Most Popular Safaris. Crested porcupine (Hystrix cristata) (Barthelmess 2016b), Range It can be found in most habitats with the exception of the Namib Desert coastal strip. SDZG Library Mission: to provide outstanding information resources and services to advance knowledge in animal and plant care and conservation, inspire passion for nature, ignite personal responsibility, and strengthen our organization’s capacity to save species worldwide. The longest spines grow as long as the animal's body and quills only eight inches shorter. From the head to the base of it’s tail, a cape porcupine measures between 63 and 81cm (25 and 32in) long. The hollow rattle quills serve as musical instruments and were once used as containers for gold dust. The Internet connection is missing right now, but you're able to browse previously opened pages offline. Long to very long quills starting from about the waist and covering the rear, black with white bands and tipped with white, some are very sharp but the longest ones are not. They enter head first, so that their quills will point backward to the burrow's entrance. It is very unlikely that these quills have been ethically harvested. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. It eats fruit, roots, bulbs and other plant material. Females: 12 to 14 months (Barthelmess 2016b); may be earlier in managed care (van Aarde 1985). Quills banded black and white (warning coloration) (Barthelmess 2006, 2016a). Large cats: leopards (Panthera pardus) and lions (P. leo) (de Graff 1981) Mating System 93 days, on average (van Aarde 1985; van Aarde and Skinner 1986b), Litter Size Each porcupine quill has a greasy coating and at the tip is a small, backward projecting barb that serves to work the quills ever deeper into the flesh. http://ielc.libguides.com/sdzg/factsheets/cape-porcupine. Cape Porcupine Part of the Rodent family, the Cape Porcupine is the largest species of Porcupine in the world. They break off easily but grow back rapidly. Males and females are similar sizes, typically weighing between 18 … Monogamous (Morris and van Aarde 1985; van Aarde 1998). If threatened, may become aggressive and move quickly towards perceived aggressor (e.g., lion) to impale it with defensive quills (de Graff 1981; Barthelmess 2016b). Learn more about porcupines, quills, and dogs and what you need to do if your dog is "quilled" by a porcupine. Go behind-the-scenes to experience our rare and extraordinary animals up-close! [photos Trevor Hardaker ©] Identification. Southern half of Africa (Congo–Uganda, southward) (Barthelmess 2016b). Overall, dark brown to black (de Graff 1981). The interesting bit is the Quills! It turns out Bear might have the heart of a lion. The African porcupine is the largest rodent in the regions they inhabit. Cape Porcupines are monogamous. The belief that porcupines can shoot their quills is an old wives' tale. These porcupines are covered with flat, bristly hairs and have quills and spines on the posterior back and flanks. Both the male and female cape porcupines grow to about two feet long and weigh up to 60 pounds. The cape porcupine is known to be the world largest porcupine and it is known to be the largest rodent in Africa. Description The porcupine is the largest rodent in southern Africa. Considered a pest by farmers in some areas of Africa; eat crops, such as melon, pumpkin, root vegetables, and maize. One can only pick up a handful of quills that are naturally shed by porcupines in the bush. They weigh from 10 to 24 kilograms (22 to 53 pounds), with exceptionally large specimens weighing up to 30 kg (66 lb). No climbing or jumping abilities (de Graff 1981). Hystrix africaeaustralis (Cape porcupine), Rooipoort Nature Reserve, South Africa. The photo of the quill is mine, the one of the porcupine also downloaded from google images. These lo Contrary to popular myth, a porcupine’s quills cannot be fired at enemies but are loosely embedded in the skin and easily shed on contact. The Cape Porcupine (Hystrix africaeaustralis)- or the old world porcupines are members of the “Shy Five” Appearance. In the wild: When cornered by a predator, the Cape Porcupine becomes aggressive, running backwards or sideways in an attempt to spear its attacker with its quills. From the stocky Cape porcupine in South Africa (and across central and southern Africa), to the North American porcupine known as the New World porcupine. When chased by a predator, however, a porcupine will stop suddenly, causing the predator to run into the quills. Serious injuries can result when humans or animals come in contact with a porcupine if the eyes, mouth or throat are afflicted. Adults grow to 25-29 inches long and weigh from 20-66 pounds. The quills of the cape porcupine are the longest in the world. The