Crested Porcupine

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Crested Porcupine

Crested PorcupineOriginal.jpg

Character Data
Also known as: African Porcupine
Japanese Name: アフリカタテガミヤマアラシ
Romanised Name: Afurika Tategami Yamaarashi
First Featured in: Kemono Friends (2015 Game)
Animal Data
Scientific Name: Hystrix cristata
Distribution: Italy, North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa
Diet: Herbivore
Average Lifespan in the Wild: 20 Years
Read More: Crested porcupine
Conservation Status: Status iucn3.1 LC.svg.png
Crested Porcupine Anime Festival Nexon Game

The Crested Porcupine is type of porcupine Friend that has made minor appearances in both the Kemono Friends anime and the original Kemono Friends game.

Appearance

Crested Porcupine has somewhat long, coal-colored hair that falls evenly on either side of her head with distinctive, "quill"-like striped locks framing her round face. A "crest" of spiny hair accentuates the very top of her head, awash in a black-to-white gradient. Her gentle eyes are a deep brown.

Ever dapper, the Crested Porcupine Friend dresses herself in a simple but stylish black sweater-vest over top of a gray dress shirt and white business tie, firmly tied and tucked into her vest. She wears a black-and-gray striped skirt that visually bursts into an array of various intimidating but elegant quills. Beneath her skirt are modest black tights and cute Mary Janes. The Crested Porcupine's spiny tail is a simple gray, but accompanied by innumerable striped quills protruding in various directions.

In Real Life

Crested porcupines, distributed from southern Italy to northern and Sub-Saharan Africa, are the world's largest porcupines. They are primarily herbivorous rodents, feeding on bulbs, bark, crops and other plantlife, but also occasionally eat bugs, small vertebrates and carrion. Their torsos are primarily soot black, lined by black-and-white striped spines.

Like all members of the family Hystricidae, the crested porcupine is covered in fearsome quills of varying lengths and thickness which provide it highly effective protection against other animals. When engaged by predators, it raises the roughly foot-long quills along its head and back into a crest (hence its name), giving it a larger and more intimidating appearance. If this does not deter its assailant, the crested porcupine has a wide array of survival skills at its disposal enabling it to evade predation, from simple intimidation tactics to aggressive offensive maneuvers. The rodent's highly defended hindquarters can even be used as a lethal weapon as it charges foes by running backwards and ramming them with their quills.

A crested porcupine brandishing its incredible quills.

Despite the physical challenges of mating (i.e. their quills), this species of porcupine is monogamous, giving birth to a litter of 1-4 "porcupettes" following a pregnancy cycle lasting just under 4 months every year. Crested porcupettes are born into special, grass-lined underground birth chambers within their elaborate subterranean burrow systems. Although they live in family units in their burrows, each grown family member forages for food on the surface by themselves. The crested porcupine is a tough rodent capable of both providing for and defending itself.

Distributed across a wide area, adaptable and well defended against predation by other animals, the crested porcupine is classified by the IUCN as "Least Concern". However, they are still subject to inhumane treatment in some regions, being killed for their quills for usage in ornaments or traditional medicines or hunted illegally by farmers who see them as a pest for eating their cultivated crops.

Trivia

  • In the first season of the Kemono Friends anime, Crested Porcupine's character card translates her name as "African Porcupine", but this is likely an error -- there is no such thing as an African porcupine, although the crested porcupine's range includes much of the African continent.
    • This error seems to extend to various real-life establishments, including zoos, as well. The crested porcupine is often subject to being misidentified both by its taxonomic distinction and common name. In particular, it is often mixed up with the physically similar cape porcupine, native to southern Africa.

References

"African crested porcupine" (On-line), The Oregon Zoo Foundation. Accessed January 25, 2019 at https://www.oregonzoo.org/discover/animals/african-crested-porcupine

Amori, G. & De Smet, K. 2016. "Hystrix cristata" The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T10746A22232484. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-2.RLTS.T10746A22232484.en. Downloaded on 25 January 2019.

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