09 Sep2014

Take a Guess…

by Marketman


One of the cuter animals we had never encountered before visiting South Africa, it kind of resembled a huge furry hamster. They were first pointed out to us on the craggy, rocky, frigid and windy top of Table Mountain, but we saw them on coastal areas as well as elsewhere during the trip. So my question is, without googling or any research, what is your best guess about the closest living relatives of these cute models for the stuffed animal industry? Will post the answer and the name of this animal after a couple of dozen guesses or so… :)



  1. arugulaa says:

    rock dassie/hyrax

    Sep 9, 2014 | 5:28 am


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  3. Connie C says:

    Not in my animal alphabet book and haven’t got a clue. Would it be a distant distant relative of the squirrel but that would be a far guess because it does not appear to have a tail and it has those cute little ears. It even has the cutest smiley face!

    Sep 9, 2014 | 5:45 am

  4. Marketman says:

    arugulaa, that’s what this critter is, but not what the question asked, your best guess what it’s closest living relatives are, without researching it… :)

    Sep 9, 2014 | 6:00 am

  5. Lerker says:


    Sep 9, 2014 | 6:02 am

  6. Footloose says:

    Otter? Looks like it’s a troublemaker.

    Sep 9, 2014 | 6:19 am

  7. edee says:


    Sep 9, 2014 | 7:19 am

  8. Betchay says:

    A rabbit? Maybe a hamster?

    Sep 9, 2014 | 7:37 am

  9. Guia says:

    Mouse, tail less?

    Sep 9, 2014 | 7:45 am

  10. ros says:

    I remember this one; from the BBC Life series, they were being hunted by a couple of sneaky raptors. And yes, elephants are their closest living genetic relative, they have cute mini tusks and one particular detail that struck me is that they share the same number of teats (four) as an elephant does.


    Sep 9, 2014 | 8:03 am

  11. Footloose says:

    They might share the same teat count with elephants but what places them in the same taxon, Paenungulata, along with dugongs and manatees are their undescended testicles (even in warm weather). No wonder, dugongs and manatees were mistaken for sirens, hence their order Sirenia, most likely by sailors who obviously have been at sea for too long.

    Sep 9, 2014 | 8:22 am

  12. jdawgg says:

    adocoat – adobo for the meat and coat for the fur. LOL, on serious matter I have no clue.

    Sep 9, 2014 | 8:51 am

  13. joyyy says:

    oh that face! Like he’s up to something no good! Best guess KOALA.

    Sep 9, 2014 | 9:11 am

  14. Joanie says:

    elephant LOL
    my guess is gerbil?

    Sep 9, 2014 | 9:31 am

  15. jen says:

    rock hyrix

    Sep 9, 2014 | 11:59 am

  16. ami says:

    A mongoose?

    Sep 9, 2014 | 12:16 pm

  17. ysa says:

    hahaha….. i don’t have a clue! but i do love that smirk on his face :-)

    Sep 9, 2014 | 12:26 pm

  18. Joey in Dubai says:


    Sep 9, 2014 | 1:20 pm

  19. Sleepless in Seattle says:


    Sep 9, 2014 | 1:39 pm

  20. izaia says:

    cat? rat?..or uhm..dog??
    so cute!! looks like its ready to bite though :)

    Sep 9, 2014 | 2:48 pm

  21. Ron says:


    Sep 9, 2014 | 5:39 pm

  22. Phaura Reinz says:


    Sep 9, 2014 | 6:44 pm

  23. ped victor says:

    It looks as if it’s smiling lol. Very cute indeed.

    Sep 9, 2014 | 8:00 pm

  24. jestonipoe says:

    It’s a hyrax.

    Sep 9, 2014 | 8:49 pm

  25. klaus says:

    Meerkat maybe.

    Sep 9, 2014 | 9:35 pm

  26. Rick says:

    A Marmot!

