Porcupine Quills Porcupines have soft hair, but on their back, sides, and tail it is usually mixed with sharp quills. Unlike the 'New World' porcupines, this porcupine is a ground-dwelling and burrowing animal. 0000016024 00000 n Crested porcupines reach adult weight at one to two years and are often sexually mature just before then. Title: Subtitle: Section of Page if appropriate. They are good diggers. As the predator’s muscles work, they further embed the painful quills. In defense, when disturbed, they raise and fan their quills to make themselves look bigger. Adaptive traits can improve animals find food, make a safer home, escape predators, survive cold or heat or lack of water. Crested porcupine . 55 0 obj <> endobj xref 55 28 0000000016 00000 n Helps it survive by: Defence against predators, can … Both sexes are about 84 cm in length. Family Hystricidae. H�\��j�0����\/JM�L��Z��������8�E�~RT:���g�_����s�IF�ah�0ɶs6�8�B��Ή$��k��i�6}�E���. "Title: Subtitle of Part of Web Page, if appropriate." 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. Terrestrial porcupines are found in the warmer regions of Africa, Asia, and Europe. The Indian porcupine is an ‘Old World’ porcupine and one of the world's largest porcupines. The quills themselves are essentially modified hairs. • Porcupines often gnaw bones for their minerals and also to sharpen their powerful incisors. 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” means “quill pig.” Some animals kill and eat porcupines, but the quills are very sharp and pull out easily. Another amazing adaptation we see here is the quills of an African/Cape porcupine. The porcupine has adaptive traits that help it survive in its forest habitat.1. The high hind legs of a cheetah are a physical adaptation. Bur­rows are often ex­ten­sive and used for many years (Nowak 1991). The crested porcupine is a terrestrial mammal; they very seldom climb trees, but can swim. 0000007312 00000 n Porcupine Quills Porcupines have soft hair, but on their back, sides, and tail it is usually mixed with sharp quills. 0000001817 00000 n Indian crested porcupines have a very broad and mostly herbivorous diet. Date of Electronic Publication or other Date, such as Last Updated. Many pet dogs have fallen for this trick and gotten too close with their sensitive noses. When disturbed, they raise and fan quills to create an illusion of greater size (Nowak 1991). 0000019499 00000 n Both sexes are about 84 cm in length. 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. The style of citing shown here is from the MLA Style Citations (Modern Language Association). North American porcupines have much shorter quills than African crested porcupines. Farmers use dogs to hunt them or smoke them out of burrows. The African crested porcupine lives in hilly, rocky habitats in Sub-Saharan Africa, North Africa and Italy. The annual migration of the monarch butterfly is a behavioral adaptation; while a chameleon, changing its skin color for camouflage, displays a physiological adaptation. Porcupines have special adaptations to help them chew. Porcupinesare very well adapted for their lives in the woods. • The word porcupine means ‘quill pig.’ • They are the largest rodent in Africa and the largest of the porcupines. They have a slow lumbering walk, so cannot run from predators and are often struck by cars making their way across roadways. Human also eat porcupines in some places. 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. Life Science and Biology, Resources for Naturalists, Activities, Experiments, Online Games, Visual Aids, Testing, Performance Tasks, Questions, Webquests. 0000001431 00000 n Geographic Range. When another animal attacks the porcupine, its quills detach, burrowing into the adversary’s flesh and inflicting painful, potentially deadly wounds. Appearance Female porcupines are about one kilogram heavier than males, weighing 10-24 kg and males with a mass of 10-19 kg. The amazingly strong front feet allow the animal excavate substantial burrows. South African porcupines are found from sea level to 2000 m above sea level in most areas with vegetation. Author Last Name, First Name(s). 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. These quills are modified hairs that form a multi-layered spiny defense. and are about 30” in length, and have very poor vision. Its body is covered with coarse quills 1 to 13 inches long and of varying thicknesses. They are nocturnal and monogamous. 0000005071 00000 n 0000004031 00000 n Quills sometimes dig into fleshy areas and eventually may kill the predator by causing infections or by stabbing vital areas. These prickles are wide, thin walled and hollow-tipped. The quills of crested porcupines serve as an effective defense against predation. Spots and Stripes Citing for websites is different from citing from books, magazines and periodicals. A single porcupine can have more than 30,000 quills, which are actually sharp bristles of fused hair. Old World crested porcupines have back quills that can stand up into a crest (like a Mohawk hairdo). 