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Dendrohyrax arboreus  

Actual scientific name :   Dendrohyrax arboreus  
Old scientific name :    
French name :   Daman d'arbre
English name :   Tree Dassie
Vernacular name :  
Xhibila (Kikaonde); Kibira (Kilala); chibatata (Kindembo) ; ciwila (Kilamba); chibatata (Lunda); impimpi, pati (Kibemba); Kibila (Kiluba); Perere (Kiswahili)

Call :  
Description :   Dassies are small and robust animals looking a bit like dormice or big guinea pigs.
Length: between 40 and 50 cm, shoulder height: 25 cm, weight: between 2 and 4 kg.
Muzzle is short and pointed. Ears are small. The upper incisor teeth are large and pointed. Legs are short. Toes with flattened nails. The second toes of the hind feet with long and curved claws. No tail. Hair is long, dense and soft. Upperparts are dark brown, underparts are lighter. In the middle of the back, there is a dorsal off-white spot of longer hair overlying a patch of glandular skin.  
Habitat :   Forests for some, rocky areas and caves for others.
In Katanga, quite common along streams.  
Behaviour :   Nocturnal and arboreal animals. Live in holes in trees or amongst dense foliage. Agile climber but walk with some difficulties.
Only active for about 16% of the day, when feeding, moving around, fighting or giving calls. Males and females are active at different times of the day.
At dawn and at dusk, they give loud calls.
The gland present in the middle of the back is probably used to mark their territories and/or to communicate.
Defecates under the tree they inhabit.
Live for about 12 years.  
Diet :   Leaves (especially from leguminous plants) but also some fruits, petioles, seeds and twigs.
In captivity, they love fruit yoghourt and cheese (especially gouda cheese). 
Life history :   Reach their sexual maturity around 1 year.
After a gestation period of 7 months, females give birth to 1 or 2 young. Their mothers nurse them for 3 to 7 months.  
Distribution in Katanga :   view map  
History, Ethnology, Sociology
Interactions with humans :   None.

Taboos :    
Legends, believes, folklore :   The dassie's call in the night is sometimes considered as a manifestation of dead ancestors. 
Fishing, hunting :   Sometimes caught in traps. 
Feeding :   Its meat is consumed. 
Breeding, taming :   This small animal is easily tamed.  
Uses of skin or other body parts :    

Warning :

This database was established according to official pieces of work and with the help of famous scientists. However, there might be some errors.

The vernacular names were collected in the field and in the colonial literature from the first part of the 20th century. The monks who established the first dictionaries were not necessarily informed naturalists. Therefore, errors must have been committed.

We invite everyone who could help us to improve this working tool to contact us in order to correct us and share her/his knowledge with us.

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