Rock Dassie [Procavia capensis]
The Rock Dassie is a rather small rodent looking animal that has a dark brown-grey colour with a pointed elongated face. It has large rounded ears and short stubby legs. The Rock Dassie is strangely the closest living member of the African Elephant. The foot structure and teeth are deduced to be in an evolutionary relationship with the African Elephant.
The Rock dassie is a vegetarian that feeds preferably on grass that appears during the wet seasons. When dry season hits, if will consume any plant material that is available. Plant matter that usually are toxic or poisonous can be eaten by dassies during areas of drought stress.
Young are born after a gestation period of 7 months during the summer months. Litters contain 3 young. A single dominant male can monopolize up to 17 females in its area.
Dassies generally spend time basking in the warm sun, especially during the mornings and afternoons. Dassies are common prey for caracals, eagles and leopards. Dassies are commonly found in the mornings sitting in the sun during a Kruger Park Safari.