are two species of Rock Hyrax (the Rock/Cape Hyrax and the
Yellow-spotted Rock Hyrax) and two species of Tree Hyrax.
Although all look like rodents, they are surprisingly
related to elephants, elephant shrews and sea cows. The Rock
Hyrax, whose genus name "procavia" refers to its
resemblance to the (rock) cavy or a large guinea pig, comes
from rocky habitats of Africa (mainly sub-Saharan) and
Like elephants, Rock Hyraxes have flattened, hoof-like
toenails at the end of their foot instead of the slender
toes and claws of rodents. They share several other physical
traits with elephants and sea cows, such as tusks from
incisor teeth rather than canine teeth.
Female and young hyraxes live in family groups with a
dominant male; bachelor males are solitary. Foraging in
groups, like meerkats, they have a look-out to sound an
alarm for predators.
Like some primates and dolphins/whales, Rock Hyraxes have a complex vocabulary whereby different
calls and sounds represent specific dangers, predators, social interactions, etc.