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Rock Hyrax

Rock Hyrax
Photo Information
Copyright: Peter Thomas (FunkyMunky) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 146 W: 0 N: 608] (3154)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2010-08-12
Categories: Mammals
Camera: Canon EOS 400D, Sigma 18-200mm F3.5 - 6.3 DC OS
Exposure: f/7.1, 1/250 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2011-04-20 19:57
Viewed: 3199
Points: 8
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Photo taken in Augrabies National Park.

Rock Hyrax

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 1080 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[citation needed]. 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
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Critiques [Translate]

Hi peter.

I think they don't allow us to approach to close to them. You were using some kind of hide or you did a crop in the photo. Maybe that the animals in a Park becomes fearless to humans.


Hi Peter,
really nice animal :)
Perfect point of view and good sharpness. Is it its lunch?
Thankd for sharing,

Hello Peter,
Nice capture of this Rock Hyrax, good composition, point of view and fine sharpness details,
Thanks for sharing and have a nice Easter weekend,

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2011-04-21 13:17]

Hello Peter,
Pleasing photo of this Rock Hyrax in Augrabies, where I've photographed these animals too. I think the photo needs a bit more contrast but the sharpness is nice and taken from an excellent POV. Very good timing.

Just the other day in the field I was wondering where the name "Dassie" came from and so this is its scientific name. Thank you for that information. It seems they are not very easy to capture on camera. Best wishes.

PS: Do you want to share in the experiences and images of a 13 000 Km trip on light motorcycles up the whole length of Africa that is underway at the moment? Visit the website of the Cape-to-Cairo trip at http://threefarmersandagreek.wordpress.com/

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