12 January 2012
Posted by Callan Bentley
The charming rock hyrax, a cuddly-looking fellow whose nearest living relative is the elephant:
This is in the coastal town of Hermanus, a lovely place for whale-watching, in season. We were there at the wrong season, but the hyrax provided a mammal sighting that made us happy. The little fellow seemed to really be enjoying the sun on his seaside perch…
A while later, we met a second one coming the opposite direction on the coastal path:
We yielded the right-of-way. Vicious creatures, these. You don’t want to confront them.
When I wrote about the rock hyrax over at Surprising Science last year (http://blogs.smithsonianmag.com/science/2011/09/what-in-the-world-is-a-rock-hyrax/), I concluded that they had a pretty good life–they spend their days lying in the sun–except that they have to eat poo when they’re young so they get the gut bacteria they need for digestion. Love the photos!
At least it didn’t go all Killer Rabbit of Caerbannog on you!