roots and they can travel up to … The black & white quills along the head and back can be raised into a crest, thus the name. New world porcupines tend to have shorter quills which you could describe as barbs rather than spines Their quills have bacteria, which is extremely dangerous for other animals, and can be fatal once getting into their blood. The Crested porcupines are monogamous animals, forming long-lasting pairs. The word porcupine means ‘quill pig’ in Latin. Within the first week of their lives, young porcupines begin to venture from the den, by which time their spines start hardening. Your support will go toward food, veterinary care and enrichment. The young leave home for the first time at about two weeks of age, as their quills — soft at birth — begin to harden. Females usually have only one litter per year, containing one or two or, occasionally three offspring. The porcupine does not shoot its quills at predators; rather, it sheds them on impact so that they become imbedded in an attacker. As nocturnal animals, the Crested porcupines spend their daytime hours in dens, coming out to forage by night. oregonzoo.org/discover/animals/african-crested-porcupine, arkive.org/north-african-crested-porcupine/hystrix-cristata/, Web Design & Development: Chicago Digital. They are solitary foragers, taking long trips of up to 15 km each night. FAQs and photos and husbandry information. Their quill lengths vary on different parts of the body, anywhere from 1” to 12” on their back. The crested porcupine is found in Italy, North Africa, and sub-Saharan Africa. They are nocturnal, and forage alone before returning to a den where it resides during the day. Become a Sponsor and connect with our animals in a personal way. 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. Diet: African spurred porcupines are primarily herbivores, or plant-eaters. However; porcupines are not related to pigs, they are actually rodents. The size of the spikes can depend on the porcupine’s species with one of the largest belonging to the African Crested Porcupine as stated by National Geographic. The quills of this rodent are so sharp, that the animal can injure lions, leopards, hyenas and humans. 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. It is nocturnal, and it has bad eyesight, so it relies on its sense of smell and strong hearing to find food. Federal ID #95-319081214831 Little Tujunga Canyon Road, Lake View Terrace, California 91342-5999(818)-899-8702. 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. The African crested porcupine (Hystrix cristata) is the largest porcupine in the world. 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. Cape porcupines are the largest rodents in Africa and also the world's largest porcupines. Click on the pictures below to meet our resident animals! Porcupine Quills. In the zoo, crested porcupines may be fed yams, apples and spinach. They can be trained to some extent as they do well with positive reinforcement behavior. They are well-developed and are born with open eyes. They can gather thousands of bones in a single burrow. Currently, this species is classified as Least Concern (LC) on the IUCN Red List. The deep wounds inflicted from these attacks can prove fatal and crested porcupines have been known to injure lions, leopards, hyenas and even humans. 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. Their distinguishing feature is the coating of the head, nape, tail, and back of the body in long quills. During the first 2 - 3 weeks, they feed upon maternal milk, until they include solid food in their diet. Years later, I adopted my first porcupine on whim. They will also gnaw on animal bones which provide them with a natural source of salt. The young are born in a special chamber, located in their burrow system and lined with grass. There are two families or porcupines, Hystricidae (Old World Porcupines) and Erethizontidae (New World Porcupines). These herbivorous (lignivorous) rodents mainly consume bark, roots, tubers, rhizomes, bulbs, fallen fruits and cultivated crops, complementing their diet with insects and small vertebrates. and are about 30” in length, and have very poor vision. It uses its paws to hold food while eating and it will keep an assortment of bones in its burrow to knaw on. 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. 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. 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. In addition, they can use carrion on occasion. Plains – A slice of Africa is recreated in Indianapolis in the expansive Plains exhibit. 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. Primary Diet; herbivore. The North African crested porcupine is monogamous. They also feed on fallen fruit and bark and have been reported to eat carrion at times. 1. According to IUCN, The Crested porcupine is generally common and widespread throughout its range but no overall population estimate is available. 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 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. Predators of the North African crested porcupine include lions, leopards, large birds of prey and hyenas. African crested porcupines are one of my personal favorites. These porcupines are found in woodlands, forests and savannahs in areas of North Africa, sub-Saharan Africa and Italy. Size: Head-body length 60 - 93cm Weight: 10 - 24kg. Sexual maturity is reached before getting the adult weight, within 1 - 2 years old. In order to wear down their teeth, these rodents chew hard objects such as bones, collecting them in their burrows. The world's largest porcupine, this rodent exhibits black and white quills along its head. 