The porcupine does not shoot its quills at predators; rather, it sheds them on impact so that they become imbedded in an attacker. 10 to 30 kilograms (22 to 66 pounds) Size. At the peri-urban area (KwaWula), November had the lowest estimated Cape porcupine home range (13.70 ha) and September had the highest home range (28.84 ha) (Fig. Cape Porcupines are found from sea level to 2000 m above sea level in … Both males and females weigh between 10 and 24 kg. 15 years in … The young grow rapidly, reaching full size in about a year. 3a). The Cape Porcupine does not demand a particularly defined or specialised habitat. 2005; Barthelmess 2016b). The quills are striped black and white, which serves as a warning to potential predators. 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. Acute hearing allows this species to respond quickly to threats. They'll modify natural shelters, such as caves, crevices or burrows created by other animals. Know Before You Go: To ensure the safety of staff and guests, we've made modifications to the Zoo experience in accordance with public guidance and health recommendations. Their digging does promote soil oxygenation and the new growth of bulbs, though. COMMON NAME: Cape Porcupine SCIENTIFIC NAME: Hystrix africaeaustralis TYPE: Mammal DIET: Herbivore GROUP NAME: Prickle. The spines are thicker in diameter and longer in length than the quills. Porcupines may freeze if they hear a large predator. If the porcupine is attacked, its initial reaction is to freeze and wait for the danger to pass. Tickets are still available 1/4 - 17. Sitemap. In the wild, their lifespan is about a decade, while they can live for double that period in captivity. Subscribe for the latest special offers and travel inspiration. Individuals are known to live for 240 months. The North American porcupine is the second largest of all rodents. 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. Females may be larger than males, but otherwise, the sexes are alike in appearance and are difficult to distinguish. All Rights Reserved. Our Cape porcupine is part of the Old World family of porcupines. Reproduction is dioecious. The Cape porcupine is a large (12.0 kg), nocturnal hystricomorph rodent and widely distributed throughout southern Africa. They are found in The Afrotropics. Travelling to South Africa? Appearance: Cape porcupines' bodies are covered with flat, bristly hairs, and they have large quills on their posterior back and sides that range from a couple of inches to a foot in length. SA-Venues.com © 1999-2020. The male and female are approximately the same size and can weigh between 10 and 40 pounds. 3b). Unguarded porcupine cubs should be an attractive prey for small/mesopredators (e.g. Like other rodents, crested porcupines are nocturnal, and monogamous. Due to their effective defence system, the African Porcupine does not easily succumb to predators. 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. They're born with their eyes open and incisors that have already broken through the gums. The quills have black and white bands all along their length, making them popular for use in arts and crafts. Advance ticket purchase required. The African cape porcupine is one of the largest members of the rodent family. Rodents are mammals including rats, mice, porcupines, beavers, and more. Rodents, such as our African crested porcupines, have ever growing front teeth (called incisors). Although the Cape Porcupine will dine mainly on vegetation, it has been known to gnaw on bones and carrion too. Canidae, Viverridae, Mustelidae), particularly numerous in the African distribution range of crested porcupines, which may have contributed to the evolution of protective behaviour by both parents. Their short rump spines and the underside of their tails are white. Dig holes that open up soil surface, allowing water to seep into ground and new plants to grow (Bragg et al. Porcupines also have a group of hollow quills on their tails which rattle when shaken. These little ones are weaned at about 100 days, and reach sexual maturity at around one year. The male and female raise the young together as a monogamous pair. They are nocturnal herbivores. As a result, population studies are not overly accessible making it difficult to determine the global population size of porcupines. It has long hair and black-and-white quills that can grow to a foot in length. They can be found in high and low elevations, and in a variety of conditions. The young are born with soft quills and incisors, while the other teeth start appearing at two weeks of age. Female porcupines have teats on their sides just behind their front legs, and they lay sternal to nurse their offspring. 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. However, they are absent in swamplands, and are very seldom found in very arid areas or in dense forests. 