India to Arabia
Forests, plantations, rocky areas, mountain steppes & sandhill deserts, up to 11,000 feet elevation
Wild: Bark, roots, tubers, rhizomes, bulbs, fallen fruits, cultivated crops, insects and small vertebrates
About 112 days
Head and body length can range from 23 to 36 inches; tail length from 3 to 6 inches, and weight from 22 to 66 pounds. The head, neck, shoulders, limbs and underside of the body are covered with coarse, dark brown or black bristles. There are long quills along the head, nape and back, and these quills can be raised into a crest. The rattle quills of the short tail are well developed.These porcupines are highly adaptable as to habitat. They shelter in caves, rock crevices, aardvark holes, or burrows that they dig themselves. The burrows often have several entrances, are sometimes used for many years, and can become quite extensive. Hystrix is nocturnal and terrestrial. It does not usually climb trees, but is able to swim well. Its movement is described as “easy and graceful.” They tend to follow paths, and may cover up to 9 miles per night in search of food. Piping calls and a pig-like grunt have been reported. When they encounter another animal they raise and fan their quills, more than doubling their apparent size. If still bothered they stamp their feet, whirr their quills, then finally charge backward, attempting to drive the thicker, shorter quills of the rump into the enemy.
Where in the Zoo?
I can be found in the Tropical Rain Storm at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo.