The quills are modified hairs and if they fall out they will grow back. Distribution and habitat 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. Their teeth are continuously growing so they can rip through plant material. This seldom seen, highly elusive apex predator survives in some of the most inhospitable habitat possible – the rugged, low nutritional fynbos biome of the Cape Fold Mountain ranges. This locks them in the den so they are not able to be dislodged. However, they are sometimes challenged by lions, leopards, hyenas, and the like. These are long and measure up to 30cm (11.8in) long for quills and 50cm (20in) for spines. THe porcupine does not shoot its quills out in defence, as it is rumoured to do. On the tail are hollow spines which allow them to make a rattling by shaking them. The Cape Porcupine is a monogamous animal and will usually live with its mate, defending its territory (which can consist of around six different burrows) together. 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. The cape porcupine is a nocturnal animal. Rather, they get stuck in whatever touches the porcupine. Cape porcupines achieve sexual maturity at 2 years old in females and between 8 and 18 months for males. Habitat use of Cape porcupines were investigated at the landscape-scale (2nd order of selection) and the home range-scale (3rd order of selection). Their most noticeable feature is the quills and spines which extend from their back. They can be found in altitudes up to 12,100 ft. high. Alternatively, the porcupine may hide in its burrow with only its quills exposed. The Cape leopard is the stuff of legends. Their tail increases this length by 11-20cm (4.3-7.9in). Appearance Female porcupines are about one kilogram heavier than males, weighing 10-24 kg and males with a mass of 10-19 kg. If cornered, it turns vicious and charges to stab it's attacker with its quills. Their teeth and gut are both adapted to handle tough material that other animals may not be able to break down or digest. Some species of New World porcupines live in trees, however, Old World porcupines are exclusively terrestrial (ground dwellers). You can help feed and care for our porcupines and other threatened animals around the world by donating today - if you can, please support our Survival Fund . Some porcupines inhabit rocky regions up to 3,500 metres (11,000 feet) high. Some really big males can weigh up to 30 kg, but this is unusual. Geographic Range. From the head to the base of it’s tail, a cape porcupine measures between 63 and 81cm (25 and 32in) long. This is also known as the Cape Porcupine and is known for its stout, sturdy structure. Young cape porcupines will begin to try solid food at one month old. The Cape Porcupine lives for a relatively long time. The rest of the body is coated with dark fur. Breeding takes place between May and December in the wild while in captivity they will breed year-round. Cape porcupines are one of the world’s largest porcupine species. Here are some of the interesting facts about the cape porcupine. They can stab an attacker with these quills to defend themselves. The following is a small sample of thousands of species of wildlife found in South Africa. However, if it feels that it needs to take action, it will charge the attacker with its quills erect, making it look a lot bigger and more vicious than in its usual state. Although the Cape Porcupine will dine mainly on vegetation, it has been known to gnaw on bones and carrion too. These harden as they grow. In South Africa, see them in these and many other reserves and park... SA-Venues.com® has been assisting travellers with their South Africa travel plans since 1999, and is the largest, independent online travel guide for South Africa available in both English and German. Porcupine habitats range from deserts, forests and grasslands. With cape porcupine inclusive all porcupines have lined quills which is significant for their hairs. This is the world’s largest porcupine – and also by far the largest rodent in Africa. Family Hystricidae, the Old World porcupines. These are shorter, at around 30mm and have a very sharp tip. The walks also provide great enrichment because of all the sights, smells, and sounds of the other animals in the habitat. They reach their full size by the end of their first year of life. The Cape Porcupine does not demand a particularly defined or specialised habitat. Rodents, such as our African crested porcupines, have ever growing front teeth (called incisors). From the head to the base of it’s tail, a cape porcupine measures between 63 and 81cm (25 and 32in) long. Their tail increases this length by 11-20cm (4.3-7.9in). They are hunted by farmers when they dig up crops. When born, their quills are soft and sensitive bristles. Their digging does promote soil oxygenation and the new growth of bulbs, though. They are similar in appearance to the crested porcupine but they are slightly larger. During the day they will often go out foraging on their own. It's a vision to behold as it trundles along, beneath a quivering battery of spines – like a bush on legs. Porcupine is a word meaning ‘quill pig.’. Males and females are similar in size. When attacked, the porcupine freezes. Habitat. Typically, the male is more defensive of their territory, which they both mark. Travelling to South Africa? One habitat which is avoided are swamps. The Cape Porcupine does not demand a particularly defined or specialised habitat. When disturbed, porcupines ruffle up their spines, making themselves look twice their size. Predators of the cape porcupine include big cats, hyenas and large birds. Distribution Sub-saharan Africa excluding the coastal deserts of the southwest Habitat Adaptable – found in forests, on plantations, in … If attacked they move sideways and backwards to dig their quills in to the attacker. Due to their effective defence system, the African Porcupine does not easily succumb to predators. Conservation Status Least Concern, IUCN. Porcupine spines can be over half a meter long. They can be distinguished from other porcupine species by the strip of white, short spines that runs along the middle of their rumps and their black-and-white colouring. They live in small groups consisting of a monogamous pair and their young who share a den. Its proportions are not as attractive as its animal itself. All Rights Reserved. Over half of litters are single births. Porcupines are monogamous animals and live in extended family groups consisting of an adult male and female and their offspring. South African porcupines are found from sea level to 2000 m above sea level in most areas with vegetation. Weight. These little ones are weaned at about 100 days, and reach sexual maturity at around one year. The Cape Porcupine is 630 to 810 mm in length (excluding the small tail, which is about 