oa African Zoology - The behaviour of the resting rock hyrax in relation to its environment

Volume 5, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1562-7020
  • E-ISSN: 2224-073X



This paper concerns the relationship between the behaviour, physiology and environment of the two genera of hyrax which commonly occupy rocky outcrops, using the holes and crevices under the rocks as shelter and feeding on any trees, shrubs or herbs which may be growing near the rocks. The larger animal of the two is the genus Procavia which has a remarkably wide distribution throughout Africa and the Middle East and is thus subject to an extremely wide range of climatic conditions, ranging from the hot waterless Sahara to the snowline of Mount Kenya. The smaller genus, Heterohyrax, is not so widely distributed but occupies an almost identical niche to Procavia and is in fact sometimes found sharing a rock outcrop with its larger cousin (Turner and Watson 1965).

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