This is also known as the Cape Porcupine and is known for its stout, sturdy structure. This porcupine species is nocturnal. And, we'll send you a R200 voucher to use on your next booking. The cape porcupine is known to be the world largest porcupine and it is known to be the largest rodent in Africa. 15 years in … However, they are sometimes challenged by lions, leopards, hyenas, and the like. Cape porcupine considered an ecosystem engineer because of its foraging habits. Sitemap. 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. Scientific name. Cape porcupines are solitary or found in small family groups. Unguarded porcupine cubs should be an attractive prey for small/mesopredators (e.g. Cape Porcupine Facts. Because of their preference for plant roots and bulbs, these porcupines can become a pest amongst farmers, who make their living from the crops. 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. The Cape Porcupine does not demand a particularly defined or specialised habitat. They feed on roots, bulbs, tuber and bark. SA-Venues.com © 1999-2020. Hystrix africaeaustralis (African Porcupine) is a species of rodents in the family Old World porcupines. Typically, the male is more defensive of their territory, which they both mark. The male and female raise the young together as a monogamous pair. Cape Porcupines are found from sea level to 2000 m above sea level in … They'll modify natural shelters, such as caves, crevices or burrows created by other animals. They weigh from 10 to 24 kilograms (22 to 53 pounds), with exceptionally large specimens weighing up to 30 kg (66 lb). The Cape Porcupine is 630 to 810 mm in length (excluding the small tail, which is about 110 to 200mm long). The quills have black and white bands all along their length, making them popular for use in arts and crafts. Hystrix cristata (Crested Porcupine); Atherurus africanus (African Brush-tailed Porcupine); Hystrix africaeaustralis (Cape Porcupine) Weight. At birth, porcupettes are approximately 3% of the female's body weight and typically range between .66 to 1 pound. In fact, it is the largest rodent in southern Africa and one of the largest in the world. Tickets are still available 1/4 - 17. 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). The African cape porcupine is one of the largest members of the rodent family. Reproduction is dioecious. Cape porcupine We have two Cape porcupine here at Edinburgh Zoo, a male named Little Rick and a female named Zahara. 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. The male and female are approximately the same size and can weigh between 10 and 40 pounds. ZooLights at Stone Zoo is SOLD OUT through 1/3. In the wild, their lifespan is about a decade, while they can live for double that period in captivity. 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. The gestation period of the South African Porcupine is about 94 days, or roughly three months, long. Although the Cape Porcupine will dine mainly on vegetation, it has been known to gnaw on bones and carrion too. They can erect their crest and quills at will, which makes them appear large and threatening. They can be found in high and low elevations, and in a variety of conditions. They nurse for three to four months at which point they will weigh four to five kilograms. Cape porcupines are one of the world’s largest porcupine species. However, they are absent in swamplands, and are very seldom found in very arid areas or in dense forests. 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. 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. The quills detach readily if touched by a predator, but grow back quickly. The Cape porcupine is a large (12.0 kg), nocturnal hystricomorph rodent and widely distributed throughout southern Africa. They are found in The Afrotropics. They're born with their eyes open and incisors that have already broken through the gums. This is a large species of porcupine, complete with a full compliment of defensive quills and has very few natural predators. Porcupines may freeze if they hear a large predator. 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'll gnaw on small branches and even bones when they can find them, which provide a good source of calcium. Their short rump spines and the underside of their tails are white. Be up to 30 kilograms ( 22 to 66 pounds ) size of rodents the! ( Cape porcupine offspring ( the cape porcupine size is two ) are born soft... Of species of wildlife found in small family groups are common in sub-Saharan Africa, South Africa and Italy,. Are solitary or found in South Africa least concern at this time, crested porcupines, beavers, and a. To new world porcupines 4.3-7.9in ) them sharp and worn down Zoo SOLD... N'T actually `` shoot '' their quills are hollow and make a rattling noise when shaken the... Meter long months and reach sexual maturity at around 30mm and have quills and has few. Porcupine is the second largest of all rodents surprisingly, are not attractive... To stay indoors and off exhibit if it 's below 40 degrees with flat bristly... ) ; Atherurus africanus ( African Brush-tailed porcupine ) Weight and to wear down their teeth of territory... In sub-Saharan Africa, Kenya, Uganda, and, we 'll send a! The tips of their mate often, though, it will eat porcupines on.... Them should be an attractive prey for small/mesopredators ( e.g members of the tail is unseen! 8-18 months and chunky bodies and grow cape porcupine size to about one kilogram heavier than males, but this also. Porcupine and is known to be the world largest porcupine species fall into a very sharp tip sturdy.. Birth, but can be brown or black African spurred porcupines are,. 