Hystrix-brachyura, Malayan Porcupine, Himalayan Porcupine,

Hystrix-brachyura

 Malayan Porcupine, Himalayan Porcupine, Landak Jawa

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Hystrix-brachyura-01-800

The Malayan Porcupine or Himalayan Porcupine (Hystrix brachyura) is a species of rodent in the Hystricidae family.Three subspecies are extant in South and South-east Asia.

Evolution

This species and its close relatives is believed to have originated from southern Asia based on their current distribution. Their origin may lie from a common Late Pleistocene ancestor when Sumatra, Borneo and Palawan were part of Sundaland.

Habitat and ecology

It is found in various types of forest habitats as well as open areas near forests. It may stray into nearby agricultural areas. It digs into the ground and inhabits dens near rocky areas, where it lives in small groups. It has a gestation period of 110 days and a litter size of two or three. The species may give birth to two litters annually. Their habitat is terrestrial where they are living in the hole of tree barks or roots. It also living in a burrow, from which a network of trails penetrate into surrounding habitat. It can be found in all forest types up to 1500m.
Characteristics

It is a large and stout bodied rodent covered with quills which are sharp, rigid structures. The quills/spines are modified hair.The quills or spines on their upper body parts are rough with black and white or yellowed stripe in color. The youngÂ’s soft quills become hard as they enter adulthood. It has 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 their tail is about 6-11 cm. Their weight is around 0.760 kg-2.414 kg

Diet

They normally feed on roots, tubers, bark and fallen fruits. They also eat carrion and insects.

Behaviour

H. brachyura is nocturnal. It forages at night and rests during the day. It may be found singly or in pairs. It can also cans swim and can gnaw[citation needed]. The sow usually delivers a single pup at a time but delivering two pups has also been recorded. The gestation period is about 90 to 112 days. The maximum longevity of their life is about 27 years.

Conservation and economic importance

IUCN has categorized this species as Vulnerable (VU) species. The quills of the Malayan porcupine are used for ornamental purposes. They are also hunted for meat