Indian Crested Porcupine

Hystrix indica

Night life

Indian crested porcupines cannot see very well, so instead use their highly developed hearing and sense of smell to get around. Since they are predominantly nocturnal, this is generally not a problem. During the day they hide in dens that they have dug themselves or taken over from other animals.


  • Origin

    Eastern Mediterranean and Central Asia as far as India, Nepal and China

  • Habitat

    temperate forests, tropical forests and savannahs

  • Diet

    Roots, tubers, bark, fruits

  • Status

    least concern

  • Size

    75 cm

  • Weight

    10–20 kg

  • Gestation period

    112 days

  • Achievable age

    approx. 20 years

Threat Categories of IUCN

Dangerous when rattled

Porcupines have two different types of quills: long ones that they raise when danger threatens in order to appear larger, and small, hollow quills on their rumps that they rattle to frighten off potential predators.

Did you know?

Porcupine quills are made of keratin, the same material as human hair and nails.
Baby porcupines are born with very soft quills, which do not harden until the babies are over a week old.

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