Smithsonian National Zoological Park l Friends of the National Zoo



Rock Hyrax

Procavia capensis

Home Range:

Sub-Saharan Africa and Lebanon, Israel, Jordan, and Syria


Rocky areas and scrub, open grassland


Roots, bulbs, fruits, grasses


Two to three young

Social Structure:

Lives in groups of up to 50 individuals. Active mainly during the day.

Fun Facts:

Although their body size and front teeth make them look like rodents, hyraxes are in fact distantly related to elephants and manatees. The teeth are believed to be remnants of tusks.

Despite their bulk, rock hyraxes move with great agility among rocks. Sweat glands and many muscles make their feet function like suction cups, enabling hyraxes to move about securely.