    Sep 10, 2014 | 1:32 am

  27. Natie says:

    Like a rabbit-mouse.. Cute smile!

    Sep 10, 2014 | 1:33 am

  28. rock on says:


    Sep 10, 2014 | 3:10 am

  29. BD says:

    With the hind legs similar to a hopper then it must be the rabbit.

    Sep 10, 2014 | 4:18 am

  30. LEC says:

    a kangaroo?

    Sep 10, 2014 | 6:28 am

  31. Marketman says:

    Good guesses, and some of you actually got the right answer. The cute furry animal above is a rock hyrax, and yes, believe it or not, his/her closest living relatives other than other hyrax’s are ELEPHANTS. See the resemblance? Honestly, I wouldn’t have guessed that connection in a hundred guesses… :)


    Sep 10, 2014 | 6:46 am

  32. john paul sarabia says:

    a handsome boy- joke- ka cute.

    Sep 10, 2014 | 7:38 am

  33. Connie C says:

    Unbelievably true, the hyrax relative to elephants.

    Though not as cute and furry as the hyrax, we humans can’t say we are too far away from our closest extant relatives, the chimps, but perhaps the elephant too?

    Consider this: what would we look like in the next decades or so with the fast evolutionary changes happening to body morphology because of what we ingest by way of bad carbs, bad oils and high fructose corn syrup in almost everything especially in super processed foods. Scary!!!

    Sep 10, 2014 | 9:30 am

  34. Footloose says:

    Southern white trash?, scary indeed.

    Ah so à propos, another fascinating book of the week from BBC: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b04g7lhj

    Sep 10, 2014 | 4:12 pm

  35. Connie C says:

    Thanks, again, for the link Footloose.

    Listened to all available episodes, not just fascinating history but listening was sheer delight.

    Sep 10, 2014 | 7:35 pm

  36. Dreaming! says:

    An Elephant :- )

    Sep 12, 2014 | 12:07 pm

  37. Monty says:

    From its facial expression, that looks like a constipated capybara. Probably wondering why the hell it’s in Africa instead of South America, and still not used to a diet of African vegetation.

    Sep 14, 2014 | 1:13 am

  38. Risa says:

    MM, I know it pisses bloggers off when readers get too needy. (Insert hyrax face here.)

    I think I’m going through withdrawal. I should get a shirt that says, “Mondays are better with Marketmanila.”

    Where are you? I got a motherload of dayap from Tuguegarao. I made key lime pie, juiced half of them and froze it, and the rest I froze whole.

    Oh gosh, I’m SHARING in the comments. This is really bad.

    Sep 15, 2014 | 10:42 am

  39. Marketman says:

    Risa, hahaha, sorry, have been pre-occupied. Have several posts worth of material (photos) from recent trips but just haven’t gotten back into the groove. Will try and post one soon. :)

    Sep 15, 2014 | 10:44 am

  40. Risa says:

    MM – I just want to share a method I tried to keep dayap green. They are notorious for turning yellow in 1-2 days. I know you mentioned freezing them whole, but I find I can’t zest a defrosted dayap anymore.

    I’ve tried zesting and freezing the zest. It works a bit, but it loses some of the flowery citrus scent.

    But for example you get them on a Monday and have time to bake only on Saturday, this method can work. I tried it just last week and have maintained green dayap for 7 days so far.

    Pick out the yellowing ones and segregate or use them up (I think that there is a hormonal change there that just speeds up the rest). Make a packet of foil and put the green ones in and crimp the edges. Double with a zip lock bag and stash in the ref.

    I read this foil method first for cilantro (which normally has close to 0 shelf life, right?). Thought it might work for dayap, and it does.

    Sep 15, 2014 | 1:45 pm

  41. Footloose says:

    Most fruits give off minute quantities of certain gases, that’s part of the ripening process. If you want to prolong a green fruit’s greenness, place a chunk of charcoal with the fruits in a sealable bag to soak up these gases.