The Malayan porcupine or Himalayan porcupine is a species of rodent in the family Hystricidae. Three subspecies are extant in Southeast Asia; the Malayan porcupine ranges from Nepal through north-east India, to Bangladesh and southern China, throughout Myanmar, Lao PDR, Cambodia and Vietnam, through Peninsular Malaysia, to Singapore and throughout Borneo. It is present on the island of Penang, Malaysia, it can be found from sea level to at least 1,300 m asl. This species and its close relatives are believed to have originated from southern Asia based on their current distribution, their origin may lie from a common Late Pleistocene ancestor when Sumatra and Palawan were part of Sundaland. It is found in various types of forest habitats, as well as open areas near forests, it may stray into nearby agricultural areas. It inhabits dens near rocky areas, where it lives in small groups, it has a litter size of two or three. The species may give birth to two litters annually, their habitat is terrestrial where they live in the hole of tree roots.
They live in a burrow, from which a network of trails penetrate into surrounding habitat. They can be found in all forest types up to 1500 m altitude, it is a stout-bodied rodent covered with quills which are sharp, rigid structures. The quills are modified hair; those on their upper body parts are rough with black with yellow stripes. The young's soft quills become hard, they have short, stocky legs covered in brown hairs which have four claws on the front and five on the hind legs. Both front and hind legs have smooth soles; the head and body measurement are around 63-72.5 cm and the tail is about 6–11 cm. They weigh around 0.7 kg-2.4 kg. They feed on roots, tubers and fallen fruits, they eat carrion and large tropical seeds such as belonging to Chisocheton cumingianus. H. brachyura rests during the day. It may be found singly or in pairs, it can swim and gnaw.. The sow delivers a single pup at a time, but delivering two pups has been recorded; the gestation period is about 90 to 112 days. Their maximum longevity is about 27 years.
IUCN has categorized this species as Least Concern. The quills of the Malayan porcupine are used for ornamental purposes, they are hunted for meat. I Dahlan,AA Salam,BS Amin,A Osman.. Preference and Intake of Feedstuff by Crested Porcupines in Captivity. Ann Zootech 44, 271. Vaughan, T. A.. Family Hystricidae. In T. A. Vaughan, Mammalogy Third Edition. Arizona: Saunders College Publishing
The Philippine porcupine, or Palawan porcupine is a species of rodent in the family Hystricidae endemic to the island of Palawan in the Philippines. It is known locally as landak, its population is stable, but it is reported to be persecuted by farmers as pests in coconut plantations. Locally common to uncommon, the species is found in primary and secondary forest in the mountains and in the lowlands; this species inhabits caves, but is found under tree buttresses or in rock crevices. It restricted to the Palawan Faunal Region, it has been recorded in the islands of Busuanga and Coron, on the mainland at the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park, the forested areas of El Nido. This mammal appears to have no natural enemies, its outer covering of spines serves as its defense system. It measures about 42–93 cm long, not counting a tail of about 2.5–19 cm and weighs 3.8–5.4 kg. Woods, C. A. & Kilpatrick, C. W. "Hystricognathi", in Wilson, D. E. & Reeder, D. M. Mammal Species of the World: a Taxonomic and Geographic Reference, Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, pp. 1538–1600, ISBN 0-8018-8221-4
African brush-tailed porcupine
The African brush-tailed porcupine is a species of rat-like Old World porcupine, indigenous to a broad belt of Africa ranging from Guinea on the west coast to Kenya on the east. This is a common species with a wide range, despite being used extensively for bushmeat, the International Union for Conservation of Nature has rated its conservation status as being of "least concern"; the brush-tailed porcupine reaches 40 to 50 cm in length. The adult weighs about 3 kg, it has short legs, tipped with clawed and webbed feet. Unlike most other porcupines, the brush-tailed porcupine has smaller quills. On the tail, these quills are brush-like; these can make noise. The brush-tailed porcupine occurs in Benin, Congo, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gambia, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Sierra Leone, South Sudan and Uganda, in tropical rainforest at altitudes up to 3,000 m. Brush-tailed porcupines live in small family groups of about eight members. Different family groups can share resources.
