|[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note|
|Photo taken in Augrabies National Park.|
The Rock Hyrax (Procavia capensis), or Cape Hyrax, is one of the four living species of the order Hyracoidea, and the only living species in the genus Procavia. Like all hyraxes, it is a medium-sized (~4 kg) terrestrial mammal, superficially resembling a guinea pig with short ears and tail. The rock hyrax is found across Africa and the Middle East, in habitats with rock crevices in which to escape from predators. Hyraxes typically live in groups of 10–80 animals, and forage as a group. Their most striking behaviour is the use of sentries: one or more animals take up position on a vantage point and issue alarm calls on the approach of predators.
The rock hyrax has incomplete thermoregulation, and is most active in the morning and evening, although their activity pattern varies substantially with season and climate.
Over most of its range, the rock hyrax is not endangered, and in some areas is considered a minor pest. In Ethiopia, Israel and Jordan, they have been shown to be a reservoir of the leishmaniasis parasite.
The rock hyrax occurs across sub-Saharan Africa, with the exception of the Congo basin and Madagascar. A larger, longer-haired subspecies is abundant in the glacial moraines in the alpine zone of Mount Kenya. The distribution continues into northern Algeria, Libya and Egypt, and the Middle East, with populations in Israel, Jordan, Syria, the Arabian peninsula and eastern Turkey.
They are known as dassies in South Africa, and sometimes rock rabbits. The Swahili names for them are pimbi, pelele and wibari, though the latter two names are nowadays reserved for the tree hyraxes. This species has many subspecies, many of which are also known as Rock or Cape Hyrax, although the former usually refers to African varieties. In Hebrew, the rock hyrax is called שפן סלע (shafan sela), meaning rock "shafan", where the meaning of shafan is obscure.
MarlonSilva, maaciejka, bungbing has marked this note useful
Only registered TrekNature members may rate photo notes.