Other names: /
Latin name: Hystricidae
size: 30 - 50cm
mass: 1,5 - 2,5kg
Older: 10 - 20 years
Appearance: black and white spines
Sexual dimorphism: Yes
Nutrition type: predominantly herbivores (herbivor)
food: Plants, roots, tree bark
distribution: Asia, Africa
original origin: probably Southeast Asia
Sleep-wake rhythm: nocturnal
habitat: tropical rainforest, grass landscape, savannah
natural enemies: Big cats
sexual maturity: at the beginning of the second year of life
mating season: April May
gestation: 3 - 4 months
litter size: 1 - 4 cubs
social behavior: Family Association
Threatened with extinction: No
Further profiles of animals can be found in the Encyclopaedia.
Interesting facts about the porcupine
- The porcupines or Hystricidae describe a multi-species family within the rodents, which are native to much of Africa and Asia, as well as southern regions of Italy.
- Whether the dissemination of the porcupine in Tuscany and Sicily results from natural occurrences or naturalization is today no longer understandable. It is believed, however, that these porcupines were brought by the Romans from Africa and quickly established themselves in Italy.
- Porcupines live in rocky and arid regions and are pure soil dwellers.
- As the largest representative of porcupines, the common porcupine or Hystrix cristata, which is found in tropical regions of East and West Africa, especially along the shores of the Atlantic Ocean.
- It reaches a height of up to seventy, sometimes even up to ninety centimeters and has a tail about six inches long and short legs.
- The porcupine weighs up to 25 kilograms, with males larger and heavier than females.
- The most striking and eponymous identifying feature of the porcupine are its backward and clearly black and white ringed, up to forty centimeters long and very sharp spines, which consist of re-formed hair. The underlying skin and the front body are covered by a woolly soft and dark gray fur dress.
- When porcupines shake, they produce a loud rattle with their spines.
- The stabs are only for the defense of attackers, because they can cause serious injuries to enemies through the fine barbs.
- The porcupine is predominantly nocturnal and prefers to live in small groups or family groups. Females and males make lifelong couples.
- During the day, the porcupine retreats into crevices, caves or self-dug buildings.
- It feeds mainly on roots and tubers, bark, plants and fruits, but sometimes also takes carrion.
- After a gestation period of an average of one hundred days, the female gives birth to a maximum of two fully-developed kittens, which are nursed for three months.
- The maximum life expectancy of the porcupine is about fifteen years in the wild, and captive specimens can even reach twenty years of age.