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Rock Hyrax

        Animals | Other Mammals

Rock Hyrax
Rock Hyrax
Royalty-Free/Corbis

Also called the rock dassie, the rock hyrax is a diurnal herbivore.

Sometimes it digs its own burrow; otherwise, it shelters between and under rocks.

It moves around on specialized moist, rubbery soles that improve its traction as it clambers with great agility among the rocks.

The rock hyrax usually grazes on grasses and shrubs, but in some areas it climbs trees and browses on young leaves and shoots. Its food provides it with enough liquid nourishment to survive, although it will drink water if it is available.

It has poor thermoregulatory abilities and so takes advantage of warm weather to bask in the hot midday sun.

Animal Facts:

Name: Rock Hyrax (Procavia capensis)

Family: Procaviidae (Hyraxes)

Range: Arabia, Middle East, and sub-Saharan Africa, except Congo basin

Habitat: Rocky, scrubby areas in grassland and aridland

Diet: Grasses, herbs, leaves, fruit, insects, lizards and birds' eggs

Head and Body Length: 12 to 22 inches (30.5 to 55 cm)

Tail Length: absent

Weight: 8 to 9 pounds (3.5 to 4 kg)

Life Cycle: Mating depends on locale; gestation 202 to 245 days, usually one to three young born

Description: Yellow to grayish-brown in color; pale underneath; short, dense fur; small, rounded ears; blunt nose; massive, short neck; plump body; stumpy toes with hoof-like nails

Conservation Status: Common


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