Indian Porcupine

The Indian Porcupine or Indian Crested Porcupine (Hystrix indica) is a member of the Old World porcupines. It is quite an adaptable rodent, found throughout southern Asia and the Middle East. It is tolerant of several different habitats. It lives in the mountains, tropical and subtropical grasslands, scrublands, and forests. This is a large rodent, growing more that three feet long and weighs 32 pounds. It is covered in multiple layers of quills. The longest quills grow from its shoulders to about a third of the animal’s length. Its tail is a covered in short, hollow quill that can rattle when threatened. It has broad feet and long claws for digging. When attacked, the Indian porcupine raises its quills and rattles the hollow quills on its tail. If the predator persists past these threats, the porcupine launches a backwards assault. It hopes to stab its attacker with its quills. It does this so effectively that most brushes between predators and the Indian porcupine end in death or severe injury.

Its longevity is unclear. It produces litters of variable size (four at the largest) each year. The Indian porcupine is nocturnal and creates underground shelters. It eats various plants, fruits, grains, and roots. Its diet of plant matter makes it an agricultural pest to local farmers. In addition, the Indian porcupine has been observed gnawing on bones to extract the minerals it contains.