110 to 200mm long). Males and females are similar sizes, … In addition, they can use carrion on occasion. Both males and females weigh between 10 and 24 kg. Cape porcupines are nocturnal and monogamous, typically living as mated pairs of adults, caring for any young together. They are covered in quills which is where their name porcupine derives from as in French ‘ porc espin ’ means spined pig. There are no currently recognised subspecies. Distribution and habitat 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. During the day, they will either build their own den or shelter in a cave or crevice. Rodents are mammals including rats, mice, porcupines, beavers, and more. They feed upon roots, tubers, fruit, bark and cultivated crops. In South Africa, the porcupine can be found at the Rietvlei Nature Reserve between Johannesburg and Pretoria, Seekoei Nature Reserve (just outside Jeffrey�s Bay), the Amakhala Nature Reserve (near Grahamstown and Port Alfred), and the Zandvlei Estuary in Cape Town. Although they tend to give birth during the rainy season (August to December, often extending right through to March), the South African Porcupine actually breeds all year round. Porcupines can also be found living in rock crevices, hollow logs and small caves. Both sexes are about 84 cm in length. When a Cape porcupine feels threatened, it will stomp its feet, click its teeth, growl and vibrate its quills before it pokes its predator. Mini Marmosets and Leaping Lemurs born at AltinaÂ, Little Rhino Calf Joins the Family at The WildsÂ, Red-Tailed Guneon Swing In to the Maryland ZooÂ. They can be found in high and low elevations, and in a variety of conditions. The Cape porcupine is the largest porcupine in the world, alongside the nearly identical African crested porcupine. Cape porcupine. This porcupine species is nocturnal. On each foot is five toes each with a claw. The Cape Porcupine is 630 to 810 mm in length (excluding the small tail, which is about 110 to 200mm long). More often, though, it will eat fruit, seeds, roots, bulbs and bark. When it is cold the group will huddle in their burrow for warmth. Cape porcupines are the world's largest species of porcupines, and are Africa's largest rodent. ("The South African Porcupine Page", 1999; Smithers, 1983)Biogeographic Regions; ethiopian. However, these dimensions are not as impressive as the sight of the animal itself. The African cape porcupine is one of the largest members of the rodent family. With the aid of the radio-telemetry data, we also determined Cape porcupine habitat use in the farmland, peri-urban and suburban areas, in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa (Chapter 3). Following a successful mating it will take 94 days for the offspring to be born. Cape porcupine habitat selections are shown in Table 1, Table 2, Table 3, Table 4, which varied according to the habitat composition within each site. Both males and females weigh between 10 and 24 kg. 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. A group may maintain up to 6 burrows which they move between. The South African Porcupine has small eyes and ears and rather short whiskers. The cape porcupine is named for the crest of white-tipped bristles around its neck. To defend themselves they will freeze. native; Habitat. Because of their preference for plant roots and bulbs, these porcupines can become a pest amongst farmers, who make their living from the crops. Cape Porcupines are found from sea level to 2000 m above sea level in most areas with vegetation. For example, the peri-urban area was the only site which included timber plantations within its composition . We have some. The gestation period of the South African Porcupine is about 94 days, or roughly three months, long. ... Habitat: Lowlands and tropical mountain forests, steppes, semi … Some New World species are arboreal, which means that they live in the trees. New World and Old World porcupines occupy a wide range of habitats. It has long hair and black-and-white quills that can grow to a foot in length. Habitat: Highly adaptable, living anywhere vegetation is available.They are more likely to be found in open spaces rather than wooded areas, and they seek out rocky crevices, abandoned burrows and caves for shelter. Cape porcupines are omnivores. Cape Porcupine Our porcupines live alongside our meerkats and their diet is predominantly a wide variety of vegetables. At birth the average weight of the newborn is 311g (11oz). Behavior: These porcupines are solitary and territorial. Both species have long, white, stiletto-like quills running the length of their backs that, when raised, make the animals appear at least twice as large as they actually are. The North American porcupine is the only species that lives in the U.S. and Canada, and is the largest of all porcupines. They care for their young together, but will usually forage for food independently of their mate. They inhabit a wide range of habitats, from sea level to 2,000 metres (6,600 ft), although they are only marginally present in dense forests and the driest of deserts, and are not found in swampland. In fact, it is the largest rodent in southern Africa and one of the largest in the world. The young are born with soft quills and incisors, while the other teeth start appearing at two weeks of age. They are the largest rodent in Africa and the largest of the porcupines. In addition, they have coarse fur that can be brown or black. SA-Venues.com � 1999-2020. The quills have black and white bands all along their length, making them popular for use in arts and crafts. These are born in a grass lined chamber which the parents make in their den. ... Cape porcupines are also known to gnaw on bones for calcium as well as in order to sharpen their incisors. They can inhabit a wide range of habitats from tropical forests to deserts. They collect bones which they gnaw on. The porcupine does not shoot its quills at predators; rather, it sheds them on impact so that they become imbedded in an attacker. Diet Herbivore By Steven Lek (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons. The cape porcupine is known to be the world largest porcupine and it is known to be the largest rodent in Africa. Different species can found in desert habitats, various forests, hillsides, mountains, and rocky cliffs. Porcupines reside in natural shelters near roots and rocks, inside holes made by each other or holes they dig themselves. They often take shelter in caves or antbear holes. Did you know? Habitat: Eastern Cape, SA. Cassola, F. 2016. Hystrix africaeaustralis (errata version published in 2017). The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T10748A115099085. https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-3.RLTS.T10748A22232321.en. Downloaded on 11 May 2020. 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