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.

What is unique about hyraxes?

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?

What is a group of hyraxes called?

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.

Which animals hunt hyraxes?

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.

Hyraxes Guides
Browse through our curated Hyraxes Guides for additional categorizations, tips, details, variations, styles, and histories of Hyraxes. Guides provide additional insights into the unique properties and shared relationships between elements.
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7.1”-12.2” | 18-31 cm
4.3”-7.5” | 11-19 cm
12.2”-21.7” | 31-55 cm
2.9-7.9 lb | 1.3-3.6 kg
10-14 years
Bush Hyrax
31.000
19.000
55.000
3.600
14.00
150
3D
Bush Hyrax
7.9”-9.4” | 20-24 cm
5.9”-7.1” | 15-18 cm
18.5”-22” | 47-56 cm
3.7-6.6 lb | 1.7-3 kg
10-14 years
Eastern Tree Hyrax
24.000
18.000
56.000
3.000
14.00
1820
3D
Eastern Tree Hyrax
6.3”-11.4” | 16-29 cm
4.5”-8.7” | 11.5-22 cm
12.6”-23.6” | 32-60 cm
3.7-9.9 lb | 1.7-4.5 kg
10-14 years
Southern Tree Hyrax
29.000
22.000
60.000
4.500
14.00
1850
3D
Southern Tree Hyrax
8.3”-10.6” | 21-27 cm
5.9”-7.9” | 15-20 cm
17.3”-22.4” | 44-57 cm
2.2-11 lb | 1-5 kg
5-14 years
Western Tree Hyrax
27.000
20.000
57.000
5.000
14.00
1850
3D
Western Tree Hyrax
Southern Tree Hyrax (Dendrohyrax arboreus)
Dimensioned comparison drawing of the Southern Tree Hyrax compared to simliar Hyrax species

Unlike the Eastern tree hyrax (Dendrohyrax arboreus) which is mostly found on the eastern to the western coast of mid-Africa, the Southern Tree Hyrax is endemic to the south-central side. It resembles a guinea pig with long, soft, gray-brown fur, though the underside is pale and a fringe of white hair can be visible on its ears. It is nocturnal and arboreal, with males producing extraordinary or territorial calls at night. The Southern tree hyrax is a solitary and an herbivore that prefers trees with dense foliage to give it a good cover from predators. As a result, you will find it in the tropical or subtropical dry forests, montane forests, and moist savanna.

Southern Tree Hyraxes have a total body length between 12.6”-23.6” (32-60 cm), standing height of roughly 6.3”-11.4” (16-29 cm), and body width of 4.5”-8.7” (11.5-22 cm). The typical weight of the Southern Tree Hyrax is in the range of 3.7-9.9 lb (1.7-4.5 kg). Southern Tree Hyraxes have lifespans between 10-14 years.

Scaled collection of drawings of Southern Tree Hyrax in front and side poses
Unlike the Eastern tree hyrax (Dendrohyrax arboreus) which is mostly found on the eastern to the western coast of mid-Africa, the Southern Tree Hyrax is endemic to the south-central side. It resembles a guinea pig with long, soft, gray-brown fur, though the underside is pale.

Southern Tree Hyraxes have a total body length between 12.6”-23.6” (32-60 cm), standing height of roughly 6.3”-11.4” (16-29 cm), and body width of 4.5”-8.7” (11.5-22 cm). The typical weight of the Southern Tree Hyrax is in the range of 3.7-9.9 lb (1.7-4.5 kg). Southern Tree Hyraxes have lifespans between 10-14 years.

Scaled collection of drawings of Southern Tree Hyrax in front and side poses
Southern Tree Hyrax (Dendrohyrax arboreus)
Height:
6.3”-11.4” | 16-29 cm
Width:
4.5”-8.7” | 11.5-22 cm
Length:
12.6”-23.6” | 32-60 cm
Depth:
Weight:
3.7-9.9 lb | 1.7-4.5 kg
Area:
Scientific Name
Dendrohyrax arboreus
Lifespan
10-14 years

Drawings include:

Southern Tree Hyrax side elevation, front

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Western Tree Hyrax (Dendrohyrax dorsalis)
Scale illustration of an average Western Tree Hyrax compared to other species of Hyrax

The Western Tree Hyrax (Dendrohyrax dorsalis) is endemic to west and central Africa, preferring woodland areas, savanna, and tropical rainforests. Other people call it the Beecroft's tree hyrax or western tree dassie. It looks like a rodent with short, coarse fur. Its rostrum lacks hair and beneath the chin is a white patch of fur. The tail is stumpy and the fur can be dark brown, black, or cream with scattered yellow hairs. Besides, it has small, rounded ears and a fur-free snout. It is solitary, arboreal, and nocturnal, and passes information via loud vocal calls. It is mainly herbivore and constantly hunted for its fur, which is highly valued.

Western Tree Hyraxes have a total body length between 17.3”-22.4” (44-57 cm), standing height of roughly 8.3”-10.6” | 21-27 cm, and body width of 5.9”-7.9” (15-20 cm). The typical weight of the Western Tree Hyrax is in the range of 2.2-11 lb (1-5 kg). Western Tree Hyraxes have lifespans between 5-14 years.

Set of scaled elevation drawings of the Western Tree Hyrax viewed from the front and side
The Western Tree Hyrax (Dendrohyrax dorsalis) is endemic to west and central Africa, preferring woodland areas, savanna, and tropical rainforests. Other people call it the Beecroft's tree hyrax or western tree dassie. It looks like a rodent with short, coarse fur.

Western Tree Hyraxes have a total body length between 17.3”-22.4” (44-57 cm), standing height of roughly 8.3”-10.6” | 21-27 cm, and body width of 5.9”-7.9” (15-20 cm). The typical weight of the Western Tree Hyrax is in the range of 2.2-11 lb (1-5 kg). Western Tree Hyraxes have lifespans between 5-14 years.

Set of scaled elevation drawings of the Western Tree Hyrax viewed from the front and side
Western Tree Hyrax (Dendrohyrax dorsalis)
Height:
8.3”-10.6” | 21-27 cm
Width:
5.9”-7.9” | 15-20 cm
Length:
17.3”-22.4” | 44-57 cm
Depth:
Weight:
2.2-11 lb | 1-5 kg
Area:
Scientific Name
Dendrohyrax dorsalis
Lifespan
5-14 years

Drawings include:

Western Tree Hyrax side elevation, front

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Eastern Tree Hyrax (Dendrohyrax validus)
Scale illustration of an average Eastern Tree Hyrax compared to other species of Hyrax

The Eastern Tree Hyrax (Dendrohyrax validus) unlike most tree hyraxes is mostly found in pristine forest stands with multi-layered canopies in restricted parts of East Africa. It resembles a guinea pig with long, soft, gray-brown fur, though the underside is pale and a fringe of white hair can be visible on its ears. It is nocturnal and arboreal, with males producing extraordinary or territorial calls at night. The Eastern tree hyrax prefers trees with dense foliage for a suitable cover from predators. This is in the tropical or subtropical dry forests, montane forests, and moist savanna. It is solitary and an herbivore.

Eastern Tree Hyraxes have a total body length between 18.5”-22” (47-56 cm), standing height of roughly 7.9”-9.4” (20-24 cm), and body width of 5.9”-7.1” (15-18 cm). The typical weight of the Eastern Tree Hyrax is in the range of 3.7-6.6 lb (1.7-3 kg). Eastern Tree Hyraxes have lifespans between 10-14 years.

Pair of elevation illustrations of the Eastern Tree Hyrax seen from the side and front
The Eastern Tree Hyrax (Dendrohyrax validus) unlike most tree hyraxes is mostly found in pristine forest stands with multi-layered canopies in restricted parts of East Africa. It resembles a guinea pig with long, soft, gray-brown fur, though the underside is pale.

Eastern Tree Hyraxes have a total body length between 18.5”-22” (47-56 cm), standing height of roughly 7.9”-9.4” (20-24 cm), and body width of 5.9”-7.1” (15-18 cm). The typical weight of the Eastern Tree Hyrax is in the range of 3.7-6.6 lb (1.7-3 kg). Eastern Tree Hyraxes have lifespans between 10-14 years.

Pair of elevation illustrations of the Eastern Tree Hyrax seen from the side and front
Eastern Tree Hyrax (Dendrohyrax validus)
Height:
7.9”-9.4” | 20-24 cm
Width:
5.9”-7.1” | 15-18 cm
Length:
18.5”-22” | 47-56 cm
Depth:
Weight:
3.7-6.6 lb | 1.7-3 kg
Area:
Scientific Name
Dendrohyrax validus
Lifespan
10-14 years

Drawings include:

Eastern Tree Hyrax side elevation, front

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Bush Hyrax (Heterohyrax brucei)
Dimensioned comparison drawing of the Bush Hyrax compared to simliar Hyrax species

The Bush Hyrax (Heterohyrax brucei) is endemic to most sub-Saharan countries and is found mainly in the savanna and rocky areas. It is also called yellow-spotted rock hyrax. The bush hyrax is a browser with short legs, round ears, and a rudimentary tail. Its thick, short, coarse fur can either be dark reddish-brown or gray. The pads on its feet secret secretion to help it maintain a firm grip on rocky surfaces. The bush hyrax is aggressive and alert. This is because of its good sense of hearing and keen eyesight. Besides, it is very social, living in colonies.

Bush Hyraxes have a total body length between 12.2”-21.7” (31-55 cm), standing height of roughly 7.1”-12.2” (18-31 cm), and body width of 4.3”-7.5” (11-19 cm). The typical weight of the Bush Hyrax is in the range of 2.9-7.9 lb (1.3-3.6 kg). Bush Hyraxes have lifespans between 10-14 years.

Set of scaled elevation drawings of the Bush Hyrax viewed from the front and side
The Bush Hyrax (Heterohyrax brucei) is endemic to most sub-Saharan countries and is found mainly in the savanna and rocky areas. It is also called yellow-spotted rock hyrax. The bush hyrax is a browser with short legs, round ears, and a rudimentary tail.

Bush Hyraxes have a total body length between 12.2”-21.7” (31-55 cm), standing height of roughly 7.1”-12.2” (18-31 cm), and body width of 4.3”-7.5” (11-19 cm). The typical weight of the Bush Hyrax is in the range of 2.9-7.9 lb (1.3-3.6 kg). Bush Hyraxes have lifespans between 10-14 years.

Set of scaled elevation drawings of the Bush Hyrax viewed from the front and side
Bush Hyrax (Heterohyrax brucei)
Height:
7.1”-12.2” | 18-31 cm
Width:
4.3”-7.5” | 11-19 cm
Length:
12.2”-21.7” | 31-55 cm
Depth:
Weight:
2.9-7.9 lb | 1.3-3.6 kg
Area:
Scientific Name
Heterohyrax brucei
Lifespan
10-14 years

Drawings include:

Bush Hyrax side elevation, front

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