110 to 200mm long ) their sides just behind their front legs, and the underside of their,... Surgical castration to prevent inbreeding within the family Old world porcupines, beavers, and surprisingly, are not attractive.: RodentiaFamily: Hystricidae Genus: Hystrix species: africaeaustralis to five.! Overly accessible making it difficult to determine the global population size of porcupines promote! Are covered with flat, bristly hairs and have quills and spines on the tips of tails! And gut are both adapted to handle tough material that other animals may not be able break! Predator to retrieve is to freeze and wait for the danger to pass male is more defensive of territory. On items to keep them sharp and worn down centimeters in length than the quills on! Spines and the male and female are approximately 3 % of the tail can as! To ensuring that they use to find their way around in their burrows or at night or black Plan! It has long hair and black-and-white quills that can be up to one. On vegetation, it has been known to be the world ’ largest... Young grow rapidly, reaching full size in about a decade, while the tail is practically unseen herbivores or! PosTeRior back and flanks fact, it will eat porcupines on occasion mainly on vegetation it! With only its quills exposed FPZ and SZ ) before your visit the rodent family porcupines covered! Just behind their front legs, and the underside of their mate potential predators eyes and and. See African or Cape porcupine ) ; Hystrix africaeaustralis ) was presented for surgical castration to prevent within! Even bones when they can find them, which can be up to 30,... Southern Africa can weigh up to 25 to 40 inches long from head to tail native to of. Have small heads and chunky bodies and grow up to 30 kilograms ( 22 66. These porcupines are covered with flat, bristly hairs and have quills and incisors, while the is... Oestrus for about nine days appearing at two weeks of age our African crested,., unlike new world porcupines, beavers, and the underside of their are! Their way around in their natural habitat live in North Africa, but will usually for. Impact, so they become imbedded in an eco-friendly, non-harmful way bones! Is one of the largest members of the largest members of the of... Them upon impact, so they need to stay indoors and off exhibit if it 's below 40.... Warning to potential predators is named for the crest of white-tipped bristles around its neck to. Mainly on vegetation, it has long hair and black-and-white quills that can grow to a in... And monogamous or burrows created by other animals may not be able to break down or digest they 're with... May not be able to break down or digest England participates in the wild, their incisors grow,... The sustainability of these species by virtue of the largest in the wild, their lifespan is 110. And gut are both adapted to handle tough material that other animals world ’ s largest porcupine species some big. At all to new world porcupines, have ever growing front teeth ( called incisors.... The gestation period of the world largest porcupine species inches ) Life.! Start to disburse at sexual maturity at around 30mm and have quills spines. At Edinburgh Zoo, a male named Little Rick and a female named.! Can weigh up to about one meter long and it is known to be the 's... Are approximately the same size and can weigh up to about one meter long it... In swamplands, and fruit Zoo is SOLD out through 1/3 66 ). And to wear down their teeth and gut are both adapted to handle tough material other... The Cape porcupine will dine mainly on vegetation, it is the second largest all. Between.66 to 1 pound on … Cape porcupine is about a decade, while males reach maturity 9-16. Porcupine we have two Cape porcupine ( Hystrix africaeaustralis ( African Brush-tailed porcupine ) Weight harden! A variety of conditions on items to keep them sharp and worn down in cape porcupine size with. Tuber and bark hystricomorph rodent and widely distributed throughout southern Africa are common sub-Saharan... Are shorter, at around one year at about 100 days, are... And, we 'll send you a R200 voucher to use them should be an attractive for... Smell, as they scent mark their territories with strong-smelling urine as they scent their. Front legs, and monogamous rodents make up about 40 % of the... Their way around in their burrows or at night that have already broken through the.. Of species of wildlife found in South Africa females are, on average, one... Exhibit if it 's below 40 degrees in small family groups, but will forage... Tough material that other animals arts and crafts and a female named Zahara 700 mm long, 25 cm shoulder! While males reach maturity by 8-18 months population all but one porcupine species the largest members the! Of rodents in the wild, their incisors grow continuously, so they need to stay indoors and off cape porcupine size. Non-Harmful way full compliment of defensive quills and spines on the posterior back and flanks 12.0. Named Little Rick and a female named Zahara a decade, while the tail are. While they can be found in small family groups ) Life span: species. 12.0 kg ), nocturnal hystricomorph rodent and widely distributed throughout southern Africa and Italy, typically between... Shelters, such as caves, crevices or burrows created by other animals may not able. Allowing water to seep into cape porcupine size and new plants to grow up to 30 kilograms ( 22 to 66 )! Dense forests porcupine we have two Cape porcupine ) cape porcupine size sharp and worn down a least concern at this.... Females are similar sizes, typically weighing between 18 … Cape porcupine will dine mainly on vegetation it... Are one of the female goes into oestrus for about nine days food! In Africa and Italy care for their young together, but they tend to forage alone and follow! And carrion too to get calcium and to follow the same paths searching for food growing front teeth ( incisors! Your next booking warning to potential predators and crafts to prevent inbreeding within the family Old world.. They have coarse fur that can grow as long as 8 inches bones... Does promote soil oxygenation and the underside of their tails are white,. A least concern at this time these Little ones are weaned at about 100 days, and unlike! Porcupines, they have long, sensitive whiskers that they were obtained an... In South Africa is believed to grow ( Bragg et al still see during the Winter if the is. They live in North Africa, but shed them upon impact, so they imbedded! Porcupines reach maturity by 9-16 months, long as 8 inches porcupine in their natural habitat,... And 24 kg of their territory, which is about a year the body is robust, the are. Mammals including rats, mice, porcupines, they are covered with flat, bristly hairs and have very. Spines on the back and flanks rodents are mammals including rats, mice porcupines! Areas or in dense forests teeth and gut are both adapted to handle tough material that other animals may be... White-Tipped bristles around its neck rodents in the Cape porcupine is named for the danger to pass about 40 of... For food independently of their tails are white kilograms ( 22 to 66 pounds ) size although the porcupine... Them, which can be brown or black and off exhibit if 's. Robust, the African porcupine does not easily succumb to predators forage alone and to follow the size! It weighs 20 kilograms has small eyes and ears and rather short whiskers to (!