Rock Hyrax

Rock Hyrax                          Procavia capensis

Type of Animal:

Savanna, grassland, forests, moorland, rocky areas, mountain cliffs, mountainous areas, desert, rocky scrublands, scrub forest

Sub-Saharan Africa, w/ exception of the Congo Basin, & also found in N.E. Africa, eastwards to W. & S. coasts of Arabian Peninsula.

Grey-brown, looks like rodent, male larger than female, has sharp incisor teeth, squat & heavily built, lacks tail.

Grasses, herbs, stems, shrubs, buds, leaves, fruit, insects, grubs, lizards, birds’ eggs

Status in Wild:

Breeding in zoos & wildlife centers

Colonies usually consist of several groups each comprising a territorial male & harem of 9-34 females & young. Younger related males form smaller bachelor groups on edges.

Additional Info:


Male-9 lbs
Female-8 lbs
Young-0.95 lbs

7.5 months

0.67-1 ft

Body Length:
1-1.9 ft

Life Span:
12 years

Main predators are caracal, leopards, snakes, servals, civets, mongooses, wild dogs, raptors, cobras, jackals, lions, & cheetahs.

Fights between territorial & bachelor males sometimes result in death, due to bloody wounds incurred during these fights.

Often, territorial group defecates & urinates in same spot within the territory.

They can be quite vocal, using twitters, growls, whistles, and shrieks.

Often persecuted as crop pests throughout range.

Also known as “Conies” and/or “Dassies.”

Their rubbery feet help them climb on steep surfaces.

Possess high concentration of calcium carbonate in urine, which have been collected for medicine trade.

Generally, they’re active during the day (diurnal).

Females often stay in the same group for life, males often taken over every year & leave group at around 1 year old.

Fun Fact(s):
Testes on male grow 20 times larger in breeding season.

Coneys in the bible refer to these animals. In Old Testament, they were described as lacking split hoof, thus being non-kosher.
While they look like rodents, their closest relatives are elephants & manatees. Teeth believed to be remnants of what were once tusks. These teeth larger on males.

Usually pretty even tempered, though some territorial males do get aggressive.

Fossils have indicated ancient hyrax ancestors size of oxen.

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