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Atherurus africanus 

Actual scientific name :   Atherurus africanus 
Old scientific name :    
French name :   Athérure
English name :   African brush-tailed porcupine
Vernacular name :  
Kasaka (Kitshok)

Call :  
Description :   Average length: 65 cm (with a tail of 15 cm); weight: between 1 and 4 kg. Body is elongated and legs are short. Dark-brown or black above, light-brown or white below. Body is covered with different types of spines. The softest ones are present on the head, the neck and the stomach. In the middle of the back, spines are longer and are intertwined with thicker spines. Tail is long, scaled and covered with spines. It ends in a tuft of hair looking like platelets. Feet are webbed and have 5 claws.  
Habitat :   Forests.  
Behaviour :   Nocturnal. During the day, shelter in burrows that they dig themselves or in aarvark’s burrows; in crevices or under rocks. Usually live in family groups of 6 to 8 individuals and composed of a male, a female and their young. Agile climbers and good swimmers. When agitated, raise their spines, giving the appearance of a body twice its actual size. They also rattle the tails and stomp their feet. When attacking a predator, they tackle backward, embedding the spines in the enemy. If the, causing the spines to become embedded in the enemy. The spines are only loosely rooted in the procupine's back, so they are easily released and stay in the target. 
Diet :   Bulbs, roots, barks, leaves and fruits.  
Life history :   After about 100 days of gestation, females give birth to 1 or 2 young. They only leave their hideout after about 2 weeks when their spines have hardened. 
Distribution in Katanga :    
History, Ethnology, Sociology
Interactions with humans :    
Taboos :    
Legends, believes, folklore :    
Fishing, hunting :    
Feeding :    
Breeding, taming :    
Uses of skin or other body parts :    

Warning :

This database was established according to official pieces of work and with the help of famous scientists. However, there might be some errors.

The vernacular names were collected in the field and in the colonial literature from the first part of the 20th century. The monks who established the first dictionaries were not necessarily informed naturalists. Therefore, errors must have been committed.

We invite everyone who could help us to improve this working tool to contact us in order to correct us and share her/his knowledge with us.

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