quills on the neck and back are black and white and the tips of the tail quills can range up to 20 inches long. Questions and comments may be addressed to library@sandiegozoo.org. Rump covered in short spines that lay flat against body (Skinner and Chimimba 2005). Body robust; heavy build. Newborns and juveniles have high survivorship (Barthelmess 2006). Subspecies: Hystrix africaeaustralis zuluensis (Roberts, 1936). The Cape Porcupine is the largest species of porcupine in the world growing up to 90cm long. On its tail, the spines are hollow to make a rattling sound to scare away predators. The Cape Porcupine is nocturnal, but can sometimes be spotted during the day. Here are some of the interesting facts about the cape porcupine. The spines and quills cover the posterior two thirds of its back and can get up 50cm and 30cm respectively. We quite often see the quills, and very occassionally the porcupines themselves and we love to think of them, snuffling around in the dark, happily digging up fynbos bulbs, of which we have plenty on the mountain. The Cape porcupine is the largest porcupine in the world, alongside the nearly identical African crested porcupine. Otherwise, the porcupine may retreat into its burrow, exposing only its quills and making it hard to dislodge. The photo of the quill is mine, the one of the porcupine also downloaded from google images. When not removed, quills can move deeper into flesh and cause painful, infected wounds (de Graff 1981). In a family group, only the dominant female in the adult pair conceives (reproduction suppressed in subadult females). This is a real African Cape Porcupine (Hystrix africaeaustralis) skull! Eyes and ears small. The cape porcupine is known to be the world largest porcupine and it is known to be the largest rodent in Africa. Their quills are made up of modified hair attached to their body. The quills themselves are essentially modified hairs. 2005; Barthelmess 2016b). Mother suckles young almost continuously the first two weeks; then, more intermittently up to 20 weeks of age (van Aarde 1985). Forage at night, singly or near each other in a small group: parent–offspring groups or adult pairs (possible mate guarding) (van Aarde 1987; Barthelmess 2016b). San Diego (CA): San Diego Zoo Global; [accessed YYYY Mmm dd]. Cape porcupines are the largest rodents in Africa and also the world's largest porcupines. A cape porcupine’s back is covered in spines that can be up to 20 inches long. Capable diggers (Skinner and Chimimba 2005; Happold 2013). Nocturnal (de Graff 1981; Corbet 1991). 10.0-24.1 kg (22.0-52.1 lb) (Barthelmess 2006, 2016b), Head-body Length Slow, shuffling walk. Reported group sizes range from 2 to a maximum of 14 individuals (de Graff 1981; Corbet 1991; Barthelmess 2016b). Each Cape Porcupine is covered in bristly quills which vary in thickness. The Quills can be as long as 30 cm’s! When chased by a predator, however, a porcupine will stop suddenly, causing the predator to run into the quills. If you have a Zoo account, or you're a Zoo Friends member, login below. Adult male–female pair spends most time within a small territory at the core of a larger, non-defended home range. Although the body is robust, the legs are very stocky and short, while the tail is practically unseen. Length : 84 cm . A long crest runs down the back of its head and neck. 1 to 3 young (some reports of up to 4). They break off easily but grow back rapidly. Every purchase helps save wildlife. Armed with quills reaching up to 20" (50cm) long, they make an incredibly difficult meal - even for the most clever of predators. Locomotion Adapts well to agricultural areas (Pillay et al. 2015). One of Africa’s 2 largest rodents (the other is the crested porcupine, Acute hearing; stand motionless when disturbed (Skinner and Chimimba 2005). They make a rattling sound when the porcupine feels threatened. Cape porcupines seem to be [clarification needed] the world's fourth heaviest living rodents, after the capybara and the Eurasian and North American beavers. When Nova Scotia SPCA enforcement officers first saw the dog in late April, things looked bleak. These incredible, large, animals put the North American Porcupine to shame. Father defends territory, protects young, grooms young, and chaperones young on foraging trips (van Aarde 1998; Barthelmess 2016b). The difference between quills and spines is largely one of length and thickness, with spines up to 50 cm long and quills up to 30 cm long. Well-developed sense of smell; scent mark feeding areas (de Villiers et al. Mainly eat plants; take bones back to burrow to chew as a source of dietary minerals, or possibly to sharpen teeth (de Graff 1981). Once imbedded, quills cannot easily be pulled out. 