Malayan Porcupine And Its Quills
Malayan porcupine, also known as Himalayan porcupine, is a rodent lives spread across South and Southeast Asia. The life span of the Malayan porcupine lasts up to 27 years.
Malayan porcupine lives in forests, cultivation land, and plantation areas. Like usual rodents, they live in underground burrows. They create burrows that lead to large network tunnels below the habitat area. This allows Malayan porcupine to get around during the day without being exposed to sunlight. Interestingly, this burrows can also use for generations.
Malayan porcupine usually live in small group, consist of 3-4 individuals, foraging food together in the night. We can call it as social colony if it consist more than 10 individuals.
Malayan porcupine food is vary various. From fallen fruits, roots, tubers and bark, carrion, insects, even human food remnants near their habitat. The large incisor structure and strong jaw make the Malayan porcupine can also eat seeds and nuts.
The sturdy body of Malayan porcupine is covered with sharp dan rigid quills. The quills on the top of the body are rough with black, white, or yellowish stripes. Malayan porcupine’s body weight is around 0.7 kg to 2.4 kg with 63 cm to 72.5 cm length.
Quills in porcupines is functioned as a self-defense system. Porcupines shake their quills until a crackling sound appears as a danger signal that threatens predatory animals. If that doesn’t work, the porcupines will attack the predator backwards.
Although the quills structure on the porcupine’s body doesn’t stick tightly, it can’t be thrown or launched. However, the quills lost in porcupines can grow back over time.
Malayan porcupine is born with a body covered in soft quills, which will sharpen, hard, and rigid as they reach maturity.
Loss of habitat is a threat to the population of Malayan porcupine. In addition to other threats, namely the victims of hunter traps because they were used as bait for other prey animals, and extermination because many were eyeing porcupine quills and gallbladder as traditional medicines, even though these health benefits have not been studied scientifically.
Based on the list of IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources), Malayan porcupine is categorized as vulnerable or considered to be at high risk of extinction in the wild.
The most suitable time to enjoy a safari with Malayan porcupine as an object is at night, because Malayan porcupine is a species that is active at night or nocturnal and rests during the day. Malayan porcupine spent looking for food in most of their time.
At Bali Safari Marine Park, we have this collection near Komodo Zone. Meet the Porcupine and take pictures of them.