noun \ˈhī-ˌraks\

Definition of HYRAX

:  any of a family (Procaviidae) of small ungulate mammals of Africa and the Middle East characterized by thickset body with short legs and ears and rudimentary tail, feet with soft pads and broad nails, and teeth of which the molars resemble those of the rhinoceros and the incisors those of rodents —called also coney, dassie

Illustration of HYRAX

Origin of HYRAX

Greek hyrak-, hyrax shrew
First Known Use: 1832


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Rock hyrax (Procavia capensis).—Leonard Lee Rue III

Any member of three genera of small, hoofed, quadruped, rodentlike mammals (order Hyracoidea) native to Africa and extreme South Asia. Hyraxes have a squat body, a short neck and tail, and short, slender legs. Adults are 12–20 in. (30–50 cm) long and weigh 8–11 lbs (4–5 kg). They are primarily herbivores. They are agile and climb well with the aid of special pads on their feet. Their relationship to ungulates is unclear. See also cony.


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