African Crested Porcupine. The quills are very sharp and they are not firmly attached to the skin. There are black and white quills on the neck and back. The African Crested porcupine has a black body and black hair. They are hollow and were once used as containers for gold dust. The legs are short and sturdy, and each foot has five toes, all equipped with powerful claws. Porcupine quills are a favorite ornament and good-luck charm in Africa. Crested porcupines may travel up to 9 miles (15 km) per night. They normally shy in the wild and flee into the forest for cover at the slightest provocation. In the Mediterranean, it is known from mainland Italy and the island of Sicily, Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia; they are also recorded in Ghana, Libya and along the Egyptian coast. National Audubon Society Field Guide to African Wildlife, 1995. The quills will often cause a deep infected wound that may prove fatal. There are black and white quills on the neck and back. Females are not sexually mature until they are 9-16 months old and males do not reach sexual maturity until they are 8-18 months old. The North African crested porcupine is monogamous. It ranges in head-to-rump length from 27.6 to 35.4 inches (70 to 90 centimeters) and is the largest of the African porcupines, ranging from 24.3 to 39.7 pounds (11 to 18 kilograms). Largest rodent in their region, with weight of 39.7-66.1 lb (18-30 kg). Aloha! Each quill has a topical antibiotic, so … Old World crested porcupines have the largest quills. In the zoo, crested porcupines may be fed yams, apples and spinach. The legs are short and the body is stocky. The Linne’s two-toed sloth is found in such countries as Nicaragua, Columbia, Venezuela, Surinam, Guyana, French Guiana, North Central Brazil, and Northern Peru. Crested porcupines have shorter quills on their back and rump sections. Porcupines are the largest and heaviest of all African rodents. The porcupine is identified by its specialized hairs or quills. Quills are soft at birth, but harden soon after to protect the young porcupines from predators. The North African crested porcupine is nocturnal. They are nocturnal and active during the night and are fairly social; sometimes traveling in two’s or three’s. It is replaced in southern and central Africa by the Cape porcupine, H. africaeaustralis, and in India by the Malayan porcupine (H. brachyura) and Indian (crested) porcupine (H. indica). PART OF WILD SKY MEDIA | FAMILY & PARENTING, NatureWorks: North American Porcupine – Erethizon Dorsatum. Their living situation is very similar to the brush-tailed porcupine. They make a rattling sound when the crested porcupine feels threatened. African crested Porcupine {Hystrix cristata} - Author: Drew Avery. The sharp, sturdy quills of the African crested porcupine give it highly effective protection against predators. Their most recognizable feature is, of course, its quills. PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS. The crested porcupine (Hystrix cristata), a typical representative of the Old World porcupines, occurs throughout the south of Europe and North and West Africa. The crested porcupine is the largest and heaviest of African rodents. The National Geographic website mentions that porcupines can’t shoot their quills as once thought, but notes that the quills will fall off a porcupine’s body if touched. 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. John Hopkins University Press, Baltimore 1991. The tips of the quills on the tail are narrow and hollow. These are a defense mechanism against predators like African lions or hyenas. When born, the young’s quills are white and soft, although they start to become hard within hours. Old World porcupines live in holes, crevices, burrows or caves. They start to eat firm food when they are two to three weeks old. A 10-year-old male African crested porcupine (Hystrix cristala) was one of an apparently infertile pair in a zoological collection in Great Britain. When the animal is relaxed the way its quill lay flat resembles a grass skirt, but instead of being green it is black with white stripes. It mostly eats fruit and tough roots, but has been known to scavenge the remains of dead animals. In rural areas, they may eat cultivated crops, such as groundnuts, potatoes, pumpkins and melons. Empower Her. Digital Vision./Digital Vision/Getty Images. Its body is covered with coarse quills 1 to 13 inches long and of varying thicknesses. Porcupine or hedgehog? The largest rodent in Africa. The sides and belly have soft dark brown to black fur. The spines may be as long as 21 inches. The spines are thicker in diameter and longer in length than the quills. 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