South African porcupine

Hystrix africaeaustralis

Common name

South African porcupine

Habitat

In their distribution area, they are found in environments with vegetation between sea level and 2000 m altitude. They prefer areas with hills and rocky outcrops where they can find shelter during the day.
Features

Family

Hystricidae

Medals

Rodentia

Class

Mammalia

Gestation

About 94 days.

Number of offspring

1-4.

Preproduction

Diet

Roots, bulbs, tubers and bark of trees. Occasionally carrion or old skeletons, which they gnaw in search of mineral salts.

Life

Up to 15 years in the wild and up to 23 in captivity.

Biology and behavior

Nocturnal animal, which leaves its burrow every night in search of food. Although it sleeps with the family during the day, it becomes a solitary animal when, following a known path, it goes in search of food.

Their bodies are covered in thorns (modified hair), which could be an impediment to sexual activity. When the female is receptive, she approaches the male with her tail and rump raised, and the quills facing her sides, so that the male can cover her without danger.

They stop in grass-lined caves within the communal tunnel complex. The babies are born covered in hair, with open eyes and soft quills. As they grow, the quills harden and form a formidable keratin armor. The tail ones are hollow and make a rattle sound when they move.

When threatened, porcupines raise all their quills and shake their tails while stamping their feet on the ground, emitting a threatening growl. If the aggressor persists, the porcupine begins to run sideways and backwards towards him. If the porcupine sticks a quill into an animal, it comes off its body.

Some
curiosities

Although they dig their own burrows, they sometimes take advantage of those of other animals, such as in BIOPARC Valencia, where they share a burrow with the oricteropus.

African savanna
Wetlands
africans
Habitats
Equatorial jungle
Madagascar Island