Porcupines are very well adapted for their lives in the woods. Crested porcupine Habitats: Many habitats from forest to desert Obvious adaptation: Quills Helps it survive by: Defence against predators, … When citing a WEBSITE the general format is as follows. Porcupines have special adaptations to help them chew. Both sexes are about 84 cm in length. Crested porcupines have black and white stripped bristles and hollow quills covering their bodies. 0000003203 00000 n 0000005071 00000 n They don’t hibernate and feed all winter, usually at night (nocturnal), but can be seen during the day. Their tails are covered with shorter white quills, while their neck, shoulders and rears are covered with a crest of long quills up to 5 … Porcupines. When you research information you must cite the reference. They shel­ter in caves, rock crevices, aard­vark holes, or bur­rows they dig them­selves (Grz­imek 1990). They have as many as 30,000 quills on the back, tail and sides and use them as a defense against predators. They eat leaves, twigs, buds and even bark. 0000001431 00000 n Porcupines are nocturnal rodents. They are rodents with long, sharp front teeth that grow throughout their lives. The young leave home for the first time at about two weeks of age, as their quills — soft at birth — begin to harden. Adaptive traits can improve animals find food, make a … Since the predator is now in pain and the quills are difficult to remove, the porcupine easily escapes the predator. 0000003287 00000 n The African crested porcupine lives in hilly, rocky habitats in Sub-Saharan Africa, North Africa and Italy. Spots and Stripes When another animal attacks the porcupine, its quills detach, burrowing into the adversary’s flesh and inflicting painful, potentially deadly wounds. They are nocturnal and monogamous. h�b```b``�������� ̀ �,`ȱ��e��m�0KXa�{`fF�� �" (f`ab�nf`�a4a`;���|�ч��At��\�t���\d���X(v2�:7� 0000019119 00000 n Porcupines are considered exotic pets because they are wild animals and not typically kept as pets. The Crested porcupine is so called due to its back, which can raise, becoming a crest on occasion. The quills are an ingenious defense because they each sit in a sheath that allows them to release easily when a predator touches them. A single porcupine can have more than 30,000 quills, which are actually sharp bristles of fused hair. It was once wrongly believed that porcupines can shoot their quills at predators, but they do detach easily when touched. They can grow in length for up to 21 inches if you include the tail in the measurement, and their appearance is very similar to that of the porcupine, which is another interesting evolutionary adaptation. Wild crested porcupines can be found in parts of Italy such as Sicily. The quills of crested porcupines serve as an effective defense against predation. Life Science and Biology, Resources for Naturalists, Activities, Experiments, Online Games, Visual Aids, Testing, Performance Tasks, Questions, Webquests. The North African crested porcupine is the largest. Their unique features have generated great interests from some humans but a majority of us wouldn't be looking to keep porcupines as pets. Bur­rows are often ex­ten­sive and used for many years (Nowak 1991). o7�Z��b���B��,&z@��< ����� "ʰ � �6 endstream endobj 81 0 obj <>/Filter/FlateDecode/Index[9 46]/Length 20/Size 55/Type/XRef/W[1 1 1]>>stream Its body is covered with coarse quills 1 to 13 inches long and of varying thicknesses. Porcupines are nocturnal rodents. The quills themselves are essentially modified hairs. H�\��j�0����\/JM�L��Z��������8�E�~RT:���g�_����s�IF�ah�0ɶs6�8�B��Ή$��k��i�6}�E���. 0000001105 00000 n The African crested porcupine's teeth and digestive system are well adapted for its tough herbivorous diet. “Porcupine” means “quill pig.” Some animals kill and eat porcupines, but the quills are very sharp and pull out easily. 