The African crested porcupine is the largest porcupine in the world. As adults these porcupines can measure 22-37 inches in length and weigh 22-66 pounds.
The African crested porcupine’s body is covered with coarse quills that range 1-13 inches long and vary in thickness. Usually, their quills lie flat against their body, but if danger threatens, they raise and spread them. Porcupines will warn potential enemies of their defense system by stamping their feet, clicking their teeth and growling or hissing while they vibrate special quills to make a characteristic rattling sound. If the enemy persists, they run backward to ram the attacker with their quills.
While porcupines do not ‘shoot’ their quills, they are able to grow new ones to replace quills that are lost.