Porcupine (Hystrix africaeaustralis)
Least Concern (LC)
Large rodent covered in long black and white quills angling back from head. The top of the head is covered in long brown-white hairs swept back.
Mostly solitary, but also seen in pairs or family groups. It is nocturnal and lies up in cover during the day in caves, rocks, burrows, or thick vegetation. Burrows are often identified by the accumulation of gnawed bones littering the entrance. Foraging for food is often a solitary activity. When threatened, they turn their backs towards the danger and rattle their quills. They may also run backwards or sideways to impale a predator, but contrary to belief, they are incapable of ‘shooting’ their quills at an attacker.
Predominantly solitary, but sometimes found in pairs and family groups.
||Once yearly, but can breed more frequently
||May through December.
|Number of offspring
||1-4 offspring born in summer, each weighing about 100-300g. They are well developed at birth and begin moving around within a few hours.
Wide habitat tolerance for all but open dunes; prefers broken, rocky country.
Vegetarian; tree bark, seed pods, tsamas melons, but has also been recorded eating from carcasses and readily gnaws bones for calcium.
Lions, leopards, and humans.
Porcupine at Naankuse sites