Hystrix africaeaustralis also known as cape porcupines or South African porcupines are members of the order Rodentia and are the largest rodent species in Africa. Cape porcupines are terrestrial "Old World" porcupines and will often shelter in caves, aardvark holes as well as burrows they dig themselves. Quills of the cape porcupine are used as their defence mechanism and will be raised and fanned to ward off predators. If the predator does not retreat they will stamp their feet and rattle their quills. If that fails they will charge back end first to stab with their shorter thicker quills. Porcupines are generally solitary foragers and are known to travel long distances for food. Long claws help them to dig up roots and tubers.
They are monogamous. Long and intensive care of the young takes place with family groups living together.
Porcupines are collected for human consumption in most parts of its range and is considered an agricultural pest.