Skull Morphology of the Rock Hyrax (Procavia capensis)
and the Problem of Hyrax Origins

P. E. Kondrashov

Paleontological Institute, Russian Academy of Sciences, ul. Profsoyuznaya 123, Moscow, 117647 Russia

Received February 21, 1997

Abstract—The skull structure in a recent representative of the order Hyracoidea, the rock hyrax (Procavia cap-
ensis
) is described. Data on the evolutionary development, geological, and geographical distribution of the
order are considered. The shape of the skull bones, their macrostructure, arrangement, position, and functions
of the foramina providing passages for vessels and nerves are analyzed; the structure of the middle and inner
ear is examined. The auditory ossicles of P. capensis are described. Based on these data, hyraxes are considered
to have been isolated quite early from the ancestral lineage.


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