African Crested Porcupine

South African Crested Porcupine

Hystrix africaeaustralis

Quick Facts

Found:  Africa
Size:  2 to 3 feet
Weight:  25 to 60 pounds
Diet:  plants, bark, tubers, roots, fruit
Life Span:  12 to 15 years
Status:  Common

South African crested porcupines are usually active at night and spend their days sleeping in burrows, rock cavities or in river bank thickets with several exits.  They are quite agile and are good swimmers.  When excited, they grunt.  If threatened, they stomp their hind feet and rattle their rattle quills which are the small round hollow quills in the middle of their tail.  When in danger, they erect their quills and jump backward to drive the points into the predator.  If a predator chases them, the porcupine will stop suddenly causing the predator to run into the quills.  Porcupines do not shoot their quills but they do come out easily.  Predators include leopards, lions, and hyenas.

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