Researchers from the University of Helsinki have definitively described a tree hyrax in the Taita Hills, Kenya, which may be a new species.
The discovery that was part of a study about nocturnal animals in the Taita Hills was published in mid-December in the scientific journal Diversity.
Very little is known about the diversity and ecology of tree hyraxes due to their elusive natures and the fact that they are not always seen in the wild.
These animals are known to be capable of scream at levels in excess of 100 dB, but the “choking thwack” calls reported in the Taita forests have not been mentioned anywhere else.
We have reported Taita tree hyraxes’ calls.
The male tree hyraxes sing songs that last up to twelve minutes, alternating between different syllables and mixing them in different ways.
“The singing animals are probably males trying to attract mating females,” says Hanna Rosti, who spent three months in the Taita forests trailing the nocturnal mammals and recording their vocalizations.
A preview of the cry of the tree hyrax: cry of the tree hyrax.]
https://scitechdaily.com/images/Strangled-Thwack.mp3 , vocal sample – The Music of the Tree Hyrax:
The results from the analysis indicate that the Taita Hills pygmy galago populations may belong to different species.
The calls of animals in the smaller population are very close to those of the species formerly considered rare, but now found to be very common.
The calls of the second population are yet undetermined and cannot be paired with any recognized species.
“The taxonomy of many nocturnal mammals remains poorly known, and many populations have not even been studied,” states researchers Henry Pihlström of the Natural History Museum and the University of Helsinki.
The citation references “Vocalization Analyses of Nocturnal Arboreal Mammals of the Taita Hills, Kenya” by Hanna Rosti, Henry Pihlström, Simon Bearder, Petri Pellikka.
In Jouko Rikkinen (December 13, 2020, Diversity)