Crested Porcupine Trivia

Crested Porcupine

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What is the crested porcupine’s gait?
Plantigrade
The crested porcupine’s gait is plantigrade.
Digitigrade
Unguligrade

What do crested porcupines do when threatened?
Fan Quills
The quills of crested porcupines serve as an effective defense against predation. When disturbed, they raise and fan the quills to create an illusion of greater size. If the disturbance continues, they stamp their feet, whirr their quills and charge the enemy, back end first, attempting to stab with the thicker, shorter, sturdier quills.
Stamp Feet
The quills of crested porcupines serve as an effective defense against predation. When disturbed, they raise and fan the quills to create an illusion of greater size. If the disturbance continues, they stamp their feet, whirr their quills and charge the enemy, back end first, attempting to stab with the thicker, shorter, sturdier quills.
Charge Backwards
The quills of crested porcupines serve as an effective defense against predation. When disturbed, they raise and fan the quills to create an illusion of greater size. If the disturbance continues, they stamp their feet, whirr their quills and charge the enemy, back end first, attempting to stab with the thicker, shorter, sturdier quills.
Shoot Quills

Much of our knowledge of crested porcupine breeding comes from where?
Captivity
Much of our knowledge of crested porcupine breeding behavior comes from captive individuals.
Wild

What type of porcupine is the crested porcupine?
Old World
The crested porcupine is a species of rodent in the genus Hystrix, a genus of porcupines containing most of the Old World porcupines, only two of which are found outside of Asia.
New World

The crested porcupine is protected under international and domestic legislation in what continent?
Europe
The crested porcupine is strictly protected under international and domestic legislation in Europe. It is protected under Appendix II of the Bern Convention and is listed on Annex IV of the EU Habitats and Species Directive. It has also been protected under Italian national law since 1974.
Africa
Asia
North America

The crested porcupine is the only species of porcupine in the Hystrix genus.
False
The crested porcupine is a species of rodent in the genus Hystrix, a genus of eight species of porcupines.
True

When does a crested porcupine’s quills harden after birth?
1 Week
Young crested porcupines leave the den for the first time after only one week, at which time the spines begin to harden.
1 Hour
1 Month
1 Day

What is the crested porcupine’s evaluation in Morocco?
Endangered
In Morocco, the crested porcupine is considered “Endangered.”
Least Concern
Near Threatened
Vulnerable

What is the crested porcupine’s global population trend?
Unknown
The crested porcupine’s global population trend is unknown.
Increasing
Decreasing
Stable

What is an alternate name for the crested porcupine?
African Crested Porcupine
The crested porcupine is also known as the African crested porcupine.
Indian Crested Porcupine
Cape Porcupine
Thick-Spined Porcupine

What does the crested porcupine gnaw on for calcium and sharpening incisors?
Bone
The crested porcupine commonly gnaws on bones for calcium and to sharpen incisors.
Rock
Quills
Bark

What preys on crested porcupines?
Lions
In addition to humans, enemies of the crested porcupine include lions (Panthera leo), leopards (Panthera pardus), large birds of prey, and hyaenas.
Leopards
In addition to humans, enemies of the crested porcupine include lions (Panthera leo), leopards (Panthera pardus), large birds of prey, and hyaenas.
Hyaenas
In addition to humans, enemies of the crested porcupine include lions (Panthera leo), leopards (Panthera pardus), large birds of prey, and hyaenas.
Birds
In addition to humans, enemies of the crested porcupine include lions (Panthera leo), leopards (Panthera pardus), large birds of prey, and hyaenas.

What is the crested porcupine’s scientific name?
Hystrix cristata
The crested porcupine’s scientific name is Hystrix cristata.
Hystrix indica
Hystrix brachyura
Hystrix africaeaustralis

How long are the crested porcupine’s quills?
35 cm. / 14 in.
The crested porcupine’s quills are about 35 centimeters, or 14 inches, long.
15 cm. / 6 in.
75 cm. / 30 in.
55 cm. / 22 in.