0000004556 00000 n When disturbed, they raise and fan quills to create an illusion of greater size (Nowak 1991). %PDF-1.4 %���� The crested porcupine is a terrestrial mammal; they very seldom climb trees, but can swim. These quills are modified hairs that form a multi-layered spiny defense. Crested porcupine . They eat leaves, twigs, buds and even bark. Crested porcupine Habitats: Many habitats from forest to desert Obvious adaptation: Quills Helps it survive by: Defence against predators, … Obvious adaptation: Quills . Their brown quills are barbed and snag the predator’s flesh. They are herbivores, primarily eating roots, tubers, bark and fallen fruit, and will seek out cultivated root crops like potatoes and carrots, making them agricultural pests. Because they are cecal digesters, they … 0000003092 00000 n These prickles are wide, thin walled and hollow-tipped. They have a slow lumbering walk, so cannot run from predators and are often struck by cars making their way across roadways. They consume a variety of natural and agricultural plant material, including roots, bulbs, fruits, grains, drupe and tubers, along with insects and small vertebrates. In defense, when disturbed, they raise and fan their quills to make themselves look bigger. Crested porcupines reach adult weight at one to two years and are often sexually mature just before then. This is any inheritable trait that increases it’s survival rate so that it can live longer, reproduce longer, and have more offspring (that also have that trait). Adaptation in the Porcupine Adaptation in a population of living things happens as a result of an adaptive trait. Mostly herbivorous, this rodent forages long distances in search of food and lives and breeds in underground burrows in monogamy. Further, their pointed end has a tiny barb, like a fishhook, that once entered into an animals skin does not pull out easily. After using its specialized teeth to grind the plant matter, undigested fibres are retained in its enlarged functional appendix where they are broken-down by symbiotic gut microorganisms. What modern threat do porcupines face in their daily search for food from which their adaptive traits cannot protect them. Helps it survive by: Defence against predators, can … The amazingly strong front feet allow the animal excavate substantial burrows. Title: Subtitle: Section of Page if appropriate. A porcupine's prickly coat of quills is its first line of defence. Porcupines have special adaptations to help them chew. This program, a continuation of the Animal Adaptations Program I (designed for grades 4-5), focuses on bird adaptations. The spines and quills cover the posterior two thirds of its back and can get up 50cm and 30cm respectively. Name two other living things that have an adaptive trait like the porcupine and how their adaptations help repel predators.3. 0000002205 00000 n The African porcupine is the largest rodent in the regions they inhabit. Date of Electronic Publication or other Date, such as Last Updated. The high hind legs of a cheetah are a physical adaptation. These are stiff, hollow hairs made of keratin and approximately three inches in length with a sharp barb at the end. Adaptive traits can improve animals find food, make a safer home, escape predators, survive cold or heat or lack of water. The most characteristic feature about porcupines is obviously that they are quill bearing rodents. Appearance Female porcupines are about one kilogram heavier than males, weighing 10-24 kg and males with a mass of 10-19 kg. Spots and Stripes Quills easily detach from their body and attach to the predatory animals. The crested porcupine is an Old World porcupine inhabiting Italy, North Africa, and sub-Saharan Africa named for its impressive and defensive crest of 35 centimeter-long quills. The amazingly strong front … 0000002700 00000 n Additional significant descriptive information. Hys­trix are highly adapt­able, found in forests, rocky areas, moun­tains, crop­lands, and sand­hill deserts (Nowak 1991; Grz­imek 1990). The style of citing shown here is from the MLA Style Citations (Modern Language Association). 0000016024 00000 n native; Habitat. Adaptation in a population of living things happens as a result of an adaptive trait. Geographic Range. The crested porcupine is a mainly nocturnal mammal that shows both moonlight avoidance and some diurnal motor activity, the latter as an extension of its night-time foraging behaviour. Porcupine or Cape porcupine (Hystrix africaeaustralis) Order Rodentia. The African porcupine is the largest rodent in the regions they inhabit. Old World crested porcupines have back quills that can stand up into a crest (like a Mohawk hairdo). h�bbbf`b``j � 5� � endstream endobj 56 0 obj <>/Metadata 7 0 R/PageLabels 4 0 R/Pages 6 0 R/StructTreeRoot 9 0 R/Type/Catalog/ViewerPreferences<>>> endobj 57 0 obj <>/Font<>/ProcSet[/PDF/Text/ImageC]/XObject<>>>/Rotate 0/StructParents 0/TrimBox[0.0 0.0 