Porcupine

 
Hystrix africaeastralis
Overall length: 80cm
Body weight: 18 kg
Pregnancy : 93-94 days

The porcupine is the largest African rodent.  It tolerates and has successfully adapted to a wide range of habitats and is distributed throughout southern Africa.  It frequents disused ant-bear holes, holes which it has dug itself, caves or rocky crevices.  Here it raises its young or lies up.  Found alone, in pairs or in a small group, it is nocturnal.  It is armed with lethal quills which it rattles when annoyed or alarmed.  If this fails it will attack in a sideways and backwards running action, in an attempt to impale the attacker.  It does not shoot its quills.  Principal enemies are lions and leopards, although they attack at their own peril.