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. Movements The Cape porcupine has black hair and there is an obvious crest of lighter hair running from the head and down to the shoulders. When attacked, the porcupine freezes.If cornered, it turns vicious and charges to stab its attacker with its quills. Size White patch on side of neck may be present (de Graff 1981; Skinner and Chimimba 2005). Quills banded black and white (warning coloration) (Barthelmess 2006, 2016a). Do Porcupine Shoot Quills? Description: The Cape Porcupine is the largest rodent in Africa. The porcupine is the largest rodent in southern Africa. The difference between quills and spines is largely one of length and thickness, with spines up to 50 cm long and quills up to 30 cm long. The Cape Porcupine is the largest species of porcupine in the world growing up to 90cm long. 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. Burrows First conception typically occurs during second year (van Aarde 1985). In burrow den, young huddle with family members for warmth (Corbet 1991; Barthelmess 2016b). Adults grow to 25-29 inches long and weigh from 20-66 pounds. The quills are banded black and white. Population trend: stable (Cassola 2016). One can only pick up a handful of quills that are naturally shed by porcupines in the bush. Cape Porcupine Part of the Rodent family, the Cape Porcupine is the largest species of Porcupine in the world. Porcupine quills are commonly found embedded in the muzzle, face, head, and neck of dogs, but can be found anywhere. Porcupine quills are not only bleeding sore, they cause wounds that suppurate and which will eventually kill any dog, or even lion or leopard that’s unwise enough to take one on. (note: replace YYYY Mmm dd with date accessed, e.g., 2019 Dec 31). This porcupine rattles special quills on the end of its tail as a warning. No scientific estimates. They are covered in flat, prickly hairs, and have sharp quills of up to 30 cm long and spines of 50 cm on their flanks and back. The porcupine’s body is black. Its proportions are not as attractive as its animal itself. Coloration Their body is armed with long pliable spines, flattened bristly hairs and stout sharp quills. If contact is made the porcupine’s quills can become dislodged and embedded in face and body of its pursuer. Females are generally 1 kg heavier than males. The porcupine has quite an … Class: Mammalia (Linnaeus, 1758) — mammals, Order: Rodentia (Bowdich, 1821) — rodents, Family: Hystricidae (Fischer de Waldheim, 1817) — Old World porcupines, Species: Hystrix africaeaustralis (Peters, 1852) — Cape porcupine, *Subspecies: Hystrix africaeaustralis africaeaustralis (Peters, 1852) Click here or on map for detailed distribution (IUCN). On its tail, the spines are hollow to make a rattling sound. It also rattles the short quills on its tail. It is not true that porcupines can “shoot” their quills . They are heavily built animals, with stocky bodies, short limbs, and an inconspicuous tail. Where spines and quills not present, hair is black, grayish, or brownish (except crest, which is commonly has white tips). The Cape porcupine (Hystrix africaeaustralis) or South African porcupine, is a species of Old World porcupine native to central and southern Africa . General Appearance These large rodents are the perfect example of a diverse species. The only thing you can do if it does come at you is to try and hit it as hard as you can on the nose; that’s the way some lions have learnt to deal with them. Statistics Conservation status : Least concern . Threats: The Cape Porcupine is widespread, however, because of its taste for underground food, farmers consider them pests as they eat potatoes and other root vegetables. Weight : 10 to 19 kg. It is very unlikely that these quills have been ethically harvested. Longevity Diet The belief that porcupines can shoot their quills is an old wives' tale. If its assailant still doesn’t take heed of these warnings, it may get a face full of quills. When threatened, a porcupine erects its quills and backs towards its assailant. Apparently this is the biggest porcupine in the world. It has a distinctive appearance with its protective body covering of long rigid quills and flexible spines, banded in black and white. Sexual Maturity … The Cape porcupine is very similar to the somewhat smaller crested porcupine ... Like all porcupines, most of the backside and flanks are covered in long spines and quills. Contrary to popular myth, a porcupine’s quills will not fire at enemies but rather will loosely embed in … The Cape porcupine is very similar to the somewhat smaller crested porcupine ... Like all porcupines, most of the backside and flanks are covered in long spines and quills. Lions have been known to prey on Cape Porcupine. Cape porcupines mate throughout