Evidence of scavenging behaviour in crested porcupine.

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Evidence of scavenging behaviour in crested porcupine.

Sci Rep. 2020 07 23;10(1):12297

Authors: Coppola F, Guerrieri D, Simoncini A, Varuzza P, Vecchio G, Felicioli A

The vegetarian diet of many herbivorous mammals is supplemented with proteins of animal origin, especially in young individuals and in breeding females, to provide key proteins necessary for both growth and breeding. Among porcupine species, only the Cape porcupine (Hystrix africaeaustralis) has been observed to consume carrion flesh. From June to August 2019, a pigeon carcass was placed together with corn in 7 study settlements and near 2 monitored capture-traps, in order to assess the carrion flesh feeding habits of the crested porcupine (Hystrix cristata). Scavenging behaviour was recorded on four occasions. All the recorded individuals were adults and at least one was female. This demonstrates that the crested porcupine occasionally does eat flesh. Such evidence raises important questions concerning the relationship between feeding habits and the physiological needs of this herbivorous rodent.

PMID: 32704027 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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