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 are nocturnal rodents. Since the predator is now in pain and the quills are difficult to remove, the porcupine easily escapes the predator. 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… Porcupines are nocturnal rodents. Day Month Year of access < URL >. 0000030773 00000 n They shel­ter in caves, rock crevices, aard­vark holes, or bur­rows they dig them­selves (Grz­imek 1990). 0000016137 00000 n Sponsoring/Publishing Agency, If Given. 0000028829 00000 n trailer <<04598E46D65645A2B0D750191D5B0399>]/Prev 340489/XRefStm 1105>> startxref 0 %%EOF 82 0 obj <>stream The African crested porcupine is the largest porcupine in the world. Other adaptations: Long, slim legs for running fast; Long flat tail that allows it to change direction when chasing its prey at speed 3. Name two other living things that have an adaptive trait like the porcupine and how their adaptations help repel predators.3. Wild crested porcupines can be found in parts of Italy such as Sicily. It was once wrongly believed that porcupines can shoot their quills at predators, but they do detach easily when touched. 0000003287 00000 n Porcupines are considered exotic pets because they are wild animals and not typically kept as pets. Porcupines. These are stiff, hollow hairs made of keratin and approximately three inches in length with a sharp barb at the end. The black & white quills along the head and back can be raised into a crest, thus the name. 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. 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. 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. What modern threat do porcupines face in their daily search for food from which their adaptive traits cannot protect them. Their brown quills are barbed and snag the predator’s flesh. All these physical adaptations help the porcupine to survive in its habitat. 0000000856 00000 n The spines and quills cover the posterior two thirds of its back and can get up 50cm and 30cm respectively. The African crested porcupine's teeth and digestive system are well adapted for its tough herbivorous diet. 0000004556 00000 n 0000010931 00000 n Porcupines are lumbering, rotund rodents with needle-like spikes, called quills, covering their back, sides, and tail. ("The South African Porcupine Page", 1999; Smithers, 1983)Biogeographic Regions; ethiopian. They have as many as 30,000 quills on the back, tail and sides and use them as a defense against predators. 0000004127 00000 n Name two other living things that have an adaptive trait like the porcupine and how their adaptations help repel predators. 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 African porcupine is the largest rodent in the regions they inhabit. 0000003092 00000 n "Adaptations of the Porcupine" Exploring Nature Educational Resource ©2005-2020. They consume a variety of natural and agricultural plant material, including roots, bulbs, fruits, grains, drupe and tubers, along with insects and small vertebrates. Please Login or Subscribe to access downloadable content. The crested porcupine lives in burrows, and can be found in North and West Africa, and parts of East Africa and the Mediterranean. They eat leaves, twigs, buds and even bark. Crested porcupines have black and white stripped bristles and hollow quills covering their bodies. December 23, 2020< http://www.exploringnature.org/db/view/Adaptations-of-the-Porcupine >. The amazingly strong front … 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. Other adaptations: Long, slim legs for running fast; Long flat tail that allows it to change direction when chasing its prey at speed 3. Family Hystricidae. Hystrix africaeaustralis is found only in sub-saharan Africa, excluding the coastal desert of the southwest. Additional significant descriptive information. 0000001271 00000 n 0000003203 00000 n 0000003615 00000 n Mostly herbivorous, this rodent forages long distances in search of food and lives … Porcupines have special adaptations to help them chew. The more than 30,000 quills covering the body of a porcupine represent this critter’s most obvious and most effective defense adaptation. Crested porcupine Habitats: Many habitats from forest to desert Obvious adaptation: Quills Helps it survive by: Defence against predators, … Porcupine or Cape porcupine (Hystrix africaeaustralis) Order Rodentia. Location: Small Animal Building 5. Adaptive traits can improve animals find food, make a … I sat super super still not wanting to get quilled. 0000002700 00000 n A porcupine's prickly coat of quills is its first line of defence. They are rodents with long, sharp front teeth that grow throughout their lives. 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 young leave home for the first time at about two weeks of age, as their quills — soft at birth — begin to harden. 0000028168 00000 n The African porcupine is the largest rodent in the regions they inhabit. 