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Hyrax, Rock

Hyrax, Rock

Scientific Name: Procavia capensis capensis

Status: Least Concern

Habitat: Caves or rocky outcroppings from Egypt through southern Africa and Turkey

Diet: These herbivores eat mostly grass and shrubs.

Length: 17–21 inches

Weight: 4–12 pounds

Though they are rodent-like in appearance, hyraxes are the closest living relatives of elephants and manatees. Highly adaptable, they live throughout the African continent and at elevations as high as Mount Kenya (13,000 feet).

The rock hyrax (also called a dassie) is very social. All the females in a group help raise the young, and the male will stand watch while the rest of the hyraxes eat. Rock hyraxes rely on external factors to help regulate their body temperatures. When temperatures drop at night, they will huddle together for warmth and sunbathe outside their caves during the day to warm up.

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