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