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Hystrix africaeaustralis 

Actual scientific name :   Hystrix africaeaustralis 
Old scientific name :    
French name :   Porc-épic
English name :   Cape Porcupine
Vernacular name :  
Kinungu (Kitabwa) ; Nungu (Kikaonde) ; Niungu (Kilala) ; Inunji (Kilamba) ; cisekele (Kitshok) ; nkese (Tshiluba) ; chinungi, chisaka (Lunda); ichinungi, chinunji, kinungi (Kibemba) ; nungu (Kiluba) ; Nungu (Kiswahili)


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Description :   Porcupines are one of the largest rodents of Africa. Length: 80 cm (with a tail of 12 cm); weight: between 10 and 24 kg. Females are heavier than males. Body is covered with long, cylindric spines. Back, rump and tail are covered with spines ringed with brown, black and white. These measure up to 60 cm long. Head and neck are covered with a crest of long erectile hair. The rest of the body is covered with short black hair. Body is elongated and legs are short and heavily built. Feet are webbed and have claws. Tail is short and with a rattle of hollow, open-ended quills at the end.  
Habitat :   Wide variety of habitats, preferring rocky areas.  
Behaviour :   Nocturnal. During the day, shelter in burrows that they dig themselves or in other species’ burrows; in crevices or under rocks. Live singly, in pairs or in family groups composed of a male, a female and their young. When agitated, raise their spines, giving the appearance of a body twice its actual size. They also rattle the tails, emit a growl 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. Live for 12 to 15 years.  
Diet :   Bulbs, roots, barks, leaves and fruits. 
Life history :   After about 95 days of gestation, females give birth to a litter of 1 to 3 young. Weaned after 10 to 20 weeks and only leave their hideout after about 2 weeks when their spines have hardened.  
Distribution in Katanga :   view map  
History, Ethnology, Sociology
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Fishing, hunting :    
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Breeding, taming :    
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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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