Safari! Animal #21 - I'm pretty cute, huh? - for an animal with fangs: the rock hyrax.

Wibari in Swahili means rock hyrax. Rock hyraxes may look like rodents, but their closest relatives are actually elephants! Comparing the cousins produces some interesting statistics: while male African elephants can reach a height of 10 feet and weigh as much as 11,000 pounds, rock hyraxes only get eight inches tall and weigh around seven or eight pounds. They do have some things in common, however, like carrying their young for a long time before giving birth. The gestation period for elephants is twenty-two months while that of the hyrax is seven and a half months. Now seven and a half months may not seem like a long time compared to twenty-two, but for such a small animal, that is a very long gestation period. It means that, while other small mammals like mice and rabbits can give birth many times and generate tens or even hundreds of offspring in one year, hyraxes only give birth once - usually to two or three babies - each year.

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