Hyraxes | Hyracoidea
You may think Hyraxes or Hyracoidea are cousins to rodents because of their small, thickset size, well-furred, and short tails. However, their close relatives are the sea cows and elephants. You can find them in the Middle East or sub-Saharan Africa huddling together or basking in the sun to regulate their body temperature. They are social and found in small family groups, though males can be solitary. Most are herbivores, but some eat insects. Hyraxes are agile climbers as the sole of their feet are moistened by special sweat glands to maintain a firm grip when moving on their rocky habitat.
Hyraxes are known for several things. They have a multi-chambered stomach, an extraordinarily long gestation period for an animal of its size, give birth to fully developed infants that are active after birth, and have tusks that can inflict fatal wounds. And did you know hyraxes can live up to fourteen years?
Hyraxes are social animals living in colonies composed of a territorial male and a group of females and their young ones. In these groups or colonies, they are called kopjes and different species can live in the same colony. They live among crevices of rocks and boulders and during the day come out to bask or feed.
Hyraxes are a favorite meal to several predators: eagles, snakes, jackals, and leopards. That is why when they eat, they do so quickly and form a circle facing out to watch for predators. They are also quick and can bite to defend themselves from predators. Humans may also hunt them but only as a mount or bait for a larger animal.