Saturday, January 16, 2010

Rock hyrax everywhere

Psalms 104:18 says

חָרִים הַגְּבֹהִים, לַיְּעֵלִים; סְלָעִים, מַחְסֶה לַשְׁפַנִּים
"The high mountains are for the wild goats [ibex]; the rocks are a refuge for the hyrax."

I posted a picture to prove that about the ibex, now let's look at the hyrax.
Here is my last-Thursday hiking friend communing with a hyrax near the first waterfalls at Ein Gedi Nature Reserve.

Families of rock hyrax (Procavia capensis) , or conies, live in rock crannies or in thickets of reeds.
Even though they are mammals, their body temperature changes according to the ambient temperature. So on cold mornings you can see them sunbathing on top of rocks before resuming activity.

Like the ibex, the hyrax are remarkable climbers.
And they run really fast!

The rock hyrax have lived in the Jordan Valley for a long time, as evidenced by this ancient mosaic in Tabgha.
Next week for Camera-Critters Sunday meme we can look at the birds of Ein Gedi.


Linda said...

I've been to Tabgha but did not make the connection of the Hyrax. Very interesting.

Manang Kim said...

Thanks for the information...they do sun bathing I need one too. ^_^ Happy weekend!

My jiggly critter

Kay said...

I've never seen one. The hyrax are so cute. I guess they're almost like our squirrels?

jeannette stgermain said...

I've never seen these animals before -very interesting indeed that their body temp. changes with the one outside!

Cloudia said...

So cool, Dina!

Hooray for the Israeli medical team in Haiti- first up!

ShAloha, Friend!

Comfort Spiral

Dina said...

Linda, my nun friends made sure I noticed the hyrax on the mosaic floor and the same animals playing on the rocks outside the church.

Manang Kim, haha, yes, not much sun in other parts of the world this winter.

Kay, they ARE cute, just 2 or 3 times bigger than squirrels. They only live around the Sea of Galilee and down in the wadis by the Dead Sea. I think.

Jeannette, Yeah, really.

Cloudia, thanks! Yes, Israelis like to help and know how to do it well. For a part of the aid team your news might not have told about, see,7340,L-3834954,00.html

Ladynred said...

I've never seen one before! Looks like interesting animal.

eileeninmd said...

The hyrax are cool looking critters. It is neat that they can climb.

Joy said...

Fascinating photostory!

Michael said...

They are new to me as well. I love the mosaic.

ellen said...

What a great entry you have. Hope you have a nice weekend. God Bless!

Nadege said...

What do they eat? They are very cute. Come to think of it, I have so many questions, I will Google them.

Hilda said...

Interesting little creature. I've just heard the name, but never seen pictures of it before now. Well-camouflaged for its environment.

Diederick Wijmans said...

They look lovely! I had never seen this animal before. We have marmots living in the Alps which you will have seen during your travels through Switzerland, but they are bigger and do not climb into trees!

Chuck Pefley said...

Particularly interesting to see the early artwork of these animals of today.

FA said...

Fascinating. As always, I like enlarging your photos for interesting detail. In this one I was intrigued by the people wading in the pond. Another surpise - the waterfalls!

Rambling Round said...

Love the photos of the hyrax. Interesting animal!

Vicki said...

Fascinating. I learn something new every day.

Nathalie said...

I'd never heard of the hyrax before - fantastic word to use in a scrabble game !

I love the fact that its presence in the region is so old that there are ancient mosaics depicting him !

I've learned somthing today, thanks!

JM said...

I've seen hyraxes in South Africa, Tanzania and Kenya but had no idea they are so up north as Israel. How cool!

Dina said...

Nadege, I read the hyrax eat plants, some of them poisonous.
Tell me more.

Diederick, yes, I remember the voices of the marmots in the Swiss Alps. And once we took a rack and pinion train way up an Alp, and there was a Marmot Park, showing their underground burrows and all.

Jew Wishes said...

What a wonderful and informative post, with beautiful photos.