Hystrix cristata

family:  Hystricidae
geographic range:  North Africa, Italy, Sicily
weight:  10-30 kg
lifespan:  12-15 years, 28 years in captivity
habitat:  shrubland
lifestyle:  group

It is native to North Africa, the Mediterranean. Its suspected, that it was present on the Balkan pennisula too. It adapted to multiple habitats. It can be found in forests, bush, and mountains also. Its the biggest of the porcupines, measuring 60-93 centimeters in length. It has an array of quills running along the head, nape and the back which can be raised to form a crest. It uses its quills for defense. It lives in small family group, consisting of parents and their offsprings. When born, their quills are soft, they harden during their first week. They are nocturnal animals, which means they are only active at night. They spend the day in a system of tunnels. Their quills are used for decoration, souvenirs. Also they are hunted for their meat.