A small herbivorous mammal with a compact body and a very short tail, found in arid country in Africa and Arabia. The nearest relatives to hyraxes are the elephants and other subungulates.
- Family Procaviidae and order Hyracoidea: three genera and several species.
- The hyrax - elephant - sirenian core is well-accepted on morphological grounds.
- Less certain are manatees, aardvarks, and hyraxes.
- So do wombats, hyraxes, aye-ayes, and lagomorphs, to give a few examples chosen from modern mammals.
Mid 19th century: modern Latin, from Greek hurax 'shrewmouse'.
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