African Crested Porcupine

Scientific Name: Hystrix cristata

Habitat: The African crested porcupine is found across North Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa as well as Italy. 

Diet: African crested porcupines are herbivores and eat roots, bulbs, and leaves, but are also known to eat insects, small vertebrates, and carrion.

Size: 2 to 3 feet long

Weight: 22 to 66 pounds

Lifespan: About 20 years

Conservation Status:


Our African Crested Porcupines:

Joey (Female) – Born March 16, 2012

Did You Know?!

  • When it is confronted by a predator, the African crested porcupine raises its 12-13 inch quills to appear larger. If this strategy doesn’t chase off the predator, the porcupine stamps its feet and rattles its hollow-tipped tail quills. The last resort is to run backwards and ram the attacker with the short, thick quills on its backside.
  • Crested porcupines are nocturnal and forage alone at night. They can travel up to 9 miles in their search for food.
  • Crested porcupines are monogamous and live in small family groups, called prickles, that are comprised of an adult pair or an adult pair with offspring.
  • Like other rodents, crested porcupines have a single pair of sharp, continually growing incisor teeth that they use to gnaw and rip tough plant material. They must continually chew hard objects to file their teeth down.
  • Crested porcupines are the largest rodent in Africa and the largest of the porcupines.