Crested porcupine

Least concern

Ikki and Sahi live together in the park

Scientific name : Hystrix cristata

Where do they live?

In the south of Italy and in northern and western Africa in the mountains and on arid, rocky hills covered in vegetation.

Did you know?

Its quills are its best weapon

To defend themselves, crested porcupines raise the quills on their back. If the opponent persists, the porcupine aims its tail (where the quills are as sharp as nails!) in the direction of the enemy and charges backwards. The quills easily detach from the porcupine and can quickly cover the enemy.

The crested porcupine is one of the largest rodents. They are mostly nocturnal and travel long distances to search of food. They rest in a den or a cave.
They can live in a wide variety of environments, including mountains, deserts and forests.
Their long incisors never stop growing, and they gnaw on branches and tree trunks to file their teeth.


12 to 18 kg.


65 to 85 cm long.


30 to 40 cm long.

Gestation period

80 days.


2 to 4 offspring per litter.

Life expectancy

Between 12 and 25 years.

Human-Animal Connection

Romans are responsible for their presence in Italy

Renowned for their succulent meat since their introduction by the Romans, crested porcupine quills were used in many ways throughout Europe. Still today, fisherman use them as floats for their lightness and resistance.