Animals / Mammal Facts / Hyrax - Semi-bulky Unique Mammal

Hyrax - Semi-bulky Unique Mammal


rock

 

A hyrax is the name of any one of the four species of small, semi-bulky mammals in the order hyracoidea; the four different species are the rock hyrax, the yellow-spotted hyrax, the western tree and the southern tree hyrax. They can be extremely noisy at times uttering all kinds of screams, grunts and squeals.

 

 

group on rock

 

As a result of only inhabiting the rocky terrain of sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East, the hyrax has developed rubbery-padded feet that contain sweat glands (this helps them move quickly up steep surfaces), and ultra efficient kidneys (the arid environment affords them few opportunities to drink, so they must conserve moisture).

 

kenya

 

Hyraxes are heavily-furred, have short tails, and are about 11 to 27 inches (30 to 70 centimeters) long, and weigh between 4 and 13 pounds (2 to 5 kilograms). Hyraxes survive by eating tough plant materials, and therefore have multi-chambered stomachs that allow bacteria to help break down these tough fibers; though it's also believed that hyraxes chew cud (regurgitated plant mater) because of their rough chewing motion, there is no evidence of this and it is instead becoming a belief that the chewing motion is some sort of defense mechanism.

 

gray

 

sinister dramatic

 

Female hyraxes give birth after 7 to 8 months of gestation, and commonly birth between 1 and 4 young. Once born, only dominant males live in groups with females, aggressively defending their territories; while other males will be forced to live solitary lives. Within these groups, hyraxes will often huddle for warmth during cold nights, bonding the group further.

 

see, speak, hear no evil

 

 

 

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