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Tang

 

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Africa

African Crested Porcupine

(Hystrix cristata)

Idol & Cyndi

 

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Conservation-Status-Chart.png

Least Concern (IUCN 3.1)[1]

Scientific classification

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Mammalia

Order: Rodentia

Family: Hystricidae

Genus: Hystrix

Species: H. cristata

Binomial name

Hystrix cristata

Linnaeus, 1758

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The African Crested porcupine is the largest in the world. Their quills measure up to 13 inches long and when confronted by a predictor the porcupines will stomp their feet, click their teeth and rattle the hollow quills. The porcupine rasises their quills to make themselves look bigger and will run backwards at you ramming the animal or person with the quills which lodge into the skin and injure or kill. 

 

African Crested porcupines are nocturnal and will travel up to nine miles in the dark foraging for food. They eat root crops, bark, bulbs and tubers. While they forage alone they are monogamous and live in small groups. The female will carry one to four babies for about 112 days. While they have sharp teeth and open eyes when born, their quills are soft hardening about a week later when they leave their den. 

African Crested porcupines are not endangered and are considered pests since they eat crops and burrow extensively.  They will weigh up to 66 pounds and will range from two to three feet in size. 

Fennec Fox

(Vulpes zerda)

Sting & Roxie

 

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Conservation-Status-Chart.png

Least Concern (IUCN 3.1)[1]

Scientific classification

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Mammalia

Order: Carnivora

Family: Canidae

Genus: Vulpes

Species: V. zerda

Binomial name

Vulpes zerda

(Zimmermann, 1780)

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The Fennec fox or "desert fox" is the smallest fox in the world. They typically weigh from 1.76 pounds to 3.3 pounds. The tail makes up the majority of the body length. These beautiful foxes have extremely large ears in comparison to the body. The ears help disperse heat and extreme panting also helps regulate body temperature. Breathing rates can increase form 23 breaths per minutue to 690 breaths per minute. Burrowing underground in the heat of the desert day and obtaining moisture from food, the fennec fox can live for long periods without water. They are omnivores eating fruit, leaves, roots, rodents, eggs, birds, insects and more.

 The fennec foy has 32 chromosome pairs, while other fox species have between 35 and 39. The species also displays behaviors uncharacteristic of foxes, such as living in packs while most other fox species are solitary. Its phylogenetic relationship is presented in the cladogram below

Fennec foxes breed once a year in January or February, carry the young for about 50 days and have from 1 to 6 pups. The pups are born with eyes closed and typically weigh under 2 ounces. Fennec foxes are monogamous and live from 10-12 years. 

Four-Toed Hedgehog

(Atelerix albiventris)

Mr Pickles & Mrs Butter

 

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Conservation-Status-Chart.png

Least Concern (IUCN 3.1)[1]

Scientific classification

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Mammalia

Order: Eulipotyphla

Family: Erinaceidae

Genus: Atelerix

Species: A. albiventris

Binomial name

Atelerix albiventris

(Wagner, 1841)

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Populations tend to be scattered between suitable savannah or cropland habitats, avoiding forested areas. The species common name is derived from the number of toes found on its hind feet. 

The main predators of four-toed hedgehogs within their natural habitat are Verreaux's eagle-owl, jackals, hyenas, and honey badgers.

This species tends to prefer temperatures between 24 and 30 °C. When it is hotter than that, it tends to find shelter in a burrow and go into a state of estivation, or when it is colder it goes into a state of hibernation in order to conserve energy. 

The four-toed hedgehog is a solitary, nocturnal animal. It generally moves along the ground, but is capable of both climbing and swimming when the need arises. It is highly energetic, sometimes covering miles of ground in a single night as it forages for insects, grubs, snails, spiders, some plant matter, and even small vertebrates. It has a high tolerance for toxins and has been recorded consuming scorpions and even venomous snakes.

The most common sounds made by four-toed hedgehogs are snorts, hisses, and a quiet twittering sound. When attacked, the animal can scream loudly, and males also produce a birdlike call during courtship. 

When encountering a predator, its standard defensive reaction is to tense up all the muscles on its back to cause its spines to stand erect, and then roll into a ball protecting its limbs and head. If it is harassed further, it will twitch in an attempt to jab spines into the predator and make snuffling/grunting noises. Its spines are not released into the skin of an attacker, as those of a porcupine. Hedgehogs only rarely lose quills during adulthood; heavy quill loss is usually a warning sign as to the animal's health.

When the four-toed hedgehog is introduced to a new or particularly strong smell, it will sometimes do what is referred to as self-anointing. It creates a large amount of foam by combining the aromatic substance with its saliva, and spreads it onto its spines. The purpose of this behavior is poorly understood, but it is thought to be a defensive action, as hedgehogs have been known to self-anoint with poisonous toads. Lifespan is typically 4–6 years. Due to its energetic nature, many owners provide their hedgehog with a large running wheel. Some measure the distances their pets run every night, and some have claimed that their hedgehogs run upwards of 8 kilometres (5.0 mi) a night with speed bursts in excess of 16 kilometres per hour (9.9 mph).

Dromedary Camel

(Camelus dromedarius)

Snoopy & Woodstock

 

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