rock hyrax

variants: or less commonly rock dassie

Definition of rock hyrax

: a diurnal, terrestrial hyrax (Procavia capensis) of Africa and the Middle East that frequents rocky, scrub-covered areas Also residing in the kopje are rock hyraxes—small, social mammals that look like rodents but are more closely related to elephants, as their tusklike incisors attest.— Deborah A. Besch

Note: There are several subspecies of rock hyraxes that are sometimes regarded as distinct species. The rock hyrax of the Middle East is the coney of the Old Testament.

First Known Use of rock hyrax

1903, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of rock hyrax was in 1903

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Cite this Entry

“Rock hyrax.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Oct. 2020.

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