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. Porcupine or Cape Porcupine [Hystrix africaeaustralis] Appearance Both the male and female African Porcupines weigh from 10 to 24 kilograms (22 to 53 pounds) with very large specicimens weighing up … Males and females are similar in size. These por­cu­pines are cov­ered with flat, bristly hairs and have quills and spines on the pos­te­rior back and flanks. They may be found in small family groups, but they tend to forage alone and to follow the same paths searching for food. Indian porcupinesare almost the same size on … They are covered with flat, bristly hairs and have quills and spines on the back and flanks. These are shorter, at around 30mm and have a very sharp tip. African spurred porcupines are primarily herbivores, or plant-eaters. This porcupine species is found throughout southern and central Africa; including in South Africa, Kenya, Uganda, and the Congo. If cornered in the open, they respond very aggressively, erecting their sharp hollow "rattle" quills and running sideways or backwards to drive them into their attacker. Female porcupines reach maturity by 9-16 months, while males reach maturity by 8-18 months. Zoo New England participates in the Cape porcupine Species Survival Plan. If no suitable shelter is available, they'll dig their own dens, which can be up to 20 meters long. Porcupine Population All but one porcupine species is considered a least concern at this time. Visit our Winter Visits page to learn more about the amazing animals you can still see during the winter. Those wanting to use them should be committed to ensuring that they were obtained in an eco-friendly, non-harmful way. Want to see african or cape porcupine in their natural habitat? They'll gnaw on small branches and even bones when they can find them, which provide a good source of calcium. They weigh from 10 to 24 kilograms (22 to 53 pounds), with exceptionally large specimens weighing up to 30 kg (66 lb). 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. The African crested porcupine is native to regions of Northern Africa, Southern Europe, and areas of the Mediterranean. Porcupine can give birth 1-2 times a year with litter size varying from one to three, either, twins or triplets in captivity [5]. Cape porcupine We have two Cape porcupine here at Edinburgh Zoo, a male named Little Rick and a female named Zahara. Their tail increases this length by 11-20cm (4.3-7.9in). Porcupines don't actually "shoot" their quills, but shed them upon impact, so they become imbedded in an attacker. However, they are sometimes challenged by lions, leopards, hyenas, and the like. From the head to the base of it’s tail, a cape porcupine measures between 63 and 81cm (25 and 32in) long. Males and females are similar sizes, typically weighing between 18 … Litters are usually born between August and March. Occasionally, they will gnaw on old carcasses and bones to get calcium and to wear down their teeth. Their quills are soft at birth, but rapidly harden. The following is a small sample of thousands of species of wildlife found in South Africa. Cape porcupines are one of the world’s largest porcupine species. Hyenas, leopards, raptors and pythons will eat porcupines on occasion. They are common in sub-Saharan Africa, but can be found as far away as northern Africa and Italy. More often, though, it will eat fruit, seeds, roots, bulbs and bark. 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 . Cape porcupines are the largest rodents in Africa and also the world's largest porcupines. The spines covering the body measure about 50mm in length, with sharp black defence quills scattered in-between. A literature review found limited information on relevant anatomy and surgical approach, with a single report describing the need for CT to locate the testes. In fact, it is the largest rodent in southern Africa and one of the largest in the world. They have long, sensitive whiskers that they use to find their way around in their burrows or at night. Alternatively, the porcupine may hide in its burrow with only its quills exposed. They're more closely related to agoutis, capybaras or even guinea pigs. Scientific name. And, we'll send you a R200 voucher to use on your next booking. By sharing research and knowledge, participating institutions work together to establish guidelines that best ensure the health of captive populations, and with success, the survival of otherwise extinct species. A Cape porcupine ( Hystrix africaeaustralis ) was presented for surgical castration to prevent inbreeding within the family group. All porcupine species fall into a very diverse order called Rodentia. Anaesthesia was induced by hand injection of a combination of 0.03 mg/kg medetomidine and 4 mg/kg ketamine. Cape porcupines are one of the world’s largest porcupine species. Females can give birth one to two times per year. The gestation period of the South African Porcupine is about 94 days, or roughly three months, long. Some really big males can weigh up to 30 kg, but this is unusual. This is a large species of porcupine, complete with a full compliment of defensive quills and has very few natural predators. As rodents, their incisors grow continuously, so they need to gnaw on items to keep them sharp and worn down. Cape porcupines are solitary or found in small family groups. She will give birth to one litter per year (unless a previous litter was lost), which comprises of one to three babies (although about half of the births are of only one baby). Weight: 12-19 kg. One to four Cape porcupine offspring (the average is two) are born after a gestation of three months. In addition, they have coarse fur that can be brown or black. 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. Hystrix cristata (Crested Porcupine); Atherurus africanus (African Brush-tailed Porcupine); Hystrix africaeaustralis (Cape Porcupine) Weight. 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