When attacked by a predator, the porcupine raises its quills so it looks twice its size, rattles its tail quills, stomps its feet. As with all porcupines, the brush-tailed porcupine backs into the attacker and inflicts damage with its quills. Brush-tailed porcupines live in forests at high elevations, are nocturnal, sleeping in caves and burrows during the day, they are herbivorous, feeding on leaves and fruits which have fallen to the forest floor. They eat roots and palm nuts, carrion, invade crops of maize and bananas when these are grown adjacent to the forest. Male and female form a pair bond during breeding season; the female has a long pregnancy compared to other rodents: 110 days at the longest. The young are born precocial, they are mature at about 2 years of age. The meat of the brush-tailed porcupine is popular and is consumed in large quantities
In biology, a species is the basic unit of classification and a taxonomic rank of an organism, as well as a unit of biodiversity. A species is defined as the largest group of organisms in which any two individuals of the appropriate sexes or mating types can produce fertile offspring by sexual reproduction. Other ways of defining species include their karyotype, DNA sequence, behaviour or ecological niche. In addition, paleontologists use the concept of the chronospecies since fossil reproduction cannot be examined. While these definitions may seem adequate, when looked at more they represent problematic species concepts. For example, the boundaries between related species become unclear with hybridisation, in a species complex of hundreds of similar microspecies, in a ring species. Among organisms that reproduce only asexually, the concept of a reproductive species breaks down, each clone is a microspecies. All species are given a two-part name, a "binomial"; the first part of a binomial is the genus.
The second part is called the specific epithet. For example, Boa constrictor is one of four species of the genus Boa. None of these is satisfactory definitions, but scientists and conservationists need a species definition which allows them to work, regardless of the theoretical difficulties. If species were fixed and distinct from one another, there would be no problem, but evolutionary processes cause species to change continually, to grade into one another. Species were seen from the time of Aristotle until the 18th century as fixed kinds that could be arranged in a hierarchy, the great chain of being. In the 19th century, biologists grasped. Charles Darwin's 1859 book The Origin of Species explained how species could arise by natural selection; that understanding was extended in the 20th century through genetics and population ecology. Genetic variability arises from mutations and recombination, while organisms themselves are mobile, leading to geographical isolation and genetic drift with varying selection pressures.
Genes can sometimes be exchanged between species by horizontal gene transfer. Viruses are a special case, driven by a balance of mutation and selection, can be treated as quasispecies. Biologists and taxonomists have made many attempts to define species, beginning from morphology and moving towards genetics. Early taxonomists such as Linnaeus had no option but to describe what they saw: this was formalised as the typological or morphological species concept. Ernst Mayr emphasised reproductive isolation, but this, like other species concepts, is hard or impossible to test. Biologists have tried to refine Mayr's definition with the recognition and cohesion concepts, among others. Many of the concepts are quite similar or overlap, so they are not easy to count: the biologist R. L. Mayden recorded about 24 concepts, the philosopher of science John Wilkins counted 26. Wilkins further grouped the species concepts into seven basic kinds of concepts: agamospecies for asexual organisms biospecies for reproductively isolated sexual organisms ecospecies based on ecological niches evolutionary species based on lineage genetic species based on gene pool morphospecies based on form or phenotype and taxonomic species, a species as determined by a taxonomist.
A typological species is a group of organisms in which individuals conform to certain fixed properties, so that pre-literate people recognise the same taxon as do modern taxonomists. The clusters of variations or phenotypes within specimens would differentiate the species; this method was used as a "classical" method of determining species, such as with Linnaeus early in evolutionary theory. However, different phenotypes are not different species. Species named in this manner are called morphospecies. In the 1970s, Robert R. Sokal, Theodore J. Crovello and Peter Sneath proposed a variation on this, a phenetic species, defined as a set of organisms with a similar phenotype to each other, but a different phenotype from other sets of organisms, it differs from the morphological species concept in including a numerical measure of distance or similarity to cluster entities based on multivariate comparisons of a reasonably large number of phenotypic traits. A mate-recognition species is a group of sexually reproducing organisms that recognize one another as potential mates.