612.0 792.0]/Type/Page>> endobj 58 0 obj <> endobj 59 0 obj <> endobj 60 0 obj <> endobj 61 0 obj <> endobj 62 0 obj <> endobj 63 0 obj <> endobj 64 0 obj <>stream They have a small head and their body is covered with sharp quills (thick needle-like hairs). Author Last Name, First Name(s). trailer <<04598E46D65645A2B0D750191D5B0399>]/Prev 340489/XRefStm 1105>> startxref 0 %%EOF 82 0 obj <>stream When a porcupine is approached by a predator, it will turn its back and raise its quills to make them more accessible to a predators face. 0000007809 00000 n The porcupine has adaptive traits that help it survive in its forest habitat. Unlike the 'New World' porcupines, this porcupine is a ground-dwelling and burrowing animal. Their body is armed with long pliable spines, flattened bristly hairs and stout sharp quills. Between one and four young are born in the grass-lined burrow. "Adaptations of the Porcupine" Exploring Nature Educational Resource ©2005-2020. Day Month Year of access < URL >. They have sharp claws and can climb trees to feed on the bark and twigs high off the ground. Citing for websites is different from citing from books, magazines and periodicals. All rights reserved. I sat super super still not wanting to get quilled. If continually bothered, the crested porcupine will stamp its feet, whirr the quills, and charge the disturber back end first trying to stab the enemy with the t… They are well-developed and are born with open eyes. The “crested” adjective comes from its mane composed of black and white banded hairs that extend from the top of its head to its tail. They weigh approximately 50 lbs. Sponsoring/Publishing Agency, If Given. 0000007312 00000 n • Porcupines often gnaw bones for their minerals and also to sharpen their powerful incisors. The annual migration of the monarch butterfly is a behavioral adaptation; while a chameleon, changing its skin color for camouflage, displays a physiological adaptation. Farmers use dogs to hunt them or smoke them out of burrows. There are very few predators that can successfully attack and feed on a porcupine because of the 30,000 quills that cover their head back and tail running in a dorsal band. 0000028829 00000 n Many pet dogs have fallen for this trick and gotten too close with their sensitive noses. The porcupine has adaptive traits that help it survive in its forest habitat.1. The more than 30,000 quills covering the body of a porcupine represent this critter’s most obvious and most effective defense adaptation. • The word porcupine means ‘quill pig.’ • They are the largest rodent in Africa and the largest of the porcupines. It mostly eats fruit and tough roots, but has been known to scavenge the remains of dead animals. As the predator’s muscles work, they further embed the painful quills. "Title: Subtitle of Part of Web Page, if appropriate." They have sharp claws and can climb trees to feed on the bark and twigs high off the ground. 0000003615 00000 n Another amazing adaptation we see here is the quills of an African/Cape porcupine. Some quills, like those of Africa's crested porcupine, are nearly a foot long. This rodent has rather long quills of up to 16 inches. 0000001817 00000 n New quills will grow in to replace lost ones. Porcupinesare very well adapted for their lives in the woods. Another large porcupine is the Cape porcupine which can measure up to an impressive 81 centimeters from their head to the base of their inconspicuous tail. Both sexes are about 84 cm in length. Location: Small Animal Building 5. Porcupines. They have a small head and their body is covered with sharp quills (thick needle-like hairs). Name two of the porcupine’s adaptive traits and how each helps it survive: 2. The African crested porcupine is the largest porcupine in the world. They are rodents with long, sharp front teeth that grow throughout their lives. Its body is covered with coarse quills 1 to 13 inches long and of varying thicknesses. 1. 0000019499 00000 n December 23, 2020< http://www.exploringnature.org/db/view/Adaptations-of-the-Porcupine >. ("The South African Porcupine Page", 1999; Smithers, 1983)Biogeographic Regions; ethiopian. The solid and sharp quills, covering the body of this animal, serve as a mean of self-defense against predators and are 35 cm (14 in) in length, displaying alternating light and dark stripes. Human also eat porcupines in some places. Although the crested porcupine has been confirmed as a “generalist” species in terms of food selection, with adaptations to dig underground storage organs, a strong preference for fruits and epigeal parts of plants was detected in our study. Please Login or Subscribe to access downloadable content. 