2 of Africa's Oddest Little Furry Friends
Africa is teeming with wildlife, some of them the oddest creatures on earth. The Jackal and the Hyrax are just two of the rare and exciting animals you might catch sight of on an African safari. If you're thinking about a vacation to Africa, fit a safari in your schedule. Keep your camera ready and maybe you'll get a picture of one of Africa's oddest little furry friends.
Animal enthusiasts refer to Africa as the continent of wildlife. A massive landmass that is part arid and part subtropical, Africa ranges from desert to dense jungle. Within this diverse geography is an equally bizarre assortment of animals. Here are two strange, oddly communal creatures, which are found in Africa.
Jackals look like a cross between a fox and a lovable little puppy. Don't be misled by their cute and innocent look. Jackals are quite the ravenous hunters and possibly the least picky eaters in Africa. They will scavenger off the leftover prey of larger carnivorous animals, frequently cleaning up diseased and contaminated scraps.
But, for all their notoriously vicious and rather repulsive eating habits, they are one of the most family oriented of all living creatures. Jackals are one of the few animals in the world that mate for life. While some jackals stay single, most pair up, sharing territory and hunting together with their proverbial animal spouse. Usually, until death do they part.
Jackals are known to live in small packs, like little families. They seem to only respond to a unique call from other pack members, something rare in the animal kingdom. If they hear the call of another jackal, not part of their own family, they do not respond.
This social bond is vital to the jackal's survival and they will remain dedicated to this family relationship their entire life.
Keeping with the Jackal's sense of social unity, the Hyraxes live in supportive family-like groups as well. The Hyrax though, lives in more of a communal situation with packs frequently reaching as many as 50 members.
Hyraxes are scattered over most of the continent, from the African Savanna to the dense rain forests. The Hyrax does not enjoy living in the higher altitudes, so they are mostly found at lower elevations, especially hanging from the vegetation in the valleys.
There are 5 subspecies of the Hyrax, but all closely resemble the standard North American groundhog. Oddly enough, they are not a primitive ancestor to any of the rodent-like animals from other continents, but are said to be the closest relative of the elephant.