Skip to main content

Cape Porcupine

Hystrix africaeaustralis
Allow me to introduce you to the largest Porcupine in the world, and the largest Rodent on the African Continent-- the Cape Porcupine. They shiny critters can grow almost 3ft long (not including the tail), and individuals have been found that weigh over 60lbs!

Though the name hints at a specific location, the Cape Porcupine can actually be found throughout central and southern Africa. They live at elevations below 2,000m, and can be found in a large range of habitats, though they prefer open, rocky areas.

Obviously, Cape Porcupines have quills. Their back and tail is covered with them, and the ones in the tail are  especially hollow. This allows the Porcupine to make a rattling sound in order to scare off predators. If that tactic fails, the Porcupine will charge at its attacker and try and stab them with their quills. Contrary to popular belief, they do not shoot the spines out-- they stab and then dislodge them.

Cape Porcupines are rodents that mate for life. Monogamous pairs will live and raise their young together, and will mark and defend a specific home range. They are also a nocturnal species, and are herbivores. The Porcupines  typically eat fruits, bark, and roots, but will also go after crops. They are considered to be a pest in some places, do to crop and tree damage.

Cape Porcupines have a stable population and are not under any major conservation threat.

IUCN Status : Least Concern
Location : Southern and Central Africa
Size : Body Length up to 32in (80cm), Weight up to 53lbs (24kg)
Classification : Phylum : Chordata -- Class : Mammalia -- Order : Rodentia
Family : Hystricidae -- Genus : Hystrix -- Species : H. africaeaustralis


Popular posts from this blog

Bornean Orangutan

The Bornean Orangutan is one of two extant Orangutan species in the world. It is the third largest primate (after Gorillas) and is the largest primarily tree-dwelling animal in the world. Males are substantially larger than females, and average at around 165lbs. Bornean Orangutans are largely solitary. A handful might live within a small range but they will seldom interact with one another. Males and females only meet up to breed, which happens only once every several years. A young Orangutan will stay with it's mother for about five years, and the females tend to go about eight years between births. That is the longest interim period of any animal! Sadly, the Bornean Orangutans are in a lot of trouble. They need large forests in order to thrive, and deforestation and habitat degradation has left many homeless. They are also hunted for meat and for traditional medicines. Conservation areas are being established to help these guys in the wild, and it is believed that there are a


For anyone who was counting, yesterday was our birthday-- four years! Four years filled with animals from A to Z, more than 1,100 of them! I can't thank my readers enough, it's been wonderful! And in celebration of that milestone... I'm taking a break. Hopefully not forever, but for a little bit at least. In the mean time I plan on getting a new layout out, along with some updates to some of the older articles. I'll post updates here and on the Facebook page, I'm also brainstorming some new animal-related projects, so keep an eye out! Thanks again for four awesome years!

Halloween Crab

Gecarcinus quadratus The Halloween Crab goes by many names, including the Red Land Crab, Whitespot Crab, and Moon Crab. I personally like Halloween Crab though, since it really reflects the interesting colors. They have black carapaces, orange-red legs, and purple claws! Halloween Crabs live in the Pacific coast mangroves and forests of Central and South America. They actually live in the forests as adults, and return to the ocean in order to reproduce. Did you know that they live as far away as 18 miles (30km)  from water? Not where you normally think Crabs to be! While living in the forest, the Crabs forage nocturnally for different plant matter, including leaves and sapling. They also dig long burrows into the ground for protection. These burrows can measure nearly 5 ft long! Halloween Crabs are sometimes kept in captivity, and can be very tricky pets due to their excellent climbing skills. IUCN Status :  Not Listed Location :   Cent