Human also eat porcupines in some places. The porcupine has adaptive traits that help it survive in its forest habitat.1. Quills sometimes dig into fleshy areas and eventually may kill the predator by causing infections or by stabbing vital areas. • Porcupines often gnaw bones for their minerals and also to sharpen their powerful incisors. What modern threat do porcupines face in their daily search for food from which their adaptive traits cannot protect them. Porcupine Quills Porcupines have soft hair, but on their back, sides, and tail it is usually mixed with sharp quills. 0000010931 00000 n 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 … December 23, 2020< http://www.exploringnature.org/db/view/Adaptations-of-the-Porcupine >. Additional significant descriptive information. Crested porcupines reach adult weight at one to two years and are often sexually mature just before then. They are rodents with long, sharp front teeth that grow throughout their lives. “Porcupine” means “quill pig.” Some animals kill and eat porcupines, but the quills are very sharp and pull out easily. It mostly eats fruit and tough roots, but has been known to scavenge the remains of dead animals. The spines and quills cover the posterior two thirds of its back and can get up 50cm and 30cm respectively. Porcupine or Cape porcupine (Hystrix africaeaustralis) Order Rodentia. 3. Further, their pointed end has a tiny barb, like a fishhook, that once entered into an animals skin does not pull out easily. Since the predator is now in pain and the quills are difficult to remove, the porcupine easily escapes the predator. 0000003615 00000 n Date of Electronic Publication or other Date, such as Last Updated. South African porcupines are found from sea level to 2000 m above sea level in most areas with vegetation. 0000016137 00000 n %PDF-1.4 %���� When disturbed, they raise and fan quills to create an illusion of greater size (Nowak 1991). When citing a WEBSITE the general format is as follows. Crested porcupines reach adult weight at one to two years and are often sexually mature just before then. 3. 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. I sat super super still not wanting to get quilled. 0000019499 00000 n Name two other living things that have an adaptive trait like the porcupine and how their adaptations help repel predators.3. 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). They shel­ter in caves, rock crevices, aard­vark holes, or bur­rows they dig them­selves (Grz­imek 1990). Unlike the 'New World' porcupines, this porcupine is a ground-dwelling and burrowing animal. When another animal attacks the porcupine, its quills detach, burrowing into the adversary’s flesh and inflicting painful, potentially deadly wounds. Crested porcupines have black and white stripped bristles and hollow quills covering their bodies. Their body is armed with long pliable spines, flattened bristly hairs and stout sharp quills. The amazingly strong front … Name two of the porcupine’s adaptive traits and how each helps it survive: 2. They have as many as 30,000 quills on the back, tail and sides and use them as a defense against predators. The gestation period of the African crested porcupine is about 112 days. Amsel, Sheri. Porcupines are considered exotic pets because they are wild animals and not typically kept as pets. 0000003203 00000 n and are about 30” in length, and have very poor vision. Obvious adaptation: Quills . The more than 30,000 quills covering the body of a porcupine represent this critter's most obvious and most effective defense adaptation. "Title: Subtitle of Part of Web Page, if appropriate." 0000004031 00000 n Spots and Stripes Spots and Stripes These are African Crested Porcupines one of the largest rodents in the world. They consume a variety of natural and agricultural plant material, including roots, bulbs, fruits, grains, drupe and tubers, along with insects and small vertebrates. Its body is covered with coarse quills 1 to 13 inches long and of varying thicknesses. Please Login or Subscribe to access downloadable content. 55 0 obj <> endobj xref 55 28 0000000016 00000 n Indian Crested Porcupine Until a porcupine senses danger, its sharp quill lie flat, and stick out straight at the sign of a threat. In defense, when disturbed, they raise and fan their quills to make themselves look bigger. A single porcupine can have more than 30,000 quills, which are actually sharp bristles of fused hair. Porcupines are very well adapted for their lives in the woods. 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. 0000004556 00000 n Indian crested porcupines have a very broad and mostly herbivorous diet. The African porcupine is the largest rodent in the regions they inhabit. Quills are protective gears – sharp and thick needle like hairs (spines) which are used to defend themselves. The young leave home for the first time at about two weeks of age, as their quills — soft at birth — begin to harden. The quills of crested porcupines serve as an effective defense against predation. 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. It was once wrongly believed that porcupines can shoot their quills at predators, but they do detach easily when touched. Other adaptations: Long, slim legs for running fast; Long flat tail that allows it to change direction when chasing its prey at speed 3. All rights reserved. The African crested porcupine lives in hilly, rocky habitats in Sub-Saharan Africa, North Africa and Italy. Crested porcupine Habitats: Many habitats from forest to desert Obvious adaptation: Quills Helps it survive by: Defence against predators, … Sponsoring/Publishing Agency, If Given. 0000002205 00000 n The porcupine has adaptive traits that help it survive in its forest habitat. Helps it survive by: Defence against predators, can … The high hind legs of a cheetah are a physical adaptation. Both sexes are about 84 cm in length. 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 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. They are nocturnal and monogamous. These are stiff, hollow hairs made of keratin and approximately three inches in length with a sharp barb at the end. Habitats: Many habitats from forest to desert . They eat leaves, twigs, buds and even bark. To view these resources with no ads, please Login or Subscribe (and help support our site). Porcupines. 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. It lives in hilly, rocky habitats in sub-Saharan Africa, North Africa and Italy. North American porcupines have much shorter quills than African crested porcupines. Many pet dogs have fallen for this trick and gotten too close with their sensitive noses. 0000018805 00000 n 0000003092 00000 n Because they are cecal digesters, they … These prickles are wide, thin walled and hollow-tipped. Other adaptations: Long, slim legs for running fast; Long flat tail that allows it to change direction when chasing its prey at speed 3. 0000007312 00000 n 0000030773 00000 n Porcupines are lumbering, rotund rodents with needle-like spikes, called quills, covering their back, sides, and tail. Their brown quills are barbed and snag the predator’s flesh. They have a small head and their body is covered with sharp quills (thick needle-like hairs). Location: Small Animal Building 5. Mostly herbivorous, this rodent forages long distances in search of food and lives … Its body is covered with coarse quills 1 to 13 inches long and of varying thicknesses. The style of citing shown here is from the MLA Style Citations (Modern Language Association). Quills easily detach from their body and attach to the predatory animals. Mostly herbivorous, this rodent forages long distances in search of food and lives and breeds in underground burrows in monogamy. 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. Bur­rows are often ex­ten­sive and used for many years (Nowak 1991). The amazingly strong front feet allow the animal excavate substantial burrows. Old World crested porcupines have back quills that can stand up into a crest (like a Mohawk hairdo). 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