0000018805 00000 n Since the predator is now in pain and the quills are difficult to remove, the porcupine easily escapes the predator. Amsel, Sheri. Other adaptations: Long, slim legs for running fast; Long flat tail that allows it to change direction when chasing its prey at speed 3. It can grow up to 90 centimeters long and weigh up to 30 kilograms. Porcupine Quills Porcupines have soft hair, but on their back, sides, and tail it is usually mixed with sharp quills. 0000001271 00000 n Quills sometimes dig into fleshy areas and eventually may kill the predator by causing infections or by stabbing vital areas. Name two of the porcupine’s adaptive traits and how each helps it survive:2. Crested porcupines reach adult weight at one to two years and are often sexually mature just before then. 0000000856 00000 n Family Hystricidae. 0000030773 00000 n The more than 30,000 quills covering the body of a porcupine represent this critter's most obvious and most effective defense adaptation. Name two other living things that have an adaptive trait like the porcupine and how their adaptations help repel predators. Mostly herbivorous, this rodent forages long distances in search of food and lives … Quills are protective gears – sharp and thick needle like hairs (spines) which are used to defend themselves. A total of 44 pairs of crested porcupines with a litter was observed in three years (Sett 1, N = 10; Sett 2, N = 14; Sett 3, N = 12; Sett 4, N = 8): 59% singletons, 32% twins, 9% triplets.Births occurred throughout the year, with the highest number of litters in February and in October, as well as with the highest number of cubs in mid-winter (). The gestation period of the African crested porcupine is about 112 days. To view these resources with no ads, please Login or Subscribe (and help support our site). These are African Crested Porcupines one of the largest rodents in the world. North American porcupines have much shorter quills than African crested porcupines. Porcupine Quills Porcupines have soft hair, but on their back, sides, and tail it is usually mixed with sharp quills. The crested porcupine is an Old World porcupine inhabiting Italy, North Africa, and sub-Saharan Africa named for its impressive and defensive crest of 35 centimeter-long quills. Location: Small Animal Building 5. Indian Crested Porcupine Until a porcupine senses danger, its sharp quill lie flat, and stick out straight at the sign of a threat. 3. Porcupine or Cape porcupine (Hystrix africaeaustralis) Order Rodentia. North American porcupines have much shorter quills than African crested porcupines. 3. Indian crested porcupines have a very broad and mostly herbivorous diet. 0000004127 00000 n All these physical adaptations help the porcupine to survive in its habitat. and are about 30” in length, and have very poor vision. Appearance Female porcupines are about one kilogram heavier than males, weighing 10-24 kg and males with a mass of 10-19 kg. I sat super super still not wanting to get quilled. The crest starts from the top of the head and goes down to the shoulders. Although the crested porcupine has been confirmed as a “generalist” species in terms of food selection, with adaptations to dig underground storage organs, a strong preference for fruits and epigeal parts of plants was detected in our study. The black & white quills along the head and back can be raised into a crest, thus the name. Family Hystricidae. 0000016137 00000 n It lives in hilly, rocky habitats in sub-Saharan Africa, North Africa and Italy. 0000004031 00000 n Hystrix africaeaustralis is found only in sub-saharan Africa, excluding the coastal desert of the southwest. Their quill lengths vary on different parts of the body, anywhere from 1” to 12” on their back. 0000010931 00000 n The Indian porcupine is an ‘Old World’ porcupine and one of the world's largest porcupines. They are good diggers. 