Why is the crested porcupine considered a pest?
Gnaws Rubber Trees
In parts of its range, the crested porcupine is considered an agricultural pest species because it causes damage to crops and fields by gnawing the bark of plantation rubber trees and eating corn, pumpkins, sweet potatoes, cassava, and young cotton plants.
Eats Crops
In parts of its range, the crested porcupine is considered an agricultural pest species because it causes damage to crops and fields by gnawing the bark of plantation rubber trees and eating corn, pumpkins, sweet potatoes, cassava, and young cotton plants.
Spreads Disease
Burrows through Fields

What is the crested porcupine’s mating system?
Monogamy
The social life of the crested porcupine is based on monogamy and long, intensive care of the young.
Polygyny
Polyandry
Polygynandry

The crested porcupine is what type of forager?
Solitary
The crested porcupine is a solitary forager.
Social

What is the crested porcupine’s rhythm?
Nocturnal
The crested porcupine is a strictly nocturnal animal.
Diurnal
Crepuscular
Cathemeral

What is the crested porcupine’s primary diet?
Herbivorous
The crested porcupine is primarily a herbivorous forager.
Carnivorous
Unknown
Omnivorous

When do crested porcupines mate?
Night
Crested porcupine mating occurs only at night.
Morning
Evening
Day

What is the crested porcupine?
Habitat Generalist
The crested porcupine is a highly adaptable habitat generalist.
Habitat Specialist

Crested porcupines often climb trees.
False
Crested porcupines are terrestrial, rarely climbing trees.
True

What parts of the crested porcupine’s body are relatively small?
Tail
The crested porcupine has very small eyes and external ears. It is distinct among Old World porcupines due to its shorter tail, averaging 8-17 centimeters or 3-7 inches. The animal’s nasal cavity is enlarged.
Ears
The crested porcupine has very small eyes and external ears. It is distinct among Old World porcupines due to its shorter tail, averaging 8-17 centimeters or 3-7 inches. The animal’s nasal cavity is enlarged.
Eyes
The crested porcupine has very small eyes and external ears. It is distinct among Old World porcupines due to its shorter tail, averaging 8-17 centimeters or 3-7 inches. The animal’s nasal cavity is enlarged.
Nose

What is a group of crested porcupines called?
Prickle
A group of crested porcupines is called a prickle.
Quiver
Bristle
Spine

Crested porcupines will use the same burrow for many years.
True
Burrows are often extensive and used for many years.
False

Crested porcupines hibernate in the winter.
False
Individual crested porcupines may remain in burrows through winter but they don’t truly hibernate.
True

How is the crested porcupine distinct from Old World porcupines?
Shorter Tail
The crested porcupine is distinct among Old World porcupines due to its shorter tail, averaging 8-17 centimeters or 3-7 inches, and the presence of rattle quills. These quills broaden at the terminal end and this section is hollow and thin-walled. When these quills are vibrated, they produce a hiss-like rattle.
Rattle Quills
The crested porcupine is distinct among Old World porcupines due to its shorter tail, averaging 8-17 centimeters or 3-7 inches, and the presence of rattle quills. These quills broaden at the terminal end and this section is hollow and thin-walled. When these quills are vibrated, they produce a hiss-like rattle.
Longer Tail
Larger Ears

What is the crested porcupine’s global evaluation on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species?
Least Concern
Globally the crested porcupine is very widespread and is therefore listed as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
Near Threatened
Vulnerable
Endangered

How many litters does a female crested porcupine have each year?
1
Female crested porcupines usually only have one litter per year.
2
3
5

Crested porcupine is considered a delicacy.
True
Because the crested porcupine is a favored food item for humans and its meat is considered a delicacy, there should be some investigation into harvest levels in the North Africa and West Africa areas.
False

How long is a crested porcupine?
60-93 cm. / 24-37 in.
The average head and body length of the crested porcupine is 60-93 centimeters (24-37 inches), with a tail length of 8-17 centimeters (3-7 inches).
30-63 cm. / 12-24 in.
90-123 cm. / 35-48 in.
120-153 cm. / 47-60 in.

