Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Hyrax, the English name of any individual of the genus Procavia (of which it is a synonym). There are fourteen species (three with sub-species), ranging from Syria down the east coast of Africa to the Cape, and up the west coast to the Senegal river. In form they are not unlike the marmot, but are larger and more stoutly built, and the soft fur is brown or grey in colour. They are social in habit, and live among rocks or in trees, and, their diet is exclusively vegetable. The upper lip is cleft like that of the rodents, and the formation of the feet enables them to cling to vertical surfaces, as do the Geckos. They are extremely wary, and place sentinels to give warning of approaching danger; but when taken they soon become accustomed to captivity, and make amusing and affectionate pets. The Syrian Hyrax (P. syriaca) is the "cony" of Scripture, and the mistaken notion of the Jews that it chewed the cud probably arose from the fact that its jaws move almost incessantly like those of a ruminant. P. capensis is the Cape Hyrax or Rock Badger; P. arboreus and P. dorsalis are arboreal forms, formerly placed in the genus or sub-genus Dendrohyrax (from south-west Africa).