Zoo Welcomes Tiny, Furry Triplets That Are Closely Related to Elephants
Born at less than 9 ounces, the babies have teeth resembling tusks and a skull and foot structure that's similar to elephants.
A zoo in the U.K. has welcomed pocket-sized triplets, but don't let their size fool you — they come with an enormous heritage.
The three baby pups, born July 21 at the Chester Zoo, are called rock hyraxes, a species more closely related to elephants than any other animal in the world, but they each weigh less than 9 ounces.
“Rock hyraxes have helped conservationists learn so much about the evolution of different animals, and how animals can evolve and adapt to the environments where they live," Team Manager of small mammals, David White, said in a statement from the zoo. "They really are special little creatures."
In a video released by the zoo, the small-statured siblings can be seen exploring and napping with their mom, Daissie, and dad, Nungu.
Their species have two large, narrow-edged teeth similar to an elephant's tusks. They also have skull and foot structures that are comparable to the large mammal.
After about seven months of pregnancy, Daissie gave birth to her furry trio. They have not yet been named and their genders have not been identified.
The Africa and the Arabian Peninsula natives live together in groups as small as two or as large as 26 and have up to 20 different noises they use to communicate with each other.
The rubbery soles of their feet act like suction cups to help them grip onto rocks while climbing.
“Hyraxes are known for spending a large majority of their time lying out and basking in the sun, so mum Daissie and dad Nungu have certainly been run off their feet keeping up with these three little ones,” White said.
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