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African Porcupines

African Porcupines
Photo Information
Copyright: Albert Herbigneaux (albert) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 421 W: 12 N: 670] (2971)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2007-06-27
Categories: Mammals
Camera: Nikon D200 with MB-200, AF-S VR Zoom-Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G
Exposure: f/2.8, 1/500 seconds
Details: Tripod: Yes (Fill) Flash: Yes
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2008-03-30 4:24
Viewed: 25010
Points: 32
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
It is not easy to find the African Porcupine a noctural rodent in the bush, but at Okonjima the lodge has organised a very efficient observatory shelter and with a bit of patience you will see them .
However to get a picture you will need a long tele lense and a strong flash light. For this photo I had to use a multiplicator 1.7 on a 200mm and a flash beam extender

The Crested Porcupine, also known as the African Porcupine, (Hystrix cristata), is a member of the Old World porcupine family. It is a nocturnal rodent that lives on the ground and is found from Sicily, Italy, the northern coast of Africa south to Tanzania and northern Congo. It is tolerant of a range of habitats including mountains, deserts, and forests.
The Crested Porcupine grows 60-83 cm long with a tail 8-17 cm long and weighs 13-27 kg. It is covered in quills. It can live up to 21 years in captivity.
The porcupine uses its tail as a form of defence. The small spines can deter predators.
Both the male and female African Porcupines weigh from 18 to 30 kg (about 40 to 60 pounds) and are about two feet long. The African Porcupine is a type of Rodent that has long sharp spines, up to 50cm long, which cover its whole back and can be raised by muscles under the skin. Although it is similar in appearance to the Echidna it is not closely related.
African porcupines are mostly vegetarian, using their strong digging claws to get roots, tubers, and bulbs. They are also fond of fallen fruits and will sometimes gnaw on bark. Their anterior large intestine and enlarged appendix contain microorganisms that break down undigested plant fibers. They have also been reported to eat carrion in some instances. In areas deficient in phosphorous they practice osteophagia, or gnawing on bones. These porcupines will often accumulate large piles of bones in their dens.

CeltickRanger, jusninasirun, sandpiper2, soccer, uleko, ramthakur, Jamesp, loot, vanderschelden, anel, boreocypriensis has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To anel: Merci Annealbert 1 06-14 06:14
To loot: African Porcupinealbert 1 05-04 06:56
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Critiques [Translate]

nice family, we have them in Israel as well, they eat all our flower bulbs at the Jerusalem Botacnial Gardens. TFS Ori

  • Great 
  • cako Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 485 W: 0 N: 772] (3395)
  • [2008-03-30 9:31]

Hi Albert
This is very nice picture.
well done.

bonjour Albert

superbe image de ses Porc-épics Africains
avec une excellente lumière, excellent POV et DOF,
excellente netteté et détails de ces bestioles, TFS


Thanks for sharing this excellent image Albert. You have captured these animal in flawless clarity even though they are hard to spot. Well done and best regards. Jusni

Hi Albert

Great shot of this porcupine group.
I like teh composition and good sharpness.



A very unusual spot and pic. The Lighting is very good for night time and gives good detail of the subjects.

  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2008-03-31 8:42]

Hello Albert,
WHat a splendid capture of this group of Porcupines standing out very nicely against the sand. Good focus, great sharpness and natural colours. A very fine composition too.
TFS and regards, Ulla

  • Great 
  • EOSF1 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1393 W: 119 N: 5267] (23955)
  • [2008-04-01 20:48]

Hahahaha! Quelle bonne photo, tout y est parfait, la composition, la netteté et l'exposition! Bravo et merci!


  • Great 
  • waylim Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 296 W: 8 N: 489] (1765)
  • [2008-04-03 18:16]

Wow, how cute are these orcupines. Very well captured, with good sharpness and clarity. I enjoyed it.

Sharp and crisp image of these Porcupines, Albert.
Though I used to collect the quills of these animals in my younger days, I was never able to see even a single one of them with my own eyes in my whole life.
That way, your picture gives me a wonderful ooportunity to view five of them foraging together at night.
TFS and regards.

Bonjour Albert,
What a look! Qu'elle espèce originale, je n'en avais jamais vu des comme ça auparavent! Ce sont de bien curieuses petites bêtes. Tu as capté de très bons détails dans une excellente composition et maitrise du flash. Merci pour cette photo intéressante.

  • Great 
  • Jamesp Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1369 W: 9 N: 6334] (18906)
  • [2008-04-11 9:54]

Hi Albert

This is, as you say, a rare and difficult capture. I have only seen them once - on a night drive in the Chulu Hills, Kenya. A great shot - good composition and POV with good colour and superb detail. Well observed and captured.


  • Great 
  • loot Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5524 W: 722 N: 4163] (11276)
  • [2008-04-16 8:42]
  • [3] [+]

Hi Albert

What a lovely bunch of rare and seldom seen porcupines. You managed to capture a fine shot of these rodents foraging for food morsels left at the feed. Good details and excellent colour rendition given the difficult circumstances you had to deal with.

I have to disagree with the species though. Hystrix cristata is the North African porcupine and is found north of the Equator. Actually your notes describes the location / distribution of the Northern species. The species which you obviously captured here is the Southern African porcupine - Hystrix africaeaustralis. According to my sources these species are "very similar and cannot be separated in the field", so it is merely a mater of location.

During my recent visit to Abu Madi Game Reserve, I had the opportunity to photograph some of these interesting night crawlers from up close, also at a feeding spot. I was ±3m from the porcupines when I photographed them. At near 1m in length they are a pretty sight from up close. I will soon post a photo and obviously tell the whole story to go with it.

Well done and TFS.

Hallo Albert,
Guess you are privileged to see these animals in the wild...
Was surprised to read somewhere that their weapons are sometimes deadly for lions...
Well done

  • Great 
  • anel Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 3053 W: 3 N: 8715] (40574)
  • [2009-06-14 1:50]
  • [+]

Bonjour Albert,
Comment vas-tu? es-tu retourné chez toi? Comme tu n'as pas encore mis de nouvelles images sur le site, je me suis promenée dans ta galerie et j'ai découvert ce petit bijou d'image. Cela ne m'étonne pas qu'elle ait été regardé déjà presque 5000 fois. Sujet plaisant, bien photographié et de belles couleurs naturelles. Bien vu!
Une belle journée

Hi MF Albert,
An another awesome capture on wild life. A national geographic taste for me... Excellent focus and composition.
TFS and have a nice Sunday MF!

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