The Crested Porcupine (Hystrix cristata) is a rodent mammal found in Italy, Asia, and Africa.
The Crested Porcupine is black or dark brown, and covered with quills that lie flat along the body, and can be raised like a crest or fan. Its eyes and ears are small, and its nostrils are large. It has four toes on it front feet and five toes on its back feet. It has one incisor tooth, one premolar tooth, and three molars.
It is best recognized by its quills. The quills are about 35 centimetres (14 inches) long with light markings. The quills are not firmly attached, so they can easily come out. When these quills are vibrated, they produce a hiss-like rattle.
The Crested Porcupine has an average length of 60-83 centimetres (24-33 inches) long.
The Crested Porcupine is herbivorous, eating roots, bulbs, and leaves, and sometimes insects. It often gnaws on bones.
They live in a burrow underground. Usually, female Crested Porcupines line the burrow with grass before she has her babies. She has one litter each year, with one or two young. The female is pregnant for about 66 days, before giving birth to live young. The babies have soft quills, which become hard after about one week.
The Crested Porcupine is monogamous, which means that the male and female stay together for a long time as partners.
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
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