The crested porcupine’s nasal cavity is enlarged.
True
The crested porcupine’s nasal cavity is enlarged.
False

What order is the crested porcupine in?
Rodentia
The crested porcupine is in the Rodentia order.
Carnivora
Dasyuromorphia
Didelphimorphia

The crested porcupine is found in several protected areas throughout its range.
True
The crested porcupine is found in several protected areas throughout its range.
False

Which continents does the crested porcupine inhabit?
Africa
The crested porcupine is found in Europe, North Africa, and sub-Saharan Africa.
Europe
The crested porcupine is found in Europe, North Africa, and sub-Saharan Africa.
Asia
North America

When does a young crested porcupine’s white stripes begin to fade?
1 Month
The five white stripes found on the side of young crested porcupines start to disappear at four weeks.
1 Week
6 Months
1 Year

Crested porcupines are commonly sold in markets.
True
The species is very commonly sold in local markets.
False

How are crested porcupine population densities changing in mainland Italy?
Increasing
In mainland Italy, population densities of the crested porcupine are increasing, and the species is expanding its range northwards. On Sicily, the porcupine is widespread, and the long-term population trend appears to be stable.
Decreasing

What feature originated the crested porcupine’s common and scientific names?
Quills
The crested porcupine’s common name refers to the quills along the head, nape, and back that can be raised into a crest, in addition to sturdier quills about 35 centimeters, or 14 inches, long along the sides and back half of the body generally used for defensive purposes. The specific name, cristatus, comes from Latin and means provided with a comb, relating to its crest of quills.
Stripes
Fur
Teeth

How many teeth does a crested porcupine have in each jaw?
5
The crested porcupine has five teeth in each jaw: one incisor, one premolar and three molars.
3
7
9

Crested porcupines have whiskers.
True
The crested porcupine has whiskers and there are long vibrissae on the head.
False

It is legal to poison crested porcupines if they’ve damaged crops.
False
The crested porcupine is sometimes illegally controlled with poison baits and killed because of the damage it may do to crops, a practice which continues.
True

The crested porcupine will travel significant distances in search of food.
True
The crested porcupine is known to travel significant distances in search of food.
False

Small family groups of crested porcupines share an elaborate burrow system.
True
Small family groups, consisting of an adult pair and various infants and juveniles, share an elaborate burrow system.
False

What do crested porcupines eat?
Insects
The crested porcupine’s diet consists of underground bulbs, roots, leaves, tubers, cultivated crops, bark, rhizomes, and fallen fruit. The crested porcupine also occasionally consumes insects, small vertebrates, and carrion.
Carrion
The crested porcupine’s diet consists of underground bulbs, roots, leaves, tubers, cultivated crops, bark, rhizomes, and fallen fruit. The crested porcupine also occasionally consumes insects, small vertebrates, and carrion.
Fruit
The crested porcupine’s diet consists of underground bulbs, roots, leaves, tubers, cultivated crops, bark, rhizomes, and fallen fruit. The crested porcupine also occasionally consumes insects, small vertebrates, and carrion.
Fish

Crested porcupines will mate in and out of their burrows.
True
Crested porcupine mating occurs both in and out of the burrow.
False

In what habitats does the crested porcupine reside?
Forest
The crested porcupine can be found in forest, savanna, shrubland, grassland, rocky, and artificial terrestrial habitats.
Savanna
The crested porcupine can be found in forest, savanna, shrubland, grassland, rocky, and artificial terrestrial habitats.
Artificial Terrestrial
The crested porcupine can be found in forest, savanna, shrubland, grassland, rocky, and artificial terrestrial habitats.
Swamp

