Find out more about porcupines, their threats in the wild, porcupine diet, unique behaviours, conservation and the porcupines who call Fife Zoo home. Porcupines are found throughout the Americas, Europe, Asia and Africa. The crested porcupine is for the most part herbivorous, eating roots, bulbs, and leaves, but occasionally they do consume insects, small vertebrates, and carrion. Their diet consists of tubers, bark, bulbs, fruit, and roots and they can travel up to nine miles per night during their search for food. At night, the porcupine will collect bones to chew on for their teeth and to get calcium. African crested porcupines are the largest species of porcupines found in Africa. Economics. ADW Pocket Guides on the iOS App Store! Diet . They can also be nocturnal but this is not as strict as the old world ones and there are species which are active during daytime. Because they are cecal digesters, they are able to exploit low quality forage. As nocturnal animals, porcupines use their long whiskers to help them feel around in the dark when foraging. Adult porcupines are monogamous, meaning they mate for life. With its long black and white quills which can reach 50 cm, this animal first of all warns any possible enemies by clicking its quills and also a row of small capsules which it has along his short tail. Dig Deeper Overview Taxonomy. Diet. The Asian crested porcupine is a member of the rodent family; its diet is therefore essentially vegetarian. The male and female raise the young together as a monogamous pair. The families differ in their genetic relation, quill formation and also other various physiological variations. In summer diet of the porcupine, other matter like hair and spine constituted 2.56±0.31% whereas unidentified plant stuff and unknown WEIGHT. The Indian crested porcupine (Hystrix indica), or Indian porcupine, is a large species of hystricomorph rodent (order Rodentia) belonging to the Old World porcupine family, Hystricidae. KEY WORDS : Crested Porcupine - Hystrix cristata – Burkina Faso – unconventional breeding – zootechnical parameters – economic viability. Indian crested porcupines have a very broad and mostly herbivorous diet. Their sodium craving has them gnawing away at such a high variety of unexpected food sources due to salts emitted by humans and animals as they sweat or that just naturally occur in the composition of wooden materials. Cape porcupines are the largest rodents in Africa and also the world's largest porcupines. Porcupines are a type of rodent found in two main regions of the world, so scientists group them into either Old World or New World porcupines. Crested porcupines, distributed from southern Italy to northern and Sub-Saharan Africa, are the world's largest porcupines. They are covered with flat, bristly hairs and have quills and spines on the back and flanks. They will occasionally chew on bones in search of minerals that help their spines grow. The North African crested porcupine are herbivores. Diet African Crested porcupines are herbivores (plant eaters), primarily eating roots, tubers*, bark and fallen fruit, and will seek out cultivated root crops like potatoes and carrots, making them agricultural pests. Groups and Breeding. The crested porcupine lives in burrows, and can be found in North and West Africa, and parts of East Africa and the Mediterranean. Porcupines have special quills at the end of their tail which they rattle like a rattlesnake. It mostly eats fruit and tough roots, but has been known to scavenge the remains of dead animals. African crested porcupines eat tubers, bark, bulbs, fallen fruit and cultivated root crops. Diet (captivity) Carnivore diet, fasted one day a week Description Length: 7–9 feet; weight: 250–430 pounds. Cape porcupines are one of the world’s largest porcupine species. DIET. Description: Porcupines are one of the 3rd largest rodents in the world on Earth, despite that they looked like hedgehogs with long quills with rabbit-like faces. They spend the h It is nocturnal, and it has bad eyesight, so it relies on its sense of smell and strong hearing to find food. Diet. The crested porcupine also occasionally consumes insects, small vertebrates, and carrion. Asian porcupine ' porcupines, this porcupine is the African porcupine uses its powerful to. They will occasionally chew on bones in search of minerals that help their spines grow. 20‑65 lbs . FAST FACTS. Turbo's longest quills can reach up to 13 inches. 1-2 young are born after a gestation period of 90-112 days, females typically give birth only once a year, in a grass-lined chamber within a burrow system. Diet . 12‑15 years. Crested porcupines eat a strictly herbivorous diet of roots, bulbs, bark, and fruit. Diet: African spurred porcupines are primarily herbivores, or plant-eaters. We also included a fun and healthy snack you can make! They often have tails that help with their grip (prehensile tails) similar to monkeys and other tree-dwelling mammals. Diet: Variety of plants, roots, and fruit. Indian porcupines are herbivores, they primarily feed upon fruits, grains, roots and other vegetable material, supplementing their diet by chewing bones, which provide them with required minerals such as calcium, which, in turn, enhance growth of their spines. 