North African Crested Porcupine

North African Crested Porcupine

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Credit: C.K. LORENZ/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: The North African Crested Porcupine (Hystrix cristata) is distinct among old world porcupines due to its shorter tail and the presence of rattle quills at the end of it's tail. These quills are broader, hollow, and thin walled at the terminal end wich causes a hiss like rattle to be produced by their vibration. The Crested Porcupine has quills along the head, nape, and back that can be raised into a crest. In addition, it has sturdier quills about 350 mm long along the sides and back half of body which are generally used for defensive purposes. These stronger quills are generally marked with alternating light and dark bands. This individual was photographed at the World Wildlife Zoo in Phoenix, Arizona.

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Keywords: african porcupine, animal, animalia, chordata, chordate, crested porcupine, cristata, fauna, hystrix, hystrix cristata, mammal, mammalia, nature, north african crested porcupine, north african porcupine, porcupine, rodent, vertebrata, vertebrate, wild life, wildlife, zoology

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