Rock hyrax are OMNIVORES feeding on leaves, fruit, insects, lizards and bird eggs
They occupy a range of habitats such as deserts and rainforests in Africa and the Arabian Peninsula
Elongated body hairs act like whiskers to help them feel their way around
They are closely related to elephants, manatees and dugongs!
Rock hyraxes can't regulate their body temperature
They huddle or heap on top of each other to get warmer or fan out away from one another to cool down
The biggest surprise about these little creatures is to do with their nearest relative. Despite the fact that the rock hyrax is about the same size as a guinea pig, its closest living relative is the mighty elephant, with which it shares several features!
Not only do they have acute hearing and hooves rather than claws on their toes, they have two large continually growing incisors, which correspond to an elephant’s tusks. Also, like elephants, these creatures love nothing better than to spend a couple of hours basking in the sun before summoning up the energy for a busy afternoon of hyper activity.
Living in colonies of around 26 animals, they’re able rock climbers, helped by the rubbery, damp soles of their feet which give them a good grip when scrambling around stony outcrops and over crevices. They have excellent eye-sight too, and don’t need much water, as they get most of it from the food they eat.