Rodents, such as our African crested porcupines, have ever growing front teeth (called incisors). In the wild, their lifespan is about a decade, while they can live for double that period in captivity. The major difference between Old and New world species is that the Old World porcupines live on the ground and often in small groups, while the New World porcupine… 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. Cape porcupines are Hystricomorph rodents, and surprisingly, are not closely related at all to New World porcupines. These little ones are weaned at about 100 days, and reach sexual maturity at around one year. 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). 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. Cape porcupines measure 63 to 81 centimetres (25 to 32 inches) long from the head to the base of the tail, with the tail adding a further 11–20 centimetres (4.3–7.9 inches). Females can give birth one to two times per year. They are similar in appearance to, and only slightly larger than, their close relatives, the crested porcupines, and can most easily be distinguished from them by the presence of a band of short white spines along the midline of the rump. They can erect their crest and quills at will, which makes them appear large and threatening. Cape Porcupines are found from sea level to 2000 m above sea level in … The young grow rapidly, reaching full size in about a year. Porcupines may freeze if they hear a large predator. Tickets are still available 1/4 - 17. As rodents, their incisors grow continuously, so they need to gnaw on items to keep them sharp and worn down. They're born with their eyes open and incisors that have already broken through the gums. 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 … The South African Porcupine has small eyes and ears and rather short whiskers. 60 to 93 centimeters in length (23 to 37 inches) Life span. There are around 2,050 living species classified under this order, the largest being the capybara which weighs between 35 and 66 kg (77-146 lbs) and the smallest is one of the pygmy jerboa species. They have long, sensitive whiskers that they use to find their way around in their burrows or at night. Rather, they get stuck in whatever touches the porcupine. Rodents are mammals including rats, mice, porcupines, beavers, and more. The female goes into oestrus for about nine days. Acute hearing allows this species to respond quickly to threats. Both males and females weigh between 10 and 24 kg. Dig holes that open up soil surface, allowing water to seep into ground and new plants to grow (Bragg et al. When threatened by predators, Cape porcupines will hide in their shelter when available with their heads facing in and their quills erect, which makes them almost impossible to dislodge. Scientific name. We make it easy for you to plan your trip online. More often, though, it will eat fruit, seeds, roots, bulbs and bark. Their digging does promote soil oxygenation and the new growth of bulbs, though. Sitemap. The quills are striped black and white, which serves as a warning to potential predators. On the farmland area, October had the lowest estimated Cape porcupine home range (11.72 ha) and November had the highest (24.07 ha) (Fig. They're more closely related to agoutis, capybaras or even guinea pigs. The spines are thicker in diameter and longer in length than the quills. The Cape porcupine, leopard, and chacma baboon were the most diversely utilised, with 16, 15, and 11 distinct uses being attributed to them, respectively. 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. If the porcupine is attacked, its initial reaction is to freeze and wait for the danger to pass. 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. All porcupine species fall into a very diverse order called Rodentia. This is also known as the Cape Porcupine and is known for its stout, sturdy structure. Female porcupines reach maturity by 9-16 months, while males reach maturity by 8-18 months. The quills have black and white bands all along their length, making them popular for use in arts and crafts. Those wanting to use them should be committed to ensuring that they were obtained in an eco-friendly, non-harmful way. However, they are absent in swamplands, and are very seldom found in very arid areas or in dense forests. 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. Litters are usually born between August and March. The resulting rattle is an unmistakable threat. Karoo National Park - A little piece of Heaven, You’ll Find These 15 Amazing Animals in South Africa, Pack a picnic basket and explore these South African Botanical Gardens. Although the body is robust, the legs are very stocky and short, while the tail is practically unseen. Porcupines don't actually "shoot" their quills, but shed them upon impact, so they become imbedded in an attacker. If no suitable shelter is available, they'll dig their own dens, which can be up to 20 meters long. In addition, they have coarse fur that can be brown or black. 