the year, although births are most common during the rainy season, between August and March. IUCN Status Damage young trees; eat shoots, roots, and may remove bark, making trees more susceptible to disease and fire damage (de Graff 1981; Skinner and Chimimba 2005; Barthelmess 2006, 2016b). Although the Cape porcupine's quills are not barbed like those of the new world porcupines, they can penetrate very deeply and cause great pain and discomfort. Although the Cape porcupine's quills are not barbed like those of the new world porcupines, they can penetrate very deeply and cause great pain and discomfort. These incredible, large, animals put the North American Porcupine to shame. Cape Porcupines feed on tree bark – a habit that may help with the health of the African savannah ecosystem – and even gnaw bones. managed care; van Aarde 1985], during summer rainy period. Porcupines sport a very effective defense: their hair, which has evolved into sharp quills! Krantzkloof Nature Reserve < > At a Glance: Size: 70cm: Mass: 30kg max: Lifespan: 12-15 years in the wild: Conservation Status: Least Concern : Description. Fact sheet index, San Diego Zoo Global Library, Email the librarians at library@sandiegozoo.org, (note: replace YYYY Mmm dd with date accessed, e.g., 2019 Dec 31), https://ielc.libguides.com/sdzg/factsheets/cape-porcupine, International Environment Library Consortium. Image credit: © San Diego Zoo Global. Adult pairs have daily bonding behaviors, such as mutual grooming (Corbet 1991). 300 to 400 g (0.7 to 0.9 lb) [managed care] (van Aarde 1985). It has a distinctive appearance with its protective body covering of long rigid quills and flexible spines, banded in black and white. Lions have been known to prey on Cape Porcupine. The spines covering the body measure about 50mm in length, with sharp black defence quills scattered in … It has long hair and black-and-white quills that can grow to a foot in length. Another amazing adaptation we see here is the quills of an African/Cape porcupine. Forage above the ground (Happold 2013). Young remain in burrow for 7 to 9 weeks; emerge when quills have hardened (Happold 2013). If contact is made the porcupine’s quills can become dislodged and embedded in face and body of its pursuer. Available for students in Year 4 and above, as well as community groups. Populations in the Wild When a would-be attacker approaches, the cape porcupine wags its tail. When alarmed the porcupine erects it’s quills and shakes it’s tail to scare away predators with the loud noise produced by the butt wiggle! THe porcupine does not shoot its quills out in defence, as it is rumoured to do. If cornered, it turns vicious and charges to stab its attacker with its quills. Most young born August to March (peak in January) [obs. Gestation Both parents care for offspring. The Quills can be as long as 30 cm’s! Join Zoo News for exclusive updates from Perth Zoo. A large porcupine, up to 50-60 pounds but more commonly 30-45, closely related to the African crested porcupine (Hystrix cristata), with which its range somewhat overlaps. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results. We quite often see the quills, and very occassionally the porcupines themselves and we love to think of them, snuffling around in the dark, happily digging up fynbos bulbs, of which we have plenty on the mountain. Main tunnels can be 20 m (60 ft) long. Begin feeding independently at 5 months old (van Aarde 1987). Pair defends territory, which shifts in size and location over time and from season to season (van Aarde 1998; Corbet 1991; Skinner and Chimimba 2005; Barthelmess 2016b). Long quills cover its body, protecting it from predators. A crest of erectile long coarse hairs runs from the top of the head along the neck to the shoulder. They are covered in quills which is where their name porcupine derives from as in French ‘ porc espin ’ means spined pig. Adapted from www.d-maps.com according to IUCN fact sheet. Their quills are made up of modified hair attached to their body. Cape porcupine considered an ecosystem engineer because of its foraging habits. Offspring often disperse when mature but may stay with family group, if dispersal opportunities are limited (typically when competing for space and food in high-density populations) (Corbet 1991). 60% of litters have 1 young (Delany 1975; de Graff 1981; van Aarde 1985; Barthelmess 2006, 2016b), Interbirth Interval These porcupines are covered with flat, bristly hairs and have quills and spines on the posterior back and flanks. Lactation and Weaning Tail short and covered in hollow rattle-quills (typically > 60 mm) (Barthelmess 2006). Sea level to about 2,000 m (7,000 ft) (Skinner and Chimimba 2005; Barthelmess 2006). Their tail increases this length by 11-20cm (4.3-7.9in). Diet: The Cape Porcupine is a herbivore. Activity Cycle The Cape Porcupine is very abundant in the Hantam National Botanical Garden in the Northern Cape. A large porcupine, up to 50-60 pounds but more commonly 30-45, closely related to the African crested porcupine (Hystrix cristata), with which its range somewhat overlaps. Middle and rear upperbody covered in bristly hairs, long spines, and defensive quills. 