The Porcupine is the largest rodent in southern Africa and can weigh up to 20kg.
Porcupines are best known for their coat of sharp spines and quills that defend them from predators. They have good hearing and when they feel threatened, can become aggressive, raising their quills in defence. They also shake their tails creating a loud rattling sound by the hollow quills, which amplify the sound. If the threat attacks the porcupine, it turns and rushes backward to impale the intruder. They do not "shoot" their quills at an offender.
As rodents they have two top and bottom incisor teeth used for gnawing. Although they are herbivores, bones are often found around a porcupine's burrow. They gnaw on bones in order to get phosphorous and calcium in their diets.
Porcupines are nocturnal and found in most parts of southern Africa.