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. Cape porcupines are one of the world’s largest porcupine species. Hyenas, leopards, raptors and pythons will eat porcupines on occasion. African porcupines are herbivorous feeding on various plant parts including roots, bark, and fruit. These porcupines have an unusual way of warding off enemies by shaking hollow quills on the tips of their tails when predators are detected. They live in North Africa, South Africa and East Africa. This is a large species of porcupine, complete with a full compliment of defensive quills and has very few natural predators. Cape porcupines are nocturnal, and, unlike new world porcupines, they're exclusively terrestrial. Cape porcupines measure 63 to 81 centimetres (25 to 32 inches) long from the head to the base of the tail, with the tail adding a further 11–20 centimetres (4.3–7.9 inches). Zoo New England gratefully acknowledges the generous support of our sponsors: © 2020 Commonwealth Zoological Corporation, Length: Up to 39 inches; tail 4 to 6.5 inches. This porcupine species is nocturnal. At birth, porcupettes are approximately 3% of the female's body weight and typically range between .66 to 1 pound. Fast Facts About the Cape Porcupine Size: 700 mm long, 25 cm at shoulder. The African cape porcupine is one of the largest members of the rodent family. A Cape porcupine ( Hystrix africaeaustralis ) was presented for surgical castration to prevent inbreeding within the family group. 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 . COMMON NAME: Cape Porcupine SCIENTIFIC NAME: Hystrix africaeaustralis TYPE: Mammal DIET: Herbivore GROUP NAME: Prickle. Because of their preference for plant roots and bulbs, these porcupines can become a pest amongst farmers, who make their living from the crops. They are found in The Afrotropics. The porcupine does not shoot its quills at predators; rather, it sheds them on impact so that they become imbedded in an attacker. In fact, it is the largest rodent in southern Africa and one of the largest in the world. Distribution. Like other rodents, crested porcupines are nocturnal, and monogamous. Class: Mammalia  Order: RodentiaFamily: Hystricidae  Genus: Hystrix  Species: africaeaustralis. This porcupine's communication is based primarily on smell, as they scent mark their territories with strong-smelling urine. This makes it practically impossible for the predator to retrieve. From the head to the base of it’s tail, a cape porcupine measures between 63 and 81cm (25 and 32in) long. Please review our updated FAQs (FPZ and SZ) before your visit. Porcupine can give birth 1-2 times a year with litter size varying from one to three, either, twins or triplets in captivity [5]. 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. Cape porcupines seem to be the world's fourth heaviest living rodents, after the capybara and the Eurasian and North American beavers. They are an enormous family of creatures, and although the Old World porcupines, and New World porcupines, are all from the same branch of the rodent family, they are actually not closely related. Porcupine Population All but one porcupine species is considered a least concern at this time. They care for their young together, but will usually forage for food independently of their mate. However, they are sometimes challenged by lions, leopards, hyenas, and the like. 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. 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. The Cape Porcupine is 630 to 810 mm in length (excluding the small tail, which is about 110 to 200mm long). Members:​ Online reservations are required for your visit. Cape porcupine We have two Cape porcupine here at Edinburgh Zoo, a male named Little Rick and a female named Zahara. All Rights Reserved. Anaesthesia was induced by hand injection of a combination of 0.03 mg/kg medetomidine and 4 mg/kg ketamine. As a result, population studies are not overly accessible making it difficult to determine the global population size of porcupines. They weigh from 10 to 24 kilograms (22 to 53 pounds), with exceptionally large specimens weighing up to 30 kg (66 lb). Their impressive display is mainly used in response to a threat, although they can and do erect and rattle their quills when faced with an unknown porcupine. Visit our Winter Visits page to learn more about the amazing animals you can still see during the winter. Female porcupines have teats on their sides just behind their front legs, and they lay sternal to nurse their offspring. Females may be larger than males, but otherwise, the sexes are alike in appearance and are difficult to distinguish. Zoo New England participates in the Cape porcupine Species Survival Plan. The Cape Porcupine does not demand a particularly defined or specialised habitat. Typically, the male is more defensive of their territory, which they both mark. 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. They are nocturnal herbivores. 15 years in … 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. Individuals are known to live for 240 months. 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. 3a). Our Cape porcupine is part of the Old World family of porcupines. They are common in sub-Saharan Africa, but can be found as far away as northern Africa and Italy. Reproduction is dioecious. The male and female raise the young together as a monogamous pair. Indian porcupinesare almost the same size on … SA-Venues.com © 1999-2020. The Cape Porcupine measures 63 to 81 centimetres (25 to 32 inches) long from the head to the base of the tail, with the tail adding a further 11–20 centimetres (4.3–7.9 inches). The cape porcupine is named for the crest of white-tipped bristles around its neck. 10 to 30 kilograms (22 to 66 pounds) Size. Some of the tail quills are hollow and make a rattling noise when shaken by the animal. Want to see african or cape porcupine in their natural habitat? 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. 2005; Barthelmess 2016b). Subscribe for the latest special offers and travel inspiration. They nurse for three to four months at which point they will weigh four to five kilograms. 