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Porcupine: where this animal lives and what it eats, described as the largest rodent on two continents.
Porcupine: animal of the Istricidae family, widespread throughout southern Europe and Africa. It is a rodent of considerable size, the largest rodent of two continents.
The porcupine is the largest rodent
Its body is between 65 and 85 cm long. Its tail reaches 18 cm and the length of the foot up to 10 cm. Its ears stand out on the sides of the head and are about 4 cm. Its weight is around 20 kg. Let's talk about the largestrodentEuropean and African!
The dorsal area is covered with bristles while the central area and the rump is covered withquills. Due to the presence of quills or "thorns", in some regions of Italy theporcupineis known asthorny or thorny animal.
The head has a small crest made up of hairs of varying length, the hairs can reach 45 cm in length and are mainly black. The quills can reach important lengths, even exceed 30 cm and are alternating white and black.
Spiny, porcupine and porcupine are three different names to identify the same animal. The porcupine should not be confused with the curly looking completely different. The hedgehog is omnivorous, is a solitary animal, has shorter spines and is considerably smaller in size.
The animal has short and wide legs, equipped with five fingers. The fingers are clawed. Its "footprints" can be recognized as the first toe of the foreleg has considerably reduced dimensions.
When theanimal he feels threatened with bristles and quills, including the shorter and more fragile quills of the tail. By straightening the quills, the spiny appears much larger than it really is. When really threatened, the porcupine loads its attacker backwards, causing wounds (even serious ones) in the skin of the aggressor who remains "stabbed" by the quills of the rump.
In Africa, porcupines are preyed upon by lions and, thanks to this defense, they often manage to escape them effectively.
Where does he live
The porcupine is a nocturnal, terrestrial animal. When kept in captivity, the porcupine also tends to assume diurnal habits.
Where do porcupines live? In the wild, porcupines take refuge in caves, holes under trees or other makeshift lairs during the day. The porcupine does not build its den but uses abandoned dens of other animals. It also lives in the rocky crevasses or in the rocky ditches of the countryside areas.
Unlike the hedgehog which is a solitary animal, theporcupinesthey are gregarious and social: if you find a porcupine den, there will probably be two or more individuals inside it (depending on the size of the den). The presence of a porcupine is signaled to other similar by glandular secretions used to mark the territory.
In the photo above an albino porcupine or white porcupine. A natural genetic mutation that is very rare in nature.
The porcupine verse is used during the preliminary stages of mating but also to alert the conspecifics of any dangers.
Small curiosity: we are used to seeing the "four-legged" porcupine. During the mating ritual, the male porcupine "walks on its hind legs" assuming a funny gait!
In Italy, porcupines are widespread throughout the peninsula, in Sicily and on the Island of Elba. It lives up to 3,550 meters above sea level and due to its eating habits it is not uncommon to find it in vegetable gardens.
Porcupine: what it eats
After seeingwhere does he live, let's seewhat the porcupine eats. Its diet is limited to the plant kingdom. TheporcupinesI'mherbivorous animals.
Porcupine, what does it eat?
- Cassava (also known as cassava or yuca)
L'hedgehog eats also herbaceous species that can be toxic to humans such as Arum italicum also known as wild calla.
For its food, porcupines can take refuge and hide in agricultural warehouses and eat sweet potatoes and cassava where they are stored by the farmer, without wasting time digging! In practice ... sometimes the porcupine steals the food it eats! It is precisely the food sources that induce porcupines to approach the countryside.
The porcupine is vegetarian but there is no shortage of predators in nature that feed on its meat. Thanks to its effective defensive system, the porcupine is able to dissuade many potential predators. This defensive system has not dissuaded man. In some areas, humans can hunt porcupines for food.
Several African populations use porcupines as a food source but hunt few individuals.