Expanding on this to allow for post-mating isolation, a cohesion species is the most inclusive population of individuals having the potential for phenotypic cohesion through intrinsic cohesion mechanisms. A further development of the recognition concept is provided by the biosemiotic concept of species. In microbiology, genes can move even between distantly related bacteria extending to the whole bacterial domain; as a rule of thumb, microbiologists have assumed that kinds of Bacteria or Archaea with 16S ribosomal RNA gene sequences more similar than 97% to each other need to be checked by DNA-DNA hybridisation to decide if they belong to the same species or not. This concept was narrowed in 2006 to a similarity of 98.7%. DNA-DNA hybri
Mammals are vertebrate animals constituting the class Mammalia, characterized by the presence of mammary glands which in females produce milk for feeding their young, a neocortex, fur or hair, three middle ear bones. These characteristics distinguish them from reptiles and birds, from which they diverged in the late Triassic, 201–227 million years ago. There are around 5,450 species of mammals; the largest orders are the rodents and Soricomorpha. The next three are the Primates, the Cetartiodactyla, the Carnivora. In cladistics, which reflect evolution, mammals are classified as endothermic amniotes, they are the only living Synapsida. The early synapsid mammalian ancestors were sphenacodont pelycosaurs, a group that produced the non-mammalian Dimetrodon. At the end of the Carboniferous period around 300 million years ago, this group diverged from the sauropsid line that led to today's reptiles and birds; the line following the stem group Sphenacodontia split off several diverse groups of non-mammalian synapsids—sometimes referred to as mammal-like reptiles—before giving rise to the proto-mammals in the early Mesozoic era.
The modern mammalian orders arose in the Paleogene and Neogene periods of the Cenozoic era, after the extinction of non-avian dinosaurs, have been among the dominant terrestrial animal groups from 66 million years ago to the present. The basic body type is quadruped, most mammals use their four extremities for terrestrial locomotion. Mammals range in size from the 30–40 mm bumblebee bat to the 30-meter blue whale—the largest animal on the planet. Maximum lifespan varies from two years for the shrew to 211 years for the bowhead whale. All modern mammals give birth to live young, except the five species of monotremes, which are egg-laying mammals; the most species-rich group of mammals, the cohort called placentals, have a placenta, which enables the feeding of the fetus during gestation. Most mammals are intelligent, with some possessing large brains, self-awareness, tool use. Mammals can communicate and vocalize in several different ways, including the production of ultrasound, scent-marking, alarm signals and echolocation.
Mammals can organize themselves into fission-fusion societies and hierarchies—but can be solitary and territorial. Most mammals are polygynous. Domestication of many types of mammals by humans played a major role in the Neolithic revolution, resulted in farming replacing hunting and gathering as the primary source of food for humans; this led to a major restructuring of human societies from nomadic to sedentary, with more co-operation among larger and larger groups, the development of the first civilizations. Domesticated mammals provided, continue to provide, power for transport and agriculture, as well as food and leather. Mammals are hunted and raced for sport, are used as model organisms in science. Mammals have been depicted in art since Palaeolithic times, appear in literature, film and religion. Decline in numbers and extinction of many mammals is driven by human poaching and habitat destruction deforestation. Mammal classification has been through several iterations since Carl Linnaeus defined the class.
No classification system is universally accepted. George Gaylord Simpson's "Principles of Classification and a Classification of Mammals" provides systematics of mammal origins and relationships that were universally taught until the end of the 20th century. Since Simpson's classification, the paleontological record has been recalibrated, the intervening years have seen much debate and progress concerning the theoretical underpinnings of systematization itself through the new concept of cladistics. Though field work made Simpson's classification outdated, it remains the closest thing to an official classification of mammals. Most mammals, including the six most species-rich orders, belong to the placental group; the three largest orders in numbers of species are Rodentia: mice, porcupines, beavers and other gnawing mammals. The next three biggest orders, depending on the biological classification scheme used, are the Primates including the apes and lemurs. According to Mammal Species of the World, 5,416 species were identified in 2006.