3b). Cape porcupines are solitary or found in small family groups. Its proportions are not as attractive as its animal itself. Porcupines have small heads and chunky bodies and grow up to 25 to 40 inches long from head to tail. Porcupines also have a group of hollow quills on their tails which rattle when shaken. One to four Cape porcupine offspring (the average is two) are born after a gestation of three months. The Cape Porcupine is 630 to 810 mm in length (excluding the small tail, which is about 110 to 200mm long). We have some. The spines covering the body measure about 50mm in length, with sharp black defence quills scattered in-between. The quills detach readily if touched by a predator, but grow back quickly. Travelling to South Africa? The gestation period of the South African Porcupine is about 94 days, or roughly three months, long. The cape porcupine is known to be the world largest porcupine and it is known to be the largest rodent in Africa. This porcupine species is found throughout southern and central Africa; including in South Africa, Kenya, Uganda, and the Congo. Although the Cape Porcupine will dine mainly on vegetation, it has been known to gnaw on bones and carrion too. Porcupines need to stay indoors and off exhibit if it's below 40 degrees. The tail can grow as long as 8 inches. The African crested porcupine is native to regions of Northern Africa, Southern Europe, and areas of the Mediterranean. The Cape Porcupine lives for a relatively long time. And, we'll send you a R200 voucher to use on your next booking. Habitat: Broad tolerance but prefer broken country...more South African por­cu­pines are the largest ro­dent in their re­gion. The young nurse for three to four months and reach full size by one year of age. Habitat. Concerns are therefore expressed towards the sustainability of these species by virtue of the number of uses attributed to them. Cape porcupine considered an ecosystem engineer because of its foraging habits. Lifespan: 30 years. The Cape porcupine is a large (12.0 kg), nocturnal hystricomorph rodent and widely distributed throughout southern Africa. 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. African spurred porcupines are primarily herbivores, or plant-eaters. Weight: 12-19 kg. The North American porcupine is the second largest of all rodents. They'll gnaw on small branches and even bones when they can find them, which provide a good source of calcium. ZooLights at Stone Zoo is SOLD OUT through 1/3. Some really big males can weigh up to 30 kg, but this is unusual. They can be found in high and low elevations, and in a variety of conditions. They may be found in small family groups, but they tend to forage alone and to follow the same paths searching for food. These por­cu­pines are cov­ered with flat, bristly hairs and have quills and spines on the pos­te­rior back and flanks. 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. These are shorter, at around 30mm and have a very sharp tip. The male and female are approximately the same size and can weigh between 10 and 40 pounds. Their short rump spines and the underside of their tails are white. Males and females are similar sizes, typically weighing between 18 … Size: 60 lbs The African Crested Porcupine, also known as a crested porcupine, is one of the world’s largest rodents. They feed on roots, bulbs, tuber and bark. Cape porcupines are one of the world’s largest porcupine species. The following is a small sample of thousands of species of wildlife found in South Africa. Their quills are soft at birth, but rapidly harden. Occasionally, they will gnaw on old carcasses and bones to get calcium and to wear down their teeth. Find and book hotels and accommodation in South Africa. Cape Porcupine facts – The Cape porcupine is believed to grow up to about one meter long and it weighs 20 kilograms. The young are born with soft quills and incisors, while the other teeth start appearing at two weeks of age. 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. Cape Porcupine Facts. Rodents make up about 40% of all the mammal species on Earth. 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. Due to their effective defence system, the African Porcupine does not easily succumb to predators. Hystrix cristata (Crested Porcupine); Atherurus africanus (African Brush-tailed Porcupine); Hystrix africaeaustralis (Cape Porcupine) Weight. Their teeth and gut are both adapted to handle tough material that other animals may not be able to break down or digest. Their tail increases this length by 11-20cm (4.3-7.9in). Specific foetal growth velocity for the Cape porcupine is higher than that recorded for most other hystricomorph rodents, but similar to that recorded for large-bodied rodents of the same group. They'll modify natural shelters, such as caves, crevices or burrows created by other animals. Hystrix africaeaustralis (African Porcupine) is a species of rodents in the family Old World porcupines. Unguarded porcupine cubs should be an attractive prey for small/mesopredators (e.g. Cape porcupines are the largest rodents in Africa and also the world's largest porcupines. Fe­males are, on av­er­age, about one kilo­gram heav­ier than males and both sexes are larger than half a meter long. Alternatively, the porcupine may hide in its burrow with only its quills exposed. THe porcupine does not shoot its quills out in defence, as it is rumoured to do. The offspring will start to disburse at sexual maturity, and the male will often drive out his male offspring first. 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