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The African elephant’s closest living relative – the dassie

May 23, 2007
Got bitten by one the other day. It was an accident, the dassie got over enthusiastic when I hand-fed it a peanut. My fault.
clipped from

Rock Dassie
The dassie is the African elephant’s closest living relative, in spite of the size difference. This close evolutionary relationship is deduced from similarities in the structure of the feet and teeth.

Dassies are heavily prayed upon by eagles, Caracal and Leopard.

As indicated by the vernacular name, its preferred habitat is rocky area’s throughout Southern Africa. Dassies are agile tree dwellers where large trees occur near cliff faces.
One dominant male monopolises up to 17 females in a harem group. Solitary mature males live on the periphery of such harems.

Latin Name : Procavia Capensis
Weight (Female) : 2,5 – 4,2 kg
Weight (Male) : 3,2 – 4,7 kg
Length (Female) : 55 cm
Length (Male) : 55 cm
Gestation Period : 8 months
No of Young : 1 – 6
Sexual Maturity : 17 months
Birth Weight : 165 – 230 g
Order : Hyracoidea
Family : Procaviidae
Breeding : 1 – 6 young are born in September/October and March – April after a gestation period of 7 months.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. October 23, 2008 5:01 pm

    Interesting Post. Another similarity is the fact that both the elephant and dassie have the mammary glands situated between the front legs, unlike most other animals.

  2. April 15, 2009 7:26 pm

    Hey, cool tips. I’ll buy a bottle of beer to the person from that forum who told me to go to your blog 🙂

  3. Croswell permalink
    June 25, 2011 7:03 pm

    A rock dassie came into our garden in Rivonia. Unfortunately it was tackled by our dashound under a lemon tree where it was feeding on leaves. It stays on the tennis court and is not fearful when approached. Could it be someone’s pet?

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