Rock hyrax Facts

Rock hyrax Facts
Rock hyrax is a mammal that is closely related to elephants and manatees (despite huge differences in size and appearance). These interesting creatures can be found in Eastern and Southern parts of Africa, Lebanon, Syria, Israel and Jordan. As its name suggests, rock hyrax usually inhabits rocky areas, but it can be also found in scrublands, savannas, dry areas and tropical rainforests. Rock hyrax is threatened by habitat loss and by manhunt (because of their fur and meat). Luckily, population of rock hyrax in the wild is still large and they are not endangered.
Interesting Rock hyrax Facts:
Rock hyrax is a small mammal that can reach 17.7 to 21.6 inches in length and weigh between 6.6 and 8.8 pounds.
Rock hyrax has round head, blunt nose and round ears. Its body is covered with brown, grey or yellowish fur. Fur is very thick and soft.
Rock hyrax has short legs with four toes on the front feet and three toes on the back feet. Pads on the feet have rubbery texture which facilitates walking on the steep rocks. Nails on the back feet are used for grooming.
Incisors of rock hyrax are actually small tusks.
Rock hyrax lives in colonies that can consist of up to 50 members. They are usually composed of dominant male, large number of females and their offspring. Group occupies certain territory but they act friendly toward the members of the nearby groups.
Rock hyrax produces variety of sounds: whistles, mews, high-pitched tones, shrieks…These sounds are used to inform other members of the group about upcoming danger as well for the communication between members of the group.
Rock hyrax has a scent gland on their back. Produced scent is also used for the communication with the members of the group.
Rock hyrax eats tough vegetation, grass, leaves and fruit. During the meal, dominant male guards the group (look out for the predators). In the case of danger, other members of the group will be alerted to seek shelter.
Rock hyrax enjoys sunbathing before the hunt. These animals prefer sunny weather and they will stay in their shelters during the rainy or cold weather.
Rock hyraxes live in rock crevices. These places provide protection against predators. Certain areas are marked as toilets. They can be easily identified by white crystals of urine.
Main predators of rock hyrax are leopards, servals, hyenas, pythons and birds of prey.
Mating season lasts from August to November (depending on the geographic region).
Pregnancy lasts 202 to 252 days and ends with one to six babies (pups). They look like miniature version of adult animals.
Babies will include solid food in their diet few days after birth. They will drink mother's milk until they reach the age of 6 month.
Rock hyrax can survive 7 years in the wild and up to 12 years in captivity.

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