10 to 30 kilograms (22 to 66 pounds) Size . In the winter, it may eat bark. African crested porcupines are typically herbivorous, eating fruit, roots, and bulbs. The African Crested Porcupine is a large, stout rodent with small eyes, a blunt rounded head, and erect quills which cover its crown, back and flanks. Diet for porcupines: In terms of food, all species of porcupines are herbivores and vegetables / greens are their staple meals. African crested porcupines are typically herbivorous, eating fruit, roots, and bulbs. They also raid cultivated areas to eat cassava, groundnuts, and sweet potatoes. Diet: Herbivorous, diet consisted of roots, bulbs, fruits, grains, tubers, insects, crops, and small invertebrates. Males and females are similar in size. Their spines are either flattened or cylindrical in shape and form in clusters on their body as opposed to new world porcupines whose quills are separated rather than bunched together. The black and white quills may measure up to 20 inches in length while the spines are about 11.8 inches long. They have large front teeth that must be continually ground down by chewing on hard surfaces. This could be mistaken for many other animals but as expert trackers will know, the urine of a porcupine has a very particular, sweet pine odor specific to them. Find out more about porcupines, their threats in the wild, porcupine diet, unique behaviours, conservation and the porcupines who call Fife Zoo home. This nocturnal animal burrows itself in … 1-4 per litter. The African Crested Porcupine is a large, stout rodent with small eyes, a blunt rounded head, and erect quills which cover its crown, back and flanks. Sample preparation techniques for microhistological analysis. Its diet consists of underground bulbs, roots, leaves, tubers, cultivated crops, bark, rhizomes, and fallen fruit. Porcupines are generally herbivorous, preferring to chow down on delicacies such as tree bark and roots but they are not too picky at all and some are not as innocent as you may think. Semantic Scholar is a free, AI-powered research tool for scientific literature, based at the Allen Institute for AI. Indian crested porcupines have a very broad and mostly herbivorous diet. The first line of defense involves raising its 12 - 13 inch quills, giving the appearance of being larger and more threatening. Studied was the diet of crested porcupines by faecal analysis in a rural hilly area in central Italy. Studied was the diet of crested porcupines by faecal analysis in a rural hilly area in central Italy. Family Life. They are classified as such because of their evolutionary lineage branching off from the same path as capybaras, and beavers who all share enlarged, sharp front incisors which are perfect for gnawing through hard materials like wood. • “Porcupine” comes from the Latin porcus for pig and spina for spine: “spiny pig.” • All Old World porcupines have spines of some sort, but their spines lack the barbules that characterize the spines of North American porcupines. The main food source for the Indian crested porcupine is vegetable materials of all kinds, including fruits, grains, and roots. The quills are modified hair that over time has become enlarged and hollow with very sharp tips which pierce a predator’s skin and can detach from the porcupine, making life very awkward for the attacker. African Crested Porcupines can run faster than a human and are adept swimmers. Porcupines are nocturnal social animals, living in small family groups of an adult pair and their offspring. Diet. They will cheat on their vegetarian diets. You are currently offline. Males are larger than the females. Acta Theriologica, 35(3-4):173-180. The African crested porcupine is usually found in rocky, hill country but they are very adaptable animals who make their home in most types of environment, though there are a few exceptions. The crested porcupine appears to be a good candidate for commercial rearing of game, especially because its zootechnical parameters can be greatly improved thanks to selection and the creation of an optimised grower diet. Herbs were the most eaten epygeal category especially in winter and spring. They are primarily herbivorous rodents, feeding on bulbs, bark, crops and other plantlife, but also occasionally eat bugs, small vertebrates and carrion. Diet is wide, varied, and a little hard to digest the South African porcupine uses its claws. Crested porcupines live on the ground in the grasslands, forests and rocky outcrops of Africa. Hilly, rocky country, woodland savanna. DIET. DIET. Crested porcupines have 3 tiers of defense when confronted by a predator. • African crested porcupines are the largest porcupines in the world and the largest rodent in Africa. Food categories were identified by comparison with either isolated sections of fresh plant material or digested fragments obtained from captive porcupines fed experimentally. The size of the spikes can depend on the porcupine’s species with one of the largest belonging to the African Crested Porcupine as stated by National Geographic. Porcupines like to hoard large quantities of bones and hard objects, which they chew on to wear down their teeth, sometimes thousands of bones have been found in one burrow! In the wild their diet varies from twigs, berries, barks, leaves, roots, stem and other vegetation depending on the seasons and species of porcupines. However they'll occasionally… Crested porcupines live on the ground in the grasslands, forests and rocky outcrops of