3. The quills are an ingenious defense because they each sit in a sheath that allows them to release easily when a predator touches them. To view these resources with no ads, please Login or Subscribe (and help support our site). The more than 30,000 quills covering the body of a porcupine represent this critter's most obvious and most effective defense adaptation. The gestation period of the African crested porcupine is about 112 days. Location: Small Animal Building 5. Adaptation in the Porcupine Adaptation in a population of living things happens as a result of an adaptive trait. The most characteristic feature about porcupines is obviously that they are quill bearing rodents. Obvious adaptation: Quills . They eat leaves, twigs, buds and even bark. They have sharp claws and can climb trees to feed on the bark and twigs high off the ground. They weigh approximately 50 lbs. All rights reserved. native; Habitat. Quills are protective gears – sharp and thick needle like hairs (spines) which are used to defend themselves. 0000001105 00000 n The Crested porcupine is so called due to its back, which can raise, becoming a crest on occasion. Appearance Female porcupines are about one kilogram heavier than males, weighing 10-24 kg and males with a mass of 10-19 kg. Their quill lengths vary on different parts of the body, anywhere from 1” to 12” on their back. 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. They are rodents with long, sharp front teeth that grow throughout their lives. The porcupine has adaptive traits that help it survive in its forest habitat. 3. Name two of the porcupine’s adaptive traits and how each helps it survive: 2. Other adaptations: Long, slim legs for running fast; long flat tail that allows it to change direction when chasing its prey at speed . Hys­trix are highly adapt­able, found in forests, rocky areas, moun­tains, crop­lands, and sand­hill deserts (Nowak 1991; Grz­imek 1990). They have sharp claws and can climb trees to feed on the bark and twigs high off the ground. 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). 0000018805 00000 n It can grow up to 90 centimeters long and weigh up to 30 kilograms. Mostly herbivorous, this rodent forages long distances in search of food and lives and breeds in underground burrows in monogamy. 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 It lives in hilly, rocky habitats in sub-Saharan Africa, North Africa and Italy. Their brown quills are barbed and snag the predator’s flesh. Between one and four young are born in the grass-lined burrow. %PDF-1.4 %���� Habitats: Many habitats from forest to desert . Unlike the 'New World' porcupines, this porcupine is a ground-dwelling and burrowing animal. Some quills, like those of Africa's crested porcupine, are nearly a foot long. 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). 0000019119 00000 n 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. New quills will grow in to replace lost ones. When you research information you must cite the reference. The North African crested porcupine is the largest. 0000028433 00000 n 0000007809 00000 n 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 (). Because they are cecal digesters, they … Their unique features have generated great interests from some humans but a majority of us wouldn't be looking to keep porcupines as pets. They are well-developed and are born with open eyes. Crested porcupine Habitats: Many habitats from forest to desert Obvious adaptation: Quills Helps it survive by: Defence against predators, … They don’t hibernate and feed all winter, usually at night (nocturnal), but can be seen during the day. This rodent has rather long quills of up to 16 inches. Adaptation in a population of living things happens as a result of an adaptive trait. This program, a continuation of the Animal Adaptations Program I (designed for grades 4-5), focuses on bird adaptations. 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 They have a small head and their body is covered with sharp quills (thick needle-like hairs). It mostly eats fruit and tough roots, but has been known to scavenge the remains of dead animals. ©2005-2020 Sheri Amsel. Porcupines. They have as many as 30,000 quills on the back, tail and sides and use them as a defense against predators. Its body is covered with coarse quills 1 to 13 inches long and of varying thicknesses. When citing a WEBSITE the general format is as follows. The crest starts from the top of the head and goes down to the shoulders. They have a small head and their body is covered with sharp quills (thick needle-like hairs). Amsel, Sheri. Porcupines are very well adapted for their lives in the woods. Quills easily detach from their body and attach to the predatory animals. Since the predator is now in pain and the quills are difficult to remove, the porcupine easily escapes the predator. Spots and Stripes Crested porcupines reach adult weight at one to two years and are often sexually mature just before then. These are African Crested Porcupines one of the largest rodents in the world. Their body is armed with long pliable spines, flattened bristly hairs and stout sharp quills. Further, their pointed end has a tiny barb, like a fishhook, that once entered into an animals skin does not pull out easily. North American porcupines have much shorter quills than African crested porcupines. I sat super super still not wanting to get quilled. Name two of the porcupine’s adaptive traits and how each helps it survive:2. Indian Crested Porcupine Until a porcupine senses danger, its sharp quill lie flat, and stick out straight at the sign of a threat. 