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Mohawk and Ginsu: Brothers born at Zoo Miami on July 20, 2010. They arrived at the Philadelphia Zoo on July 19, 2011.
Look for our two porcupines sharing living space with our black and white colobus monkey troop. They investigate the lower areas and rest below the monkeys.
Colobus exhibit, across from the Children’s Zoo
They are considered semifossorial living rodents (adapted for a digging lifestyle), thus they will share burrow systems with aardvarks and will inhabit abandoned termite mounds. They may dig burrows up to 65 feet (20 meters) deep.
A typical lifespan for a crested porcupine ranges between 15-20 years in zoos and 10-12 years in the wild.
When excited or upset by a predator they will stop and turn their hindquarters towards the predator, fluff out their quills to appear larger and begin shaking their quills and going towards the threat. Often times throughout their range one may observe leopards, lions and hyenas with quills on their face or necks due to encounters with porcupines.
A porcupine couple will remain monogamous. Births may occur between August and March. Gestation is 90-110 days. A litter size may include 1-3 pups. The pups are nidifugous (relatively developed at birth). The weight of a neonate is on average 12 ounces (350 grams). The pup will nurse for up to 100 days and will reach adult size by the age of 1 year. Family groups may include up to 6 individuals, consisting of adult pair, juveniles from previous litters and the current litter.
They are a short, heavy bodied rodent that measures 25-29 inches (63-73 cm) in length. They have a very short tail measuring 4-5 inches (11-13 cm). The longest quill size may be up to 20 inches (51 cm).
Range is 10-25 pounds (4.5-11 kg).
African crested porcupines are primarily herbivores consuming mostly root vegetables in the wild; however, they will occasionally consume carrion. At the Zoo the porcupines are offered a base diet of commercial herbivore and rodent food that provides the majority of nutrients the animals require. The balance of nutrients are provided through the enrichment portion of the diet. This includes a variety of vegetables, fruit, and a small amount of leafy greens.
These prickly rodents inhabit tropical forests, woodlands, mountain steppes, sandhills and barren deserts.
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