Ryan Photographic - Procaviidae - Hyraxes


Invertebrates
Chordates
Photo Library
Search

Family Procaviidae

There are only 4 species of hyrax alive today and they are all in the family Procaviidae, Order Hyracoidea. The most widely distributed is the rock hyrax (pictured below) which is found throughout much of Africa. Hyraxes have made it into modern folk-lore because their nearest living relatives are elephants, manatees and dugongs - at first sight an unlikely relationship because of the huge disparity in size.

More recently hyraxes have made it into the news because their urine reveals aspects of past climate change. They are highly social animals living in herds of up to 80 individuals which are further sub-divided into smaller flocks of a dominant male and several to many females. As might be expected from a highly social animal, they have a well-developed repertoire of at least 21 different vocalizations. Like meerkats they post sentries when the group goes foraging.

Hyraxes are unusual amongst mammals because their body temperature fluctuates significantly over 24 hours and is apparently independent of environmental factors. But enough of the science stuff - hyraxes are mega-cute .... what do you think?

 

Procavia capensis Rock hyrax

Procavia capensis Rock hyrax enjoying late afternoon sunshine

MAMM 5460 Procavia capensis Rock hyrax enjoying late afternoon sunshine, Tarangire National park, Tanzania.

Procavia capensis Rock hyrax

MAMM 5436 Procavia capensis Rock hyrax, Tarangire National Park, Tanzania.

Procavia capensis Rock hyrax in early evening sunshine

MAMM 5441 Procavia capensis Rock hyrax in early evening sunshine, Tarangire National Park, Tanzania.

Procavia capensis Rock hyrax

MAMM 5474 Procavia capensis Rock hyrax.

 

[Previous]

Mammals

[Next]

 

[Up]

 Photo Library

[Home]  Home Page
[Contents]  Dr Paddy Ryan Contents
[Contact]  Contact Paddy

 

Ryan Photographic, 2802 East 132nd Circle, Thornton, CO  80241  USA  Phone 303-457-9795