Common porcupine

Hystrix brachyura

SUBFAMILY

Hystricinae

TAXONOMY

Hystrix brachyura Linnaeus, 1758, Malacca, Malaysia.

H Hystrix brachyura H Hystrix indica H Atherurus macrourus

OTHER COMMON NAMES

English: Common short-tailed porcupine, Malayan porcupine, Southeast Asian porcupine.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

Weight averages 17.6 lb (8 kg), head and body length is 17.9-28.9 in (45.5-73.5 cm), and the tail length is 2.4-5.1 in (6.0-13.0 cm). Spine arrangement and structure resemble subgenus Thecurus. Front half of body covered with short, dark brown spines, while hindquarters have long, pointed, whitish spines, usually with one blackish ring. Short, whitish crest found on neck and upper back. Short tail has long, pointed spines and rattle quills. Females and males possess hollow quills on tail, which are shaken to scare predators.

DISTRIBUTION

Nepal to southeastern China and Malay Peninsula, Hainan, Sumatra, Kalimantan (in Borneo).

HABITAT

Forests, lowlands, hills, cultivated areas.

BEHAVIOR Nocturnal; terrestrial.

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

Fallen fruits including oil palm, roots, and stems.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

Gestation period, number of young at birth, weight at birth, weaning period, and sexual maturity are all similar to those of family.

CONSERVATION STATUS Vulnerable.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS

Hunted for meat. Eat farmers' crops, and are thus perceived as pests. ♦

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