the ashkoko

Climate change is a serious impact on the ecosystem such as tropical forests. almost all over the planet tropical rainforests At the boundary of Holocene and Neocene had almost disappeared, remaining only in the form of small "islands" in the river valleys. Many of the inhabitants of these forests are gone, along with the extinct habitats. But in the Neocene, when the area of ​​the rain forest began to grow, they began to rapidly conquer new inhabitants.

Among the species that survived the mass extinction and adapted to life in the rain forest, there were the tree hyrax (Dendrohyrax). These Holocene afrotherians knew how to climb trees. Their descendant the ashkoko, brought this skill to perfection, becoming a kind of analogue of the prosimians. The name "ashkoko" in the language of the Ethiopians means "Lady".

the Ashkoko seems massive and slow but in fact it turns out to be extremely agile animal. The proportions of this animal is more like prosimians Loris, but moves much faster. Swung on a branch, it can make long jumps from tree to tree.

The adult animal weighs up to 5 kg, the female slightly smaller than male. Fur thick beast, brown with a white "mask" on the face and black legs. Dimensions "mask" may be very different from the rings of white fur around the eyes to the all-white front of the head. The belly of the beast is lighter than the back: bright yellow in the female, the male white. The male also easily distinguished from females by "decorating" - is growing short pointy red "crest" on its head.

Those animal are herbivorous, although diversify their diet with insects and bird eggs. Ashkoko Muzzle is broad, flattened; the mouth has much larger upper incisors. Thanks to them the ashkoko can easily split large nuts of some trees.

The structure of this animals legs allows him to easily move through the trees. In this three-toed foot ed the 2nd finger is opposed to the rest, acting as a missing thumb; on the middle finger of the foot grows a long "dressing" the claw with which the ashkoko is caring for hair. The sole of the foot well adapted to climbing - it is covered with a layer of spongy soft leather that allows denser "stick" even to the smooth bark of a tree.


On the back there is a large odorous gland - a common feature of all hyraxes ( even the huge flathorn, a resident of the African savannah and another descendant of hyraxes). With the help of this gland the ashkoko families is marking its territory, rubbing the back of the trunk and branches on the way.

Ashkoko lives in families with a male , a female and cubs in the litter 1 - 2. They are born developed, initially remain hiding - in the hollow of a large tree; a week after the birth of active learning to move through the trees. At age one ashkokos become sexually mature. Life expectancy is

up to 10 - 12 years.