North African Crested Porcupine Quills

North African Crested Porcupine Quills

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Credit: C.K. LORENZ/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: The quills of the North African Crested Porcupine (Hystrix cristata) serve as an effective defense against predation. When disturbed, this animal will raise it's quills to create an illusion of greater size. If the disturbance continues, it will stomp it's feet, whir it's quills, and charge the enemy back end first, attempting to stab it with the thicker, shorter quills. Such attacks have been known to kill lions, leopards, hyenas, and humans. This individual was photographed at the World Wildlife Zoo in Phoenix, Arizona.

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