Tree hyrax

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Tree hyraxes[1]
Beecroft'sTreeHyrax.JPG
Western Tree Hyrax, Dendrohyrax dorsalis
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Infraclass: Eutheria
Superorder: Afrotheria
Order: Hyracoidea
Family: Procaviidae
Genus: Dendrohyrax
Gray, 1868
Species

The tree hyraxes or tree dassies are the two species in the genus Dendrohyrax. They are mammals in the family Procaviidae (the only living family within the order Hyracoidea). The two species are:

The tree hyrax is a small nocturnal mammal that is distantly related to elephants and sea cows. They have 4-toed front feet and 3-toed back feet with rounded nails, and rubbery soles that help them climb.[4]

The previously recognized Dendrohyrax validus is included in Dendrohyrax arboreus until detailed taxonomic research is conducted.[1]

Colouring: Dependent on geographical location, their soft dense coats can range from a pale gray to light or dark brown. The variation is consistent with evolutionary development to aid with camouflage, so that in wetter regions with more verdant and abundant vegetation they are darker, and in more arid areas their colouring is lighter.

Territorial Call: The male has a distinctive territorial call that starts with a series of loud measured cracking sounds, sometimes compared to 'a huge gate with rusted hinges being forced open'. This is then followed by a series of 'unearthly screams', ending in a descending series of expiring shrieks. Females also call, but lack the air pouches and enlarged larynx of the male, producing only a feeble imitation. On average there are two peak calling periods per night. Times vary, but the first period is often 2 –3 hours after dark, and the second at some point after midnight.[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Shoshani, J. (2005). Wilson, D. E.; Reeder, D. M, eds. Mammal Species of the World (3rd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. pp. 87–88. ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0. OCLC 62265494. 
  2. ^ Barry, R., Bloomer, P., Hoeck, H. & Shoshani, H. (2008). Dendrohyrax arboreus. In: IUCN 2008. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Retrieved 27 May 2010.
  3. ^ Barry, R., Bloomer, P., Hoeck, H. & Shoshani, H. (2008). Dendrohyrax dorsalis. In: IUCN 2008. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Retrieved 27 May 2010.
  4. ^ a b Estes, Richard D. (1999). The Safari Companion. Chelsea Green Publishing Company. ISBN 1-890132-44-6.