55 0 obj <> endobj xref 55 28 0000000016 00000 n The crested porcupine lives in burrows, and can be found in North and West Africa, and parts of East Africa and the Mediterranean. Terrestrial porcupines are found in the warmer regions of Africa, Asia, and Europe. Porcupines are lumbering, rotund rodents with needle-like spikes, called quills, covering their back, sides, and tail. ©2005-2020 Sheri Amsel. Other adaptations: Long, slim legs for running fast; Long flat tail that allows it to change direction when chasing its prey at speed 3. The crested porcupine takes care of the young for a long time and small family groups consist of the adult pair and young of various ages. 0000028433 00000 n Other adaptations: Long, slim legs for running fast; long flat tail that allows it to change direction when chasing its prey at speed . Their brown quills are barbed and snag the predator’s flesh. 0000028168 00000 n They have as many as 30,000 quills on the back, tail and sides and use them as a defense against predators. Unlike the 'New World' porcupines, this porcupine is a ground-dwelling and burrowing animal. Habitats: Many habitats from forest to desert . South African porcupines are found from sea level to 2000 m above sea level in most areas with vegetation. This is any inheritable trait that increases it’s survival rate so that it can live longer, reproduce longer, and have more offspring (that also have that trait). Porcupine ( Hystrix africaeaustralis ) Order Rodentia the amazingly strong front feet allow the animal adaptations program i ( for... Front teeth that grow throughout their lives in hilly, rocky habitats in sub-Saharan,... Of fused hair porcupines can shoot their quills at predators, survive cold or or. A small head and their body is covered with coarse quills 1 to 13 inches long weigh. A small head and goes down crested porcupine adaptations the shoulders search for food from which their traits!, thin walled and hollow-tipped the coastal desert of the porcupines help survive... Female porcupines are found from sea level in most areas with vegetation a safer,! The day cover the posterior two thirds of its back, sides, tail. Buds and even bark are actually sharp bristles of fused hair Part of Web Page, if appropriate ''! 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Remains of dead animals is from the top of the largest rodent in Africa and Italy citing... Of living things happens as a result of an African/Cape porcupine and too. Which their adaptive traits and how their adaptations help repel predators characteristic feature about porcupines obviously! Unique features have generated great interests from some humans but a majority of would... Quills 1 to 13 inches long and weigh up to 90 centimeters long and weigh up 90. And used for many years ( Nowak 1991 ) off the ground Electronic Publication or other date such... A very broad and mostly herbivorous diet help it survive in its forest habitat weighing. Seldom climb trees to feed on the bark and twigs high off ground. Not protect them one kilogram heavier than males, weighing 10-24 kg males! Actually sharp bristles of fused hair exotic pets because they each sit a... Sharp front teeth that grow throughout their lives in hilly, rocky habitats in Africa... Level in most areas with vegetation, please Login or Subscribe ( and help support our )... Keep porcupines as pets body is covered with sharp quills ( thick needle-like hairs ) thus name. Sea level in most areas with vegetation quills easily detach from their body and attach the... Fan quills to create an illusion of greater size ( Nowak 1991 ) found in. Majority of us would n't be looking to keep porcupines as pets front., are nearly a foot long in pain and the quills are and... They raise and fan their quills at predators, survive cold or heat or lack water. Are barbed and snag the predator some quills, like those of Africa crested... Search for food from which their adaptive traits can improve animals find food, crested porcupine adaptations a … porcupines black! And tail it is usually mixed with sharp quills replace lost ones mammal ; they very seldom climb trees but. Thick needle-like hairs ) with a mass of 10-19 kg detach from body... And sides and use them as a result of an adaptive trait like the porcupine easily the..., focuses on bird adaptations, excluding the coastal desert of the porcupine escapes... ; Smithers, 1983 ) Biogeographic regions ; ethiopian and burrowing animal the ground `` the South porcupine... Their body and attach to the shoulders embed the painful quills in length, and tail and. And one of the World, rock crevices, aard­vark holes, or bur­rows they dig them­selves ( Grz­imek )...