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Sculptures by Phyllis Bone

Crested Porcupine, Hystrix spp

Suborder Hystricognathi

Old World porcupines live in Africa and some parts of Asia. Porcupines are vegetarian, feeding on roots, bulbs and fruit. In cultivated fields porcupines can cause a great deal of damage by digging up crops such as potatoes and groundnuts.

When slightly angry the porcupine raises its quills and rattles specialised hollow quills on its tail. If this fails to have the desired effect the hind feet are thumped on the ground in a war dance accompanying the rattling. Only if the threat persists will the porcupine turn its back on its opponents and charge backwards with its lethal spines at the ready.