Hyraxes Unknown

Hyraxes (Order Hyracoidea) are rabbit-sized animals that have no visible tail and look like guinea pigs. The forefeet have four toes bearing

240 hungarian reedwolf blunt, hooflike nails; the hind feet have three toes, two with nails and the third with a curved claw. They were once grouped with the RODENTS and later with the ELEPHANT to which they are closely related. Thomas Huxley was the first to put them into an independent order of their own. Current molecular studies show a close connection to both the proboscideans and the perissodactyls (HOOFED MAMMALS).

There are three existing genera of hyraxes, all living in Africa: Rock hyraxes (Procavia), Bush hyraxes (Heterohyrax), and Tree hyraxes (Den-drohyrax). All three flourish in forested and rocky environments that hoofed mammals have difficulty with. These are only a small percentage of hyracoids that lived in the early Cenozoic, when they were the dominant herbivores in Africa. At that time, some were as large as rhinoceroses, including Titanohyrax and Kvabebi-hyrax. The earliest known hyraxes lived in Tunisia and Algeria in the Middle Eocene, 45 million years ago. The three cryptids in this section are ambiguously described but might reasonably be identified as hyraxes.

Mystery Hyraxes

Ethiopian Hyrax; Giant Hyrax of Shaanxi; Sandewan hyraxes 241

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