Behavior

Old World porcupines, which are ground living (terrestrial) and slow moving, are called "Old World" in order to distinguish them from the arboreal (tree climbing) porcupines of the New World. Mainly nocturnal (hiding during the day) and terrestrial. These animals walk heavily on the sole of the foot with the heel touching the ground, and run with a shuffling gait or gallop clumsily when pursued. Except for genus Trichys, they rattle their spines when moving and may also stamp their feet when alarmed. Temperament (from obser-

An Indian crested porcupine (Hystrix indica) with relaxed quills. (Photo by S. Nagendra/Photo Researchers, Inc. Reproduced by permission.)
A North African porcupine (Hystrix cristata) raises the quills along its head, nape, and back in a defensive crest. (Photo by © Joe McDonald/Cor-bis. Reproduced by permission.)

vations in captivity) ranges from shy and nervous to docile; some species are moderately gregarious. Chief predators are wild cats, birds of prey, hyenas, and pythons.

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