So what you get is: Ace-ter-fark. Close enough. :)
It's really a porcupine but some of us English speaking Africans jokingly translate it as Iron Pig.
|Ystervark 1, Pit bull 0 (source)|
Some dogs just don't learn though. There were over a thousand quills in the face of this rather persistent but stupid dog.
These creatures are the largest rodents in Africa and are generally peaceful but like to be left alone. Vegetarian and nocturnal they aren't much of a threat to farmers but will dig up fields of root crops, which can cause a bit of a problem. We've got some of them on the farm where I live but I've never seen them, just their quills and places where they have fed. I do know where their burrow is though, rather a large hole in the side of the hill.
Their quill covered bodies may leave on under the impression they are related to the hedgehog, this is untrue. They are much bigger, up to 60 pounds in Africa, and their quills are a lot longer. They're also not quite as cute in my opinion. They can be kept as pets, handle with care.
|baby ystervark (source)|
Females can only become sexually active again after about five months from weening the earlier litter. And just to set the ladies minds at rest, they are born with soft spines which quickly harden in the air. :)
The big cats, hyenas and birds of prey sometimes attack these animals but they do so at the risk of losing their lives.
|Super Brave mom (source)|
They haven't been super informative scientific publications, but they have been fun researching.
I hope you have enjoyed my little African expose` so far, I have and am looking forward to hearing what everyone else has been up to once we are over the hectics.
Bless you all and thanks for the visit, Geoff.