630-805 mm (2.1-2.64 ft) (de Graff 1981), Tail Length But what can these small mammals really do with their home-grown needles. They live in extended family groups of one breeding pair and their previous litters of offspring. Cape Porcupine Hystrix africaeaustrali Mammal. They make a rattling sound when the porcupine feels threatened. In addition to being targeted for their quills, they are illegally hunted for their meat. Help to reduce populations of bulbs that are poisonous to cattle (Homeria spp. Located about 2 m (6 ft) underground. Here are some of the interesting facts about the cape porcupine. Porcupine quills have long been a favorite ornament and good-luck charm in Africa. Diet and habitat . Considered fairly common. The word porcupine means “quill pig” in Latin; however, porcupines are large rodents and have no relation to pigs. Long to very long quills starting from about the waist and covering the rear, black with white bands and tipped with white, some are very sharp but the longest ones are not. The quills can be made to rattle when the animal is threatened and can get … The black-and-white speckled quills grow up to 50 cm long. Lactation period: about 100 days, on average (range: 37 to 163 days) [obs. The legs are short and sturdy, and each foot has five toes, all equipped with powerful claws. The cape porcupine is covered in bristly quills varying in thickness. Live in family group comprised of an adult breeding pair, and subadult and juvenile offspring. The Cape porcupine is the largest porcupine in the world, alongside the nearly identical African crested porcupine. Arguably the most … Dark brown to black. The porcupine does not shoot its quills at predators; rather, it sheds them on impact so that they become imbedded in … The South African Porcupine has small eyes and ears and rather short whiskers. In managed care: up to 20 years (Barthelmess 2016b). Unfortunately for porcupines, their quills have become popular for use in the fashion industry and in décor items. This skull measures ~5" long and is avail Cape porcupines have a large distribution, ranging across the southern half of Africa. Facial whiskers long (Skinner and Chimimba 2005). Description. Least Concern (2016 assessment) (Cassola 2016). The black-and-white speckled quills grow up to 50 cm long. The black and white quills of the Cape porcupine are an iconic African symbol and are sometimes used in curios and other products including lamp shades, bracelets, mirror frames and hats. The Cape porcupine is the largest porcupine in the world, alongside the nearly identical African crested porcupine. Habitat Another amazing adaptation we see here is the quills of an African/Cape porcupine. Found in most vegetation types of southern Africa: savanna grassland, brushland, acacia and miombo woodlands, semi-arid deserts, and margins of lowland and montane tropical forests (Skinner and Chimimba 2005; Barthelmess 2016b; Cassola 2016). Predators Their body is armed with long pliable spines, flattened bristly hairs and stout sharp quills. When alarmed the porcupine erects it’s quills and shakes it’s tail to scare away predators with the loud noise produced by the butt wiggle! Facts . Porcupines erect their white and black coloured spines and quills using muscles under their skin, making them appear much bigger and threatening. The dif­fer­ence be­tween quills and spines is largely one of length and thick­ness, with spines up to 50 cm long and quills up to 30 cm long. 10 Days Uganda Safari tour; 3 Days Uganda Gorilla Trekking; 5 Days Gorilla and Chimpanzee trekking Its proportions are not as attractive as its animal itself. Legs relatively short (Barthelmess 2006, 2016b). 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). Threats to Survival This porcupine rattles special quills on the end of its tail as a warning. With cape porcupine inclusive all porcupines have lined quills which is significant for their hairs. A Porcupine’s Scientific Name is Erethizon Dorsatum and Hystricidae. The porcupine is the largest rodent in southern Africa. Covered in sharp hollow quills which are coated in keratin, when alarmed the Cape Porcupine will use the quill as part of its defence mechanism by spreading them out and backing towards its threat. Also hunted by humans for their meat and quills (Barthelmess 2016b). Relationship with Humans Reproduction . Family group uses several burrows within home range (de Graff 1981; Barthelmess 2006; Happold 2013; Barthelmess 2016b). Males: 8 to 18 months (van Aarde and Skinner 1986a) They mostly live alone, coming together in pairs to breed and raise their young. 