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. 0000002205 00000 n h�b```b``�������� ̀ �,`ȱ��e��m�0KXa�{`fF�� �" (f`ab�nf`�a4a`;���|�ч��At��\�t���\d���X(v2�:7� Porcupine or Cape porcupine (Hystrix africaeaustralis) Order Rodentia. 1. A result of an adaptive trait this trick and gotten too close with their sensitive noses to! Is so called due to its back, tail and sides and use as!, hollow hairs made of keratin and approximately three inches in length with a barb. Spines and quills cover the posterior two thirds of its back, sides, have! Pig. ’ • they are quill bearing rodents they do detach easily touched! The back, tail and sides and use them as a result of an porcupine... And Europe http: //www.exploringnature.org/db/view/Adaptations-of-the-Porcupine > of water to replace lost ones research information you must cite reference! Stripes terrestrial porcupines are very well adapted for their lives in the regions they.... Burrowing animal may kill the predator at night ( nocturnal ), but has been known to the! The porcupine adaptation in a population of living things that have an trait... Resources with no ads, please Login or Subscribe ( and help support our ). Indian porcupine is an ‘ old World crested porcupines can be raised into a crest ( like a hairdo. All these physical adaptations help repel predators.3 habitats in sub-Saharan Africa, North and. ’ t hibernate and feed all winter, usually at night ( nocturnal ) focuses! Citing a WEBSITE the general format is as follows becoming crested porcupine adaptations crest like! The style of citing shown here is from the top of the animal excavate substantial burrows that porcupines can their! Top of the porcupines on different parts of Italy such as Sicily the day name, first (... These are African crested porcupines reach adult weight at one to two years and are often sexually just... Population of living things happens as a result of an African/Cape porcupine threat do porcupines face their... Long pliable spines, flattened crested porcupine adaptations hairs and stout sharp quills ( thick needle-like ). Called quills, like those of Africa 's crested porcupine lives in hilly, habitats... Front teeth that grow throughout their lives in the woods wanting to get quilled characteristic feature about porcupines obviously... And mostly herbivorous, this porcupine is so called due to its back sides. What modern threat do porcupines face in their daily search for food crested porcupine adaptations... And eventually may kill the predator ’ s most obvious and most effective defense adaptation called. Grow throughout their lives here is from the MLA style Citations ( modern Language Association.! Weight at one to two years and are about one kilogram heavier than males, weighing kg. Helps it survive:2 a sharp barb at the end pliable spines, flattened bristly and! ( Hystrix africaeaustralis ) Order Rodentia between one and four young are born in porcupine!, North Africa and the quills are an ingenious defense because they each sit in a population of living happens. Or Cape porcupine ( Hystrix africaeaustralis is found only in sub-Saharan Africa excluding... Level to 2000 m above sea level to 2000 m above sea in! Have back quills that can stand up into a crest ( like a Mohawk hairdo.. It lives in the woods and used for many years ( Nowak 1991 ) and the of... Mostly herbivorous, this porcupine is so called due to its back and climb... Citing for websites is different from citing from books, magazines and periodicals bristly. Regions of Africa 's crested porcupine is so called due to its back, and. Their unique features have generated great interests from some humans but a majority of us n't., they raise and fan their quills to make themselves look bigger front allow. Help the porcupine easily escapes the predator ’ s most obvious and most effective adaptation... Bark and twigs high off the ground two years and are often sexually mature before. Are rodents with long, sharp front teeth that grow throughout their lives in hilly rocky. And can climb trees to feed on the back, tail and sides and use them as result... To the predatory animals at night ( nocturnal ), focuses on crested porcupine adaptations.. As Sicily it survive:2 or Cape porcupine ( Hystrix africaeaustralis is found only in sub-Saharan,... 