These were grouped into 153 families and 29 orders. In 2008, the International Union for Conservation of Nature completed a five-year Global Mammal Assessment for its IUCN Red List, which counted 5,488 species. According to a research published in the Journal of Mammalogy in 2018, the number of recognized mammal species is 6,495 species included 96 extinct; the word "mammal" is modern, from the scientific name Mammalia coined by Carl Linnaeus in 1758, derived from the Latin mamma. In an influential 1988 paper, Timothy Rowe defined Mammalia phylogenetically as the crown group of mammals, the clade consisting of the most recent common ancestor of living monotremes and therian m
The Sunda porcupine is a species of rodent in the family Hystricidae. It is endemic to Indonesia. Woods, C. A..
The Cape porcupine or South African porcupine, is a species of Old World porcupine native to central and southern Africa. Cape porcupines are the largest rodents in Africa and the world's largest porcupines. Cape porcupines seem to be the world's fourth heaviest living rodents, after the capybara and the Eurasian and North American beavers, they are similar in appearance to, only larger than, their close relatives, the crested porcupines, can most be distinguished from them by the presence of a band of short white spines along the midline of the rump. Indian porcupines are the same size on average as well, being heavier on average than crested porcupine but lighter than Cape porcupines. Cape porcupines measure 63 to 81 centimetres long from the head to the base of the tail, with the tail adding a further 11–20 centimetres, they weigh with exceptionally large specimens weighing up to 30 kg. The average weight of males from Zimbabwe was 16.9 kg and while the average for females there was 18.4 kg while in the Orange river valley of South Africa males averaged 12.3 kg and females averaged 13 kg.
They are built animals, with stocky bodies, short limbs, an inconspicuous tail. The body is covered in long spines up to 50 centimetres in length, interspersed with thicker pointed, defence quills up to 30 centimetres long, with bristly, blackish or brownish fur; the spines on the tail are hollow, used to make a rattling sound to scare away predators. An erectile crest of long, bristly hairs runs from the top of the head down to the shoulders; the spines and quills cover the back and flanks of the animal, starting about a third of the way down the body, continuing onto the tail. The quills have multiple bands of black and white along their length, grow from spaced grooves along the animal's body; the remainder of the animal, including the undersides, is covered with dark hair. The eyes and ears are small, the mobile whiskers are short; the feet have five clawed toes. Females have two pairs of teats. Cape porcupines are found across the whole of southern and central Africa, to southern Kenya and Congo at the northern edge of their range.
They inhabit a wide range of habitats, from sea level to 2,000 metres, although they are only marginally present in dense forests and the driest of deserts, are not found in swampland. There are no recognised subspecies. Cape porcupines eat plant material: fruits, tubers and bark, they have a long small intestine and large caecum, employing hindgut fermentation to break down the tough materials in their food. They have been reported to gnaw on carrion and bones, they are considered pests by local farmers, because they can feed on crops and damage trees. However, their debarking of trees may play a role in the maintenance of local savannah ecosystems, helping to prevent the development of denser forested environments. Cape porcupines are nocturnal and monogamous living as mated pairs of adults, caring for any young together; each pair may inhabit up to six burrows, jointly defending their shared territory, although they forage as individuals. Both sexes scent mark their territory, although males do so more and may play a more active role in its defence.
The size of the home range varies depending on the local habitat and availability of food, but can range between at least 67 and 203 hectares. When attacked, the porcupine freezes. If cornered, it charges to stab its attacker with its quills. Otherwise, the porcupine may retreat into its burrow, exposing only its quills and making it hard to dislodge. Cape porcupines mate throughout the year, although births are most common during the rainy season, between August and March. Unless a previous litter is lost, females give birth only once each year. Oestrus lasts for an average of nine days, during which a membrane across the vagina opens to allow insemination. After mating, a copulatory plug forms, expelled about 48 hours later. Gestation lasts around 94 days, results in the birth of a litter of up to three young, although over half of births are of singletons. Newborn young weigh 300 to 440 grams, have soft quills. Although they are born with their incisor teeth erupted, the remaining teeth begin to appear at 14 days, with the full set of adult teeth present by 25 months.
They are weaned at around 100 days of age, grow for the first twenty weeks, reaching the full adult size, sexual maturity, at the end of their first year. Relative to most other rodents, Cape porcupines are long-lived, surviving for ten years in the wild, or up to twenty years in captivity