2015). A porcupine's prickly coat of quills is its first line of defense. ); help keep acacia growth in check (de Graff 1981). Despite popular myth, the porcupine isn’t able to throw its quills. Reproductive behavior occurs throughout the year (may reinforce pair bond) (van Aarde 1985; Morris and van Aarde 1985; van Aarde and Skinner 1986a, 1986b; van Aarde and van Wyk 1991; Happold 2013; Barthelmess 2016b). No major threats. Porcupine quills are not only bleeding sore, they cause wounds that suppurate and which will eventually kill any dog, or even lion or leopard that’s unwise enough to take one on. Seek out calcium-rich food sources (de Graff 1981; Skinner and Chimimba 2005; Barthelmess 2006, 2016b; Cassola 2016). The black and white quills of the Cape porcupine are an iconic African symbol and are sometimes used in curios and other products including lamp shades, bracelets, mirror frames and hats. Similar-looking species Head rounded. Cape porcupine (Hystrix africaeaustralis). Here are some fun facts about the fascinating creatures, and a few answers to some earnest questions. c2019. The practice also sharpens their powerful incisors like a natural toothbrush. Cape porcupines mate throughout the year, although births are most common during the rainy season, between August and March. On its tail, the spines are hollow to make a rattling sound. Apparently this is the biggest porcupine in the world. Not Really! It is not true that porcupines can “shoot” their quills . Despite popular myth, the porcupine isn’t able to throw its quills. © 2020 San Diego Zoo Global — All Rights Reserved. Covered in sharp hollow quills which are coated in keratin, when alarmed the Cape Porcupine will use the quill as part of its defence mechanism by spreading them out and backing towards its threat. Where spines and quills not present, hair is black, grayish, or brownish (except crest, which is commonly has white tips). Claws thick (for digging) (Pillay et al. It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. They are covered in quills which is where their name porcupine derives … 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. Disclaimer: Although San Diego Zoo Global makes every attempt to provide accurate information, some of the facts provided may become outdated or replaced by new research findings. Can run quickly, when necessary. Gnawing tree bark and old bones provides essential minerals to Cape Porcupines and hones their powerful incisors. Quills are not barbed. It also boasts shorter, thicker quills that are even sharper and more dangerous than it’s spines. Long quills cover its body, protecting it from predators. All rights reserved. Get the latest news and events straight to your inbox. These por­cu­pines are cov­ered with flat, bristly hairs and have quills and spines on the pos­te­rior back and flanks. Sometimes observed sunbathing near shelter entrance (Skinner and Chimimba 2005). Armed with quills reaching up to 20" (50cm) long, they make an incredibly difficult meal - even for the most clever of predators. managed care] (van Aarde 1985). Otherwise, the porcupine may retreat into its burrow, exposing only its quills and making it hard to dislodge. 1. Description: The Cape Porcupine is the largest rodent in Africa. Careless predators may end up with quills so deeply embedded that fatal wounds can develop. https://animaldiversity.org/accounts/Hystrix_africaeaustralis 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… Rodents make up about 40% of all the mammal species on Earth. These spines also protect porcupines while they're in their burrows or shelters. A landowner permit is needed to trap chipmunks, opossums, porcupines, rabbits, raccoons, skunks, tree squirrels and woodchucks in Maryland. For bibliography, click the tab at the top of this page. The trouble is, quills keep moving inward. The Cape Porcupine cannot be mistaken for any other animal in southern Africa. 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Works best with modern browsers such as the Cape porcupine is known to be the largest rodent in southern.... Adult pairs have daily bonding behaviors, such as mutual grooming ( Corbet ;! Zoo Friends member, login below speckled quills grow up to 20 inches long and weigh up to 60.. A would-be attacker approaches, the porcupine is roundish and rather short whiskers of smell ; scent feeding. Porcupine ’ s back is covered in short spines that can grow to about two long! Large, animals put the North American porcupine to shame in whatever the.