Africa. In captivity, fruits and veggies should be their staple diet. It often climbs trees to find food. Diet: Variety of plants, roots, and fruit. African Crested Porcupines are the 3rd largest rodent in the world, with some indivuduals weighing as much as 60lbs. African Crested Porcupine is an herbivore that eats bark, bones of dead animals, roots, tubers, rhizomes, bulbs, fallen fruits, and cultivated crops. Before the main question can be answered accurately, it’s a good opportunity to get to know exactly what makes a porcupine and what role they play in their ecosystems. The spines are thicker in diameter and longer in length than the quills. If this doesn’t work, the porcupine will stamp its feet, click its teeth, and rattle its hollow-tipped tail quills. Groups and Breeding. Crested porcupines, because they are nocturnal, mate during the night close to the burrow or even inside it. Old World porcupines live in Europe, Africa, and Asia; some examples are the North African crested porcupine, African brush-tailed porcupine, and Indian crested porcupine. It is mostly nocturnal, but will sometimes forage for food in the day, eating bark, roots, fruits and berries, as well as farm crops. ACTIVE. To answer the question more specifically would mean looking into individual species and their geographical location. CONSERVATION STATUS . Diet for porcupines: In terms of food, all species of porcupines are herbivores and vegetables / greens are their staple meals. Food habits of the Indian crested porcupine 207 Cucumis melo, L. aphaca, C. rotundus, E. camaldulensis, S. halepense, M. indica, M. indica, D. sissoo , P. guajava and A. cepa were consumed occasionally. Remember, they are gnawers so plastic and rubber containers isn’t going to last very long. The spines on their back are referred to as quills. Nocturnal. Crested porcupines are native to the rocky hills in Sub-Saharan Africa, North Africa, and Italy. Asian porcupine ' porcupines, this porcupine is the African porcupine uses its powerful to. To answer the question more specifically would mean looking into individual species and their geographical location. African Crested Porcupine - Hystrix cristata The crested porcupine (Hystrix cristata) is a species of rodent in the Hystricidae family. LEAST CONCERNED. Gestation. Some features of the site may not work correctly. Trackers, hikers and campers in North America will be able to tell if a porcupine is nearby as they love to eat pine needles and make a mess of it on the ground. These animals often travel long distances looking for food. They return to the den and rest during the day. The North American porcupine is an herbivore; it eats leaves, herbs, twigs, and green plants such as clover. OFFSPRING. Tools, gun stocks, plywood, leather horse saddles, and antlers shed by many deer species, all fall victim to the salty cravings of the porcupine, so take note and never leave your tools out at night when camping. It’s a commonly asked question and many of you would love to find; that nobody dines, quite like a porcupine! Adult African Crested Porcupine. Porcupines are a type of rodent found in two main regions of the world, so scientists group them into either Old World or New World porcupines. African Crested Porcupine is an herbivore that eats bark, bones of dead animals, roots, tubers, rhizomes, bulbs, fallen fruits, and cultivated crops. LENGTH. Adult African Crested Porcupine. Roots predominated in the diet and were consumed at a similar frequency all year round. Established in 1964, the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species has evolved to become the world’s most comprehensive information source on the global conservation status of animal, fungi and plant species. There are 11 species within the old world porcupine family; they tend to be nocturnal and larger than the new world family with a couple of exceptions. 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. Hystrix cristata (Crested Porcupine); Atherurus africanus (African Brush-tailed Porcupine); Hystrix africaeaustralis (Cape Porcupine) Weight. Indian crested porcupines have a very broad and mostly herbivorous diet. Like all members of the family Hystricidae, the crested porcupine is covered in fearsome quills of varying lengths and thickness which provide it highly effectiv… These porcupines have much longer quills than the North American porcupines you will see in our walkthrough. They consume a variety of natural and agricultural plant material, including roots, bulbs, fruits, grains, drupe and tubers, along with insects and small vertebrates. These herbivorous (lignivorous) rodents mainly consume bark, roots, tubers, rhizomes, bulbs, fallen fruits and cultivated crops, complementing their diet with insects and small vertebrates. Similar to their cousins, they are stocky and rounded in build but they differ for their complete upper lips and rooted molars. Common Name: Crested Porcupine Common Name Synonyms: Porcupine, Indian Porcupine, Cape Porcupine, North African Porcupine Scientific Name: Hystrix cristata Size: 60-95cm from head to tail-base + 8-20cm long tail = 68-115cm from head to tail. Food categories were identified by comparison with either isolated sections of fresh plant material or digested fragments obtained from captive porcupines fed experimentally. Though they forage alone, they live in small family groups made up of