Baby Porcupines May Not Be Cuddly, But They Sure Are Cute!
The Cape Porcupine (Hystrix africaeaustralis), also known as South African Porcupine, is a widespread species that occurs all the way from South Africa to Southern Uganda, and it's found from sea level to 2000 m.
It belongs to the rodent family Hystricidae, and shares the Hystrix genus with the Sumatran Porcupine (Hystrix sumatrae), the Sunda Porcupine (Hystrix javanica), the Phillipine Porcupine (Hystrix pumila), the Crested Porcupine (Hystrix cristata), the Thick-spined Porcupine (Hystrix crassispinis), the Malayan Porcupine (Hystrix brachyuran), and the Indian Crested Porcupine (Hystrix indica).
The Cape Porcupine is the largest porcupine species in the world and the largest rodent in the African continent.
It is found in most of the types of Southern Africa vegetation and have been recorded in the coastal parts of the Namib Desert, but are generally absent from forest.
It has banded quills and spines that can reach up to 50 cm in length. Some in the tail are open-ended and hollow, and make a rattling sound when shaken, as a warning. When threatened, the porcupine will erect them, to make it look bigger, and then it backs towards the threat. They are very sharp and come off easily when touched, so careless predators may even get fatal wounds from them, but contrary to popular belief, porcupines do not shoot their quills. Lost quills will quickly grow back, and shed just like hair.
Cape Porcupines are monogamous animals and mate throughout the year. Litters consist of two to four babies, which the male plays an important role in raising. It is a nocturnal and territorial species, and usually forages alone.