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Hyrax (Klipdassie)

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Hyrax (Klipdassie)

Unread post by wildtuinman » Thu Apr 07, 2005 7:40 am

Rock hyrax (Procavia capensis)

Order: Hyracoidea
Family: Procaviidae
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Unread post by Freda » Thu Apr 07, 2005 7:49 pm

I found this:
The hyrax is so unlike other animals that it is placed in a separate order (Hyracoidea) by itself. It is said to be the elephant's nearest living relative. This is true to a certain extent, but misleading since the relationship stems from a remote ancestor common to hyraxes, sea cows (dugongs and manatees) and elephants. These three are unlike other mammals, but they share various if disproportionate physiological similarities in teeth, leg and foot bones, testes (that do not descend into a scrotum) and other more obscure details.
They are also covered in hair and both have mammary glands just behind their front legs.

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Unread post by Krokodile » Thu Apr 07, 2005 9:45 pm

J Stevenson-Hamilton said that they were also related to the rhinoceros. He notes regarding their evolution, that during the time of the dinosaurs, most mammals were probably small tree-living creature. As time passed some mammals became too big to be tree-dwellers and developed hooves or paws to enable them to adopt to life on the ground. The ancestors of the rock hyrax fell into this category, but at some point, something happened to drive them back into the trees or underground and they are still going through the evolutionary process of regaining their claws. This apparently explains why the broad flat nails on the hyrax's 4 toes on the front and 3 toes on the back resemble those of the rhino. The inner toes of the hind feet are clawed.

I.T. Sanderson commented that Rock Hyraxes have the ability to draw-up the central portion of their feet to form a kind of suction cup. This combined with their moist feet enables the to cling to almost perpendicular rock faces!

Every book I have read says that Dassies are common in the KNP - I've never seen one there yet, but I always look in rocky areas anyway!

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Unread post by Shidzidzii » Fri Apr 08, 2005 8:10 am

Often spot them on the drive up to Nkumbe lookout (also Klipspringer). Favourite food of Black Eagle so there is probably a balance in population here.

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Unread post by bwana » Fri Apr 08, 2005 10:08 am

They are also just as likely to inhabit trees/bush as they would rocky ledges. They are cute but stinky and their wee stains everything. They also seem to have incredibly short memory spans. Scare one away, then just wait 2 minutes and keep still and they will come out. You can repeat this process for hours.

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Unread post by wildjohn » Wed Aug 10, 2005 11:47 pm

Rock dassies are quite localised in Kruger, it appears. This is based on the mammal guide by Pienaar, Joubert, Hall-Martin, de Graaf, & Rautenbach 1987. They have distributions for all species inpark.

For both dassie species this is what distributions look like...

Yellow spotted rock dassie- Pafuri-Punda Maria area, Northern KNP.

Rock dassie - North-central region - Between Olifants & Shingwedzi region of north. Then one relict population at one particular area of rocks in Malelane mountain area - but they have not dispersed to good habitat in the surrounding area - which is strange. Dont know what the status quo is now.. There may be limiting factors in lowveld that preventing range expansion of sorts ?

Rock dassie is the closest living relative to elephant- mindful there are many large things that resembled a transitional thing between them that have since gone extinct. ..

Interesting observation of paucity in Kruger, while there are a plenty in other parks in SA !


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Unread post by cybeR@NGER » Mon Apr 24, 2006 6:48 pm

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Unread post by Katja » Wed Aug 23, 2006 3:50 pm

Elsa wrote:A few years back on top of Table Mountain my SO was lying flat on his stomach on a rock near the edge taking a series of pics of the setting sun when suddenly a dassie put its head up over the edge and literally had its nose pressed against the cameras lens. Not sure who got the bigger fright. :shock: :lol:

Did he get a photo of that or was the dassie too close? :wink:
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Unread post by restio » Wed Aug 23, 2006 5:03 pm

We once did a day-hike in Augrabies (basically walked the first part of the Klipspringer trail). It was a beautiful walk with lovely views of the gorge, and lots of interesting geological features. We stopped near Moon Rock to have lunch, and were watching the dassies play nearby. Suddenly a black eagle swooped down, grabbed a dassie and took off. It was an incredible sighting, and made our day.
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Unread post by Elsa » Wed Aug 23, 2006 5:10 pm

katja wrote:
Did he get a photo of that or was the dassie too close? :wink:

As I recall, he didn't get a pic of its nose right on the lens but got a few other nice close ups. :wink:
Must get him to sort some out for me to post.

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Re: Hyrax (Klipdassie)

Unread post by Nico » Wed Dec 09, 2009 11:42 am

Augrabies is Rock Dassie country. I filmed Rock Dassies with their young once neat the waterfall and they are so cute, funny and amazing animals. Have fun. :wink:

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Re: Hyrax (Klipdassie)

Unread post by Pumbaa » Fri Dec 11, 2009 11:21 pm


thanks again - For me as big dassie fan it was a real pleasure to watch your video and the young ones are just such cuties :thumbs_up: :thumbs_up: :thumbs_up:

Thank you.

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Rock dassie

Unread post by ralph and lenny » Tue Jul 26, 2011 8:58 pm

We'll be visiting KNP in September.
I was wondering if anyone has seen any rock dassies?
They just look so cute and cuddly, I would like to see one! My SO thinks I'm crazy :roll:
but certainly after seeing them online, I would like to see one in real life! :pray:

Where in the park can I find them?
Do we just have to look out for them near rocks (ROCK dassie..)?

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Re: Rock dassie

Unread post by Merel » Tue Jul 26, 2011 10:44 pm

Hi Lenny,
I have only seen rock dassies once; on the Nyalaland trail.
They were on a very high rock and hardly visible without binoculars.
No need to say that the ranger pointed them out.
I remember having read in a book (sorry, I do not remember which one) that they do not live below Olifants rest camp.
Anyway, it is always a good attitude to keep your eyes open :shock: for the smaller animals.
Good luck.

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Re: Rock dassie

Unread post by Bennievis » Wed Jul 27, 2011 6:29 am

How wonderful that the humble dassie gets a mention :thumbs_up:
Used to see them regulary in the koppies between Phalaborwa and Letaba on the H9.
Maybe Scipio and Sprocky can confirm?

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