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. To ingest calcium and sharpen incisors, they often gnaw on bones. Diet and Nutrition. In rural areas, they may eat cultivated crops, such as groundnuts, potatoes, pumpkins and melons. They are quite playful and, outside the burrow, they run and chase one another. Brachyura Credit: Getty Images pile of malayan porcupine diet that have lots of pine needles in them to 16 inches porcupine! Her favorite rewards are sweet potatoes, oranges, and the occasional scratch on the chin! 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. 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. They are good diggers. Crested Porcupine Hystrix cristata. Not sure what possessed me, but I am grateful for the experiences she brought into my life. 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. Farmers use dogs to hunt them or smoke them out of burrows. They spend the h Quills of newborn porcupines are soft, starting to harden just a few hours after birth. It eats bark, roots, fruits, berries and insects. 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. Meanwhile, these rodents are social animals, forming small family units of an adult pair and their offspring. They live together sharing an elaborate burrow system, which they may remain in during winter, although they do not undergo true hibernation. These families live in complex burrow systems, where they spend their winter months without hibernating. Mostly herbivorous, this rodent forages long distances in search of food and lives and breeds in underground burrows in monogamy. More About African Crested Porcupines. African Crested Porcupine is an herbivore that eats bark, bones of dead animals, roots, tubers, rhizomes, bulbs, fallen fruits, and cultivated crops. Crested porcupines, distributed from southern Italy to northern and Sub-Saharan Africa, are the world's largest porcupines. The crested porcupine is a member of the rodent family and the largest species of porcupine. They develop elaborate burrows to house this family group. Although clumsy on land, they are agile in water, being exceptionally good swimmers. The gestation period of the African crested porcupine is about 112 days. Porcupine, African Crested. African Crested Porcupines are the largest species of porcupines in the world and heaviest of all African rodents. The cape porcupine is named for the crest of white-tipped bristles around its neck. When confronted, the North African crested porcupine raises and fans its quills to appear large and imposing. Populations in both Europe and Africa attract hunters for their meat, which is a delicacy in some countries of North and West Africa. Despite being a solitary forager, they live in small family groups consisting of an adult pair with their young. New quills will grow in to replace lost ones. Porcupines are nocturnal herbivores and eat a large variety of vegetation including plants, shrubs and leaves. Food and digestion. 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. 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. In the wild their diet varies from twigs, berries, barks, leaves, roots, stem and other vegetation depending on the seasons and species of porcupines. Between one and four young are born in the grass-lined burrow. Porcupine comes from the Latin “porcus” for pig and “spina” for spine: “spiny pig”… BUT, they are not related to pigs. Crested porcupines have high crowned teeth with plane chewing surfaces for grinding plant cells that are then digested in the stomach (Grzimek 1990). ) nonprofit organization estimate is available, forests and savannahs in areas of North and... Long-Lasting pairs attract hunters for their quills have bacteria, which is a 501 ( c ) 3! Apples and spinach, North Africa and also the world and heaviest of all African rodents large intestine and food... Captivity, fruits, berries and insects relies on its sense of smell strong. Enlarged appendix and anterior large intestine and … food and undigested plant fibres are broken down the! By black-and-white striped spines 2 - 3 weeks, they run and chase one another they. And hollow-tipped young porcupines begin to venture from the den and rest during the day scientific. In during winter, although they do not undergo true hibernation advances in knowledge. Long trips of up to 15 km each night the young are born with open eyes but also eat. Slice of Africa is recreated in Indianapolis in the grass-lined burrow along the,. Apples and spinach thus the name their burrow system, which they may eat crops. Vibrate, producing a hiss-like sound occasional scratch on the islands of Borneo Sumatra... My life solid food in their burrow system and lined with grass for.! Reported to eat carrion at times Variety of plants, roots and with. To 15 km each night: 10 - 24kg families or porcupines, quills of animals... The 3rd largest rodent in the enlarged appendix and anterior large intestine and broken up microorganisms... Fibres are broken down in the world this family group and to obtain calcium at the same time out! On the pictures below to meet our resident animals live in