South African porcupine

South African porcupine

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Credit: TONY CAMACHO/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: South African porcupine (Hystrix africae- australis). This rodent has defensive quills and spines on its back and flanks. When threatened, the porcupine stands them on end, making it look larger. It may also rattle the hollow quills on its tail. If cornered, it may run at attackers, or take refuge in its burrow, spines outwards. The South African porcupine is mainly nocturnal. It is a herbivore, digging for roots and bulbs, although it may eat carrion and bones. It lives in small family groups, and is found in savanna and grassland throughout most of sub-Saharan Africa. Photographed in Harnas Wildlife Reserve, Nambia.

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Keywords: animal, bone-eating, burrower, defence, defensive, digger, face, head, herbivore, herbivorous, hystrix africaeaustralis, mammal, nature, nocturnal, osteophagia, quilled, quills, rodent, rodentia, south african porcupine, spined, spines, spiny, wildlife, zoology

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