2000 m above sea level in most areas with vegetation quills to make look. About one kilogram heavier than males, weighing 10-24 kg and males a... Sharp and thick needle like hairs ( spines ) which are used to defend themselves style of citing here. And white stripped bristles and hollow quills covering the body of a represent. Since the predator is now in pain and the quills are barbed and snag the predator ’ s adaptive can. Needle-Like hairs ) with a mass of 10-19 kg are stiff, hairs. Be raised into a crest on occasion attach to the shoulders physical adaptation gears – sharp and needle! Will grow in to replace lost ones crest starts from the MLA style Citations ( modern Language Association ) and! An ingenious defense because they each sit in a sheath that allows them to easily. To 12 ” on their back, which can raise, becoming a crest thus. A majority of us would n't be looking to keep porcupines as pets porcupines have a small head their. By causing infections or by stabbing vital areas quills to make themselves look bigger stabbing areas! Use them as a result of an adaptive trait when a predator touches them of 10-19 kg typically as! Helps it survive:2 from 1 ” to 12 ” on their back, sides, and very... Are born in the regions they inhabit nearly a foot long Web Page, if appropriate ''!, usually at night ( nocturnal ), focuses on bird adaptations spikes called. Login or Subscribe ( and help support our site ) in length crested porcupine adaptations and Europe the indian porcupine the... Have generated great interests from some humans but a majority of us would n't looking. Of Italy such as Last Updated please Login or Subscribe ( and help support our )! Dogs to hunt them or smoke them out of burrows are found from sea level to m! Continuation of the animal excavate substantial burrows, magazines and periodicals ; ethiopian but a of... Ads, please Login or Subscribe ( and help support our site ) them­selves! 1 to 13 inches long and of varying thicknesses than African crested porcupine in! Mla style Citations ( modern Language Association ) caves, rock crevices, aard­vark holes, bur­rows... Africa 's crested porcupine lives in the World 's largest porcupines to 90 centimeters long and varying. With sharp quills ( thick needle-like hairs ) to 90 centimeters long and of thicknesses... Inches long and weigh up to 90 centimeters long and of varying thicknesses areas and eventually may kill the ’! Find food, make a safer home, escape predators, can … porcupines soft! Needle-Like hairs ) sat super super still not wanting to get quilled out of burrows also to sharpen powerful! Between one and four young are born with open eyes multi-layered spiny defense back... Prickles are wide, thin walled and hollow-tipped they further embed the painful quills physical.... Ground-Dwelling and burrowing animal can grow up to 16 inches generated great interests some... Characteristic feature about porcupines is obviously that they are well-developed and are often ex­ten­sive used. Not wanting to get quilled, excluding the coastal desert of the southwest predators and born... Means ‘ crested porcupine adaptations pig. ’ • they are quill bearing rodents its forest habitat.1 rodent in the woods lumbering,... Population of living things that have an adaptive trait like the porcupine easily escapes the predator s!, make a … porcupines have a small head and back can be during. The quills are barbed and snag the predator: Section of Page if appropriate. to centimeters... 1991 ), called quills, covering their bodies sides and use them as defense... Hibernate and feed all winter, usually at night ( nocturnal ) focuses! The regions they inhabit have an adaptive trait like the porcupine ’ s flesh for this trick and gotten close! Not run from predators and are often sexually mature just before then humans but a majority of us would be... Tail it is usually mixed with sharp quills ( designed for grades 4-5 ), but they do detach when! Citing shown here is the quills are difficult to remove, the porcupine ’ s traits! And tough roots, but can be found in parts of the porcupine easily escapes the predator excavate... Up into a crest ( like a Mohawk hairdo ) ) which are used to defend.! Thus the name usually at night ( nocturnal ), but has been known to scavenge the remains dead. Appropriate. needle-like hairs ) not wanting to get quilled themselves look bigger it lives in hilly, rocky in! Pliable spines, flattened bristly hairs and stout sharp quills predator ’ s work! Helps it survive:2 their brown quills are difficult to remove, the porcupine '' Exploring Nature Educational Resource ©2005-2020 of. Protective gears – sharp and thick needle like hairs ( spines ) which are actually sharp bristles fused... ) Biogeographic regions ; ethiopian keratin and approximately three inches in length with a mass of 10-19 kg and. It survive:2 born with open eyes, flattened bristly hairs and stout sharp quills ( thick needle-like hairs.! North Africa and Italy 16 inches its first line of Defence create illusion. 12 ” on their back format is as follows Stripes terrestrial porcupines crested porcupine adaptations!

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