Porcupine poo

Found along one of the Tanda Tula pathways, this porcupine poo is the only evidence that the nocturnal visitor passed along here at all. Porcupines are classified as rodents, namely animals that gnaw on things, and the word porcupine comes from the French porc espin. Basically, it means spined pig. Whilst it is not the most charming name, it is aptly chosen!

Cape porcupines, the ones found in the Timbavati, are mostly vegetarian. They live on roots, tubers and bulbs. Their long claws are used to dig out these precious morsels from deep in the ground. They also tend to love fruit which has fallen from trees and arepartial to gnawing on the bark of certain trees. This 'debarking' actually has a useful function in the maintenance of the local Savanah ecosystem. Porcupines have been reported to eat carrion in some areas, especially in times of drought. They are also known to practice osteophagia, the chewing of bones. No wonder their poo appears so dense!


 

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