Mammals

Porcupines of Thailand

Some of Thailand's more common forest mammals are its two resident species of porcupine. Hystrix brachyura and Atherurus macrourus. Porcupines are impressive large rodents, of the Family Hystricidae, that have developed a protective coat of sharp spines, or quills, that help defend them from forest predators. Hystrix brachyura, more commonly known as Malayan (or Himalayan Crestless) Porcupine is very common throughout Thailand's forests and whilst they can be seen in the day, if disturbed, they are mainly nocturnal.

Atherurus macrourus, is also called the the Asiatic Brush-tailed Porcupine. This species is much less common than Hystrix brachyura in our experience but still common never the less.

Both species dig burrows to live in and will often co-habit with other porcupines. Indeed we have photographs and videos of Hystrix brachyura foraging on the surface with one other, and sometimes two other, porcupines quite commonly. However, we have never photographed or obtained video of Atherurus macrourus in a pair yet, it has always been a lone animal in our captures.

 

Atherurus macrourus - Asiatic Brush-tailed Porcupine Atherurus macrourus - Asiatic Brush-tailed Porcupine

Both species are typically herbivorous, eating fruit, roots, and bulbs. Hystrix brachyura is also known to gnaw on dry bones of carcasses, maybe as a calcium source. Most people's first experience of Hystrix brachyura are due to its common use of National Park trash bins for foraging at night. This can be an easy way to sight and photograph these impressive nocturnal animals. These photographs were taken by automated cameras set in the forest at Kaeng Krachan National Park.

Hystrix brachyura - Malayan porcupine Hystrix brachyura - Malayan (or Himalayan Crestless) Porcupine

Hystrix brachyura - Malayan porcupineHystrix brachyura - Malayan (or Himalayan Crestless) Porcupine

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