any of an order (Hyracoidea) of small, rodentlike mammals of Africa and SW Asia that feed on plants and live in rocky areas (genus Procavia) or in trees (genera Dendrohyrax and Heterohyrax)
ModL < Gr, shrew mouse < IE base *swer-, to hum, buzz > swarm
See hyrax in American Heritage Dictionary 4
nounpl.hy·rax·es or hy·ra·ces(-rə-sēzˌ)
Any of several herbivorous mammals of the family Procaviidae within the order Hyraoidea of Africa and adjacent Asia, resembling woodchucks or similar rodents but more closely related to the hoofed mammals. Also called coney1, dassie.