If you will go on a night hike this is possibly the easiest animal to spot.
The only porcupine species in Hong Kong is the Malayan porcupine (Hystrix brachyura). I found these spiky fellows in Kowloon Peak. It has become obviously more common in the Mid-levels along Blacks Link, Bowen Road, and the Victoria Peak, also in mountains in the New Territories.
Porcupines are not hedgehogs.
No, not Sonic! Hedgehogs are not rodents and there are no native hedgehogs in Hong Kong. Hedgehogs have short quills all over their back. Porcupines are large rodents covered with long quills all over the rear part of the body. The quills are hard and sharp. But they are actually hairs – some modified hairs coated with a lot of keratin.
You may have heard of porcupines shooting spines at predators. Umm.. very exciting! Unfortunately, it’s not true. They cannot shoot quills. But we don’t have to worry about them not protecting themselves well. When there are predators they will raise up their long sharp quills and run backwards towards the predators. When the quills are touched, they can be released and stuck in the predator’s body. Ouch!
What if they are so unlucky to meet many predators the same night. Will they lose all the quills and become a guinea pig? No, they can regrow new quills. Remember what I mentioned? Quills are hairs.
This video is about porcupines and other animals of Hong Kong.
This video is about hedgehogs but I have talked about its difference from porcupines.
See more of my encounters with Hong Kong Wildlife.
如果你晚上會到郊外走走, 你可能很容易看到這種動物 – 香港的箭豬品種是馬來箭豬 Hystrix brachyura. 我在九龍半山看到這長滿尖刺的傢伙, 現在也很容易可以於香港島半山區, 沿著布力徑, 寶雲道, 以及山頂及新界一帶山嶺找得到。
箭豬不是刺蝟, 牠們不是超音鼠, 牠們是大型嚙齒目, 身體後半部都是長尖刺。尖刺都非常堅硬及尖銳, 那些其實是毛髮, 是因為角質層包裹著而變成的硬刺。
你也許有聽過前箭豬會放刺攻擊敵人, 唔, 那會令人非常興奮! 可惜那是錯的。牠們不會放刺攻擊, 但我們也不用擔心牠們, 當敵人靠近牠們時 牠們會立即將尖刺豎起, 然後反方向跑到敵人那方。當尖刺碰到任何東西, 都可以脫離牠們身體, 插進敵人的身體。噢呀。
假如牠們有一晚, 不幸同時遇上很多敵人怎麼辦? 牠們會用盡所有刺然後變成天竺鼠嗎? 不用擔心, 牠們的刺都會再長出來。