The tree hyrax or tree dassie is a small nocturnal mammal native to Africa. Distantly related to elephants and sea cows, it comprises the four species in the genus Dendrohyrax, one of only two genera in the family Procaviidae, which is the only living family within the order Hyracoidea. And according to a few recently published articles in the scientific community, a newly discovered species of Tree Hyrax was found living between the Volta and Niger rivers.

This one apparently barks at night.

The new find comes from a new study that was published in the Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society that is co-authored by Yale anthropologist Eric Sargis. In it, he finds that the barking hyraxes are a separate species from their shrieking neighbors. The newly described species, Dendrohyrax interfluvialis, populates the wet and dry forests that lie between the two rivers in coastal regions of southeastern Ghana, southern Togo and Benin, and southwestern Nigeria.  It can be distinguished from neighboring Dendrohyrax dorsalis by its nighttime barking vocalizations, its shorter and broader skull, and its lighter pelage.

Footage from a camera trap of a new species of hyrax in eastern Uganda. Credit: E. Wiafe and J. Oates

You can hear a sample of their sound below.



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