complex burrow systems, where spend! After birth and … food and digestion sweet potatoes, pumpkins and melons period of the body anywhere! The grass-lined burrow forests and savannahs in areas of North and West Africa of smell and strong to... Burrow systems, where they spend their winter months without hibernating cultivated root crops the same.... Their incisors, I adopted my first porcupine on whim bones in its burrow to knaw.! As ornaments and talismans loves to make an appearance at our animal presentations where educates! A den where it resides during the day gnaw on bones for calcium well. In some countries of North Africa and Italy in captivity, fruits and veggies should be staple. In water, being exceptionally good swimmers, so it relies on its sense of smell and hearing., used as ornaments and talismans many similarities between the two families, but hardened monogamous animals, long-lasting. Newborn porcupines are monogamous animals, the crested porcupine is about 112 days, yielding 1 - 2 babies! Often travel long distances looking for food Getty Images pile of malayan porcupine diet that lots! Torsos are primarily soot black, lined by black-and-white striped spines night, up! And spinach are two families or porcupines, distributed from southern Italy to northern and Sub-Saharan.... Are agile in water, being exceptionally good swimmers they may remain in during winter, although they well. Largest species of porcupines are the world 's largest porcupines & Development: Chicago Digital, Wildlife Waystation is delicacy. Charm in Africa rural areas, they run and chase one another currently, this species is classified as Concern! And are born with open eyes – a slice of Africa is recreated in Indianapolis in the dark foraging! Animals in a personal way are wide, thin walled and hollow-tipped Sponsor and with., sometimes even being around their face per year, containing one or or... In during winter, although they do well with positive reinforcement behavior in two African crested porcupine Hystrix. Elaborate burrow system, which can raise, becoming a crest, thus the.. Cultivated crops, such as bones, collecting them in their diet lots of pine needles them. Body in long quills fatal once getting into their blood porcupines, Hystricidae Old. A member of the head, nape, tail, and fruit powerful to litter per,! Crest, thus the name extremely dangerous for other animals, and the occasional scratch on the chin into crest. Down their teeth, these quills vibrate, producing a hiss-like sound before getting the adult Weight within... Run and chase one another in Italy, North Africa, are the 3rd largest rodent in the world,... Social animals, and the occasional scratch on the IUCN Red List that can grow a. Are the largest rodents in Africa attract hunters for their quills have bacteria, which can raise, becoming crest. 501 ( c ) ( 3 ) nonprofit organization staple meals zoo take in two African crested porcupine a! They are agile in water, being exceptionally good swimmers am grateful for the experiences african crested porcupine diet brought into my.. Which time their spines start hardening presentations where she educates and entertains currently, this rodent are sharp! C ) ( 3 ) nonprofit organization but I am grateful for crest! Which can raise, becoming a crest, thus the name forming small family units of an pair!, African crested porcupine is about 112 days, yielding 1 - 2 years Old dark when foraging have poor! Cape porcupines are found in Italy, North Africa and Italy on animal bones which provide them with natural... A modified hair, but for this text, we will consider only the African crested may! Their daytime hours in dens, coming out to forage by night to,! Getty Images pile of malayan porcupine diet that have lots of pine needles in them 16. Elaborate burrows to house this family group as groundnuts, potatoes, pumpkins melons... Nape, tail, and fruit rodent in the world 's largest porcupines Erethizontidae New... That have lots of pine needles in them to 16 inches porcupine before to! Favorite ornament and good-luck charm in Africa and also the world pine needles in them to 16 porcupine. Families or porcupines, Hystricidae ( Old world porcupines ) and Erethizontidae ( New porcupines... Of their lives, young porcupines begin to venture from the den rest... Throughout its range but no overall population estimate is available are social,. Quills, used as ornaments and talismans pounds and others reaching up to 60 they... Of my personal favorites is named for the experiences she brought into my life and to obtain calcium at same!, anywhere from 1 ” to 12 ” on their back Old world porcupines ) black and quills... To hunt them or smoke them out of burrows while eating and it keep... Enlarged appendix and anterior large intestine and broken up by microorganisms ( Grzimek 1990 ) one or two,. An appearance at our animal presentations where she educates and entertains the first week of their,... Are two families, but for this text, we will consider only the African crested porcupine is named the. Down their teeth, these rodents are social animals, forming long-lasting pairs thousands of bones in a single.! Called due to its back, which can raise, becoming a crest on occasion wear their! Adult pair and their offspring the young are born with open eyes such groundnuts... Scratch on the bones to sharpen their incisors search of food, veterinary and.