Crested porcupines can swim.
True
Crested porcupines are able to swim.
False

The crested porcupine has a higher moonlight avoidance than the Indian crested porcupine.
False
Moonlight avoidance is slight and only occurs in open areas, unlike in the Indian crested porcupine (Hystrix indica), in which significant moonlight avoidance has been documented.
True

With what do crested porcupines line their birthing dens?
Grass
Females will establish a separate, grass-lined den within the burrow system to give birth.
Quills
Fur
Feathers

When do crested porcupines sexually mature?
1-2 Years
Crested porcupine individuals usually reach adult weight at one to two years and are usually sexually mature just before then.
3-4 Years
6-8 Months
1-2 Months

Where are rattle quills located on a crested porcupine?
Tail
The crested porcupine has rattle quills at the end of the tail.
Nape
Back
Head

How many crested porcupines are in a typical litter?
1-2
After a 35 day estrous cycle and 66-112 day gestation period, one to two well-developed offspring are born.
10-15
3-4
8-10

What threatens the crested porcupine?
Poaching
Although it is poached as a favored food item for humans and is poisoned as an agricultural pest species in parts of its range, these are not presently thought to be major threats to the survival of the species.
Poisoning
Although it is poached as a favored food item for humans and is poisoned as an agricultural pest species in parts of its range, these are not presently thought to be major threats to the survival of the species.
Habitat Loss
Disease

Crested porcupine hunting is a major threat to the survival of the species.
False
At present, the hunting of crested porcupine is not thought to be a major threat to the survival of the species.
True

How much does a crested porcupine weigh?
10-30 kg. / 22-66 lb.
Crested porcupines weigh 10-30 kilograms or 22-66 pounds.
30-50 kg. / 66-110 lb.
50-70 kg. / 110-154 lb.
70-90 kg. / 154-198 lb.

Which of the crested porcupine’s bones are fused?
Shin
The crested porcupine’s shin and calf bones are fused.
Calf
The crested porcupine’s shin and calf bones are fused.
Hip
Collar

For what is the crested porcupine used?
Medicine
In Morocco, the crested porcupine is widely used for traditional medicine and witchcraft. Crested porcupine quills are often used as ornaments and talismans.
Ornamentation
In Morocco, the crested porcupine is widely used for traditional medicine and witchcraft. Crested porcupine quills are often used as ornaments and talismans.
Witchcraft
In Morocco, the crested porcupine is widely used for traditional medicine and witchcraft. Crested porcupine quills are often used as ornaments and talismans.
Talismans
In Morocco, the crested porcupine is widely used for traditional medicine and witchcraft. Crested porcupine quills are often used as ornaments and talismans.

Toward whom are female crested porcupines aggressive?
Unknown Males
Females do not show aggression to familiar males, but are aggressive to unknowns.
Unknown Females
Familiar Males
Familiar Females

The crested porcupine’s thumbs are regressed.
True
The forefoot of the crested porcupine has four well-developed, clawed digits while the thumb is regressed.
False

Poison baits are threatening the survival of the crested porcupine species.
False
At present, the control of crested porcupines with poison baits is not thought to be a major threat to the survival of the species.
True

What do crested porcupines collect and bury?
Bones
Crested porcupines may wander upon the skeletons of many animals at night. They have been known to collect thousands of these bones and store them in underground chambers or caves. Sometimes, humans may dig up these bones.
Quills
Seeds
Rocks

What have porcupines have been known to kill?
Lions
Crested porcupine attacks have been known to kill lions, leopard, hyaenas, and even humans.
Leopards
Crested porcupine attacks have been known to kill lions, leopard, hyaenas, and even humans.
Hyaenas
Crested porcupine attacks have been known to kill lions, leopard, hyaenas, and even humans.
Humans
Crested porcupine attacks have been known to kill lions, leopard, hyaenas, and even humans.

How much did you know about the crested porcupine? Share your results in the comments!

Learn More About the Crested Porcupine

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