May 25, 2008

Quill Pig

Meet Pierce the African Crested Porcupine. He is yet another distinguished denizen of Mary's zoo.

There are many creatures in nature that go out of their way to warn would-be predators to stay away. But few do it so well as the porcupine (also known as the quill pig). Hystrix africaeaustralis is a large rodent, weighing it at 22-65 lbs, and grows to be upwards of 34 inches long. You wouldn't know it, but this porcupine is very social (a great host and entertainer) and they love licking each other.

The neck is covered with bristles and the tail with rattling quills, but the back is covered with both quills and spines. The quills can get to about a foot in length, and the spines almost two feet. When threatened, the porcupine turns around and charges backwards, thereby impaling whatever's threatening it.

I guess you can feel free to be social if you can pack that kind of heat.

4 comments:

stormydragon said...

Not sure how this qualifies as ugly. He looks pretty cute to me!

Thistle said...

We used to have one of these in the education room of the zoo where I worked as a younger lass. I can still remember picking pieces of her quill out of the carpet. She was a little cutie, but those quills weren't.

meg said...

soooo cute!

. . . Lisa and Robb . . . said...

I think I'm in love.....