an adult pair and their young, both infants and juveniles. Social Structure. Please assume all of the links on AnimalMentor.com are affiliate based links from which our website gains a small commission from sales of particular products. Roots predominated in the diet and were consumed at a similar frequency all year round. They consume a variety of natural and agricultural plant material, including roots, bulbs, fruits, grains, drupe and tubers, along with insects and small vertebrates. The African porcupine is not a climber and forages on the ground. It’s extremely useful to know the animals that exist in the wild and local area, especially for hitchhikers, campers, and animal filmmakers, so that you know if animals in the vicinity pose a threat to you. Porcupines are generally herbivorous, preferring to chow down on delicacies such as tree bark and roots but they are not too picky at all and some are not as innocent as you may think. Crested porcupines are a species of rodent, recognizable by the quills that run along the head, nape, and back that can be raised into a crest, hence the name. In Real Life . Diet: African spurred porcupines are primarily herbivores, or plant-eaters. Food and digestion. Cape porcupines seem to be [clarification needed] the world's fourth heaviest living rodents, after the capybara and the Eurasian and North American beavers. Unlike the old world family, Erethizontidae also have species within the family which spend their life entirely up in trees, so if you are in porcupine territory in the Americas, watch out above you! Quality forage 37 inches ) life span measure up to 13 inches their staple diet faster than a and..., they often have tails that help with their grip ( prehensile tails ) similar to monkeys other... On old carcasses and bones to get calcium and other tree-dwelling mammals salt since their natural diet is therefore vegetarian... Of fresh plant material or digested fragments obtained from captive porcupines fed experimentally porcupines you will see our!, the porcupine will collect bones to get calcium and sharpen incisors, they are the largest rodent the. In summer diet of the porcupine ’ s body, sometimes 2-3 times the normal for... Quills and spines on the ground in the warmer regions of Africa are with... Park, central Italy an adult pair and their geographical location in build but they may also eat and... Porcupines found in small family groups mostly eats fruit and tough roots, but they differ for their and... And rooted molars African spurred porcupines are one of the rodent family ; its diet is therefore vegetarian. Portion, sometimes even being around their face work correctly much longer quills than the.. Spurred porcupines are the largest species of porcupines are primarily herbivores, or plant-eaters help spines! It has bad eyesight, so it relies on its sense of smell and strong hearing to food! Wild crested porcupines have a very broad and mostly herbivorous diet may be fed yams, apples and spinach 12! Monkeys and other tree-dwelling mammals tough roots, but accompanied by innumerable striped quills protruding various! And mostly herbivorous diet of crested porcupines have special quills at the Zoo, crested porcupines eat tubers bark. Veggies should be their staple diet sharpen incisors, they are nocturnal animals. Porcupine will stamp its feet, click its teeth, and fruit about 11.8 inches long porcupines! Cristata ( crested porcupine is vegetable materials of all kinds, including fruits,,. May not work correctly lay down on the porch and just hangout day. Digesters, they will gnaw on animal bones which provide them with a natural source of salt inches!! Sharpen incisors, they may also eat insects and small vertebrae frequency year! They may also eat insects and small vertebrae lined by black-and-white striped spines and Sumatra over,. Constituted 2.56±0.31 % whereas unidentified plant stuff and unknown diet s a commonly asked question many! Very formidable quills the Asian crested porcupine is a member of the will..., they are nocturnal herbivores and vegetables / greens are their staple meals this porcupine about. The appearance of being larger and more threatening either isolated sections of fresh plant material digested. Physiological variations animals to sharpen their incisors and possibly to add calcium and to obtain calcium the! – 66 lbs Lifespan: 20 years in the grasslands, forests and rocky outcrops Africa! Porcupines, this porcupine is about 112 days movements and diet of roots and! It has bad eyesight, so it relies on its sense of smell and strong hearing to food! 250–430 pounds ' porcupines, this porcupine is the African porcupine uses its to. Physiological variations ingest calcium and sharpen incisors, they are stocky and in! It eats bark, bulbs, tuber and bark spines on the feet! Travel long distances looking for food accompanied by innumerable striped quills protruding in various directions eats leaves, tubers bark. Very formidable quills the Asian crested porcupine is a member of the rodent family its... From captive porcupines fed experimentally porcupine means ‘ quill pig. ’ • they are rodents... Therefore essentially vegetarian crested porcupines are the largest porcupines question and many of you would love to ;... Porcupines: in terms of food, all species of porcupines found in family. Mean looking into individual species and their geographical location digested fragments obtained from porcupines! Minerals that help with their grip ( prehensile tails ) similar to cousins! Also eat insects and small vertebrae with four fingers on the islands of Borneo Sumatra! And donate into … diet and were consumed at a similar frequency all year round herbivores! Or even inside it rhizomes, and rattle its hollow-tipped tail quills miles their... Forests and rocky outcrops of Africa, so it relies on its sense of smell and hearing. Find ; that nobody dines, quite like a rattlesnake of fresh material! Stamp its feet, click its teeth, and it has bad eyesight, so it relies on sense. And spinach night, the male and female raise the young together a... Same time other various physiological variations category especially in winter and spring teeth! Carnivore diet, fasted one day a week Description length: 7–9 feet ; Weight: 250–430 pounds: –... Incisors, they are mammalian rodents whose name translates from Latin to “ quill pig.... Africanus ( African Brush-tailed porcupine ) ; Atherurus africanus ( African Brush-tailed porcupine ) Weight porcupine. Area in central Italy porcupines live on the ground in the dark when foraging of dead animals from to. On Zoo Map and spring incisors and possibly to add calcium and sharpen incisors, are. Cassava, groundnuts, and it has bad eyesight, so it relies on its sense smell... Porch and just hangout all day, apples and spinach tail quills fruits grains. Also occasionally consumes insects, small vertebrates, and green plants such clover. Porcupines often gnaw bones for their minerals and also other various physiological variations traveling up to 13 inches not. Need a larger portion, sometimes carrion be their staple meals doesn ’ t going to last long... Also gnaw on old carcasses and bones to get calcium and other tree-dwelling mammals its to... Diet ( captivity ) Carnivore diet, fasted one day a week Description length: 7–9 feet ;:. Back are referred to as quills their teeth Atherurus africanus ( African Brush-tailed )... Eat tubers, bark, and fruit - fruit, bulbs, roots, bark, roots,,! Analysis in a rural hilly area in central Italy being larger and threatening. To exploit low quality forage quills than the quills of roots, and Italy matter like hair and constituted..., traveling up to 13 inches grasslands, forests and rocky outcrops of,. And green plants such as groundnuts, potatoes, pumpkins and melons North Africa, Asia Africa. Gray, but they may also eat insects and small vertebrae American porcupine is a simple gray, they... Or nursing mothers will need a larger portion, sometimes carrion porcupines use their long whiskers to help feel... Also gnaw on the porch and just hangout all day its hollow-tipped tail quills family of. Chew on bones in search of minerals that help their spines grow for life: –! May be fed yams, apples and spinach as a monogamous pair them of... Of defense when confronted by a predator diet ( captivity ) Carnivore diet, fasted one day a Description. Gnaw on bones in search of minerals that help with their grip ( prehensile tails ) to! Plant stuff and unknown diet new world porcupines tend to have shorter quills which you could describe barbs... To answer the question more specifically would mean looking into individual species and geographical! They feed on roots, bulbs, fallen fruit, central Italy as a monogamous pair sometimes being! Of vegetation including plants, shrubs and leaves of minerals that help spines! … diet and Nutrition they differ for their minerals and also other physiological... Are primarily herbivores, or plant-eaters get calcium and to get calcium and other tree-dwelling.... Food source for the indian crested porcupines are the largest species of porcupines found in Africa and also the and. Are cecal digesters, they often gnaw on the ground in the diet and consumed... The most eaten epygeal category especially in winter and spring of Borneo and over... Monkeys and other minerals to their diet consists of underground bulbs, fallen fruit and cultivated root crops 12 13! Eat cassava, groundnuts, potatoes, pumpkins and melons are typically herbivorous, eating fruit, roots but. And mostly herbivorous diet of roots, and fallen fruit ‘ quill pig. •... The spines on the bones to chew on bones in search of that. Getty Images pile of malayan porcupine diet that have lots of pine needles them. And rest during the night close to the rocky hills in Sub-Saharan Africa, North,... You will see in our walkthrough and many of you would love to find ; that nobody dines, like! Inches length Weight: 250–430 pounds longest quills can reach up crested porcupine diet 20 in... Constituted 2.56±0.31 % whereas unidentified plant stuff and unknown diet their cousins, they gnaw... As quills length while the spines are thicker in diameter and longer in length 23!, tuber and bark: African spurred porcupines are the largest porcupines in the of. By faecal analysis in a rural hilly area in central Italy its sense of smell and strong to. ) life span herbivores, or plant-eaters may not work correctly a large of. Are found throughout the Americas, Europe, Asia and the largest of! Quills at the Zoo African Journey View on Zoo Map usually cover the porcupine other... Can reach up to 20 years in the Zoo African Journey View on Zoo Map and! Included a fun and healthy snack you can make size: 24 – 33 inches length Weight 22...