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biodiversity explorer

the web of life in southern Africa

Hyracoidea (hyraxes, dassies)

Life > Eukaryotes > Opisthokonta > Metazoa (animals) > Bilateria > Deuterostomia > Chordata > Craniata > Vertebrata (vertebrates)  > Gnathostomata (jawed vertebrates) > Teleostomi (teleost fish) > Osteichthyes (bony fish) > Class: Sarcopterygii (lobe-finned fish) > Stegocephalia (terrestrial vertebrates) > Reptiliomorpha > Amniota > Synapsida (mammal-like reptiles) > Therapsida > Theriodontia >  Cynodontia > Mammalia (mammals) > Placentalia (placental mammals) > Afrotheria > Paenungulata

Contains a single family, the Procaviidae.

Species indigenous to southern Africa

Procavia capensis (Rock hyrax, Dassie)

Dassies are widely distributed in South Africa, preferring rocky areas in mountain ranges and isolated outcrops. They become active after sunrise and usually bask in the sun for some time before moving off to feed.  After a lengthy pregnancy for a small mammal the young are born fully haired with their eyes open and look like perfect miniatures of the adult.  Although dassies look like rodents their evolutionary relationships are closest to the elephant and the dugong.

Heterohyrax brucei (Yellow-spotted rock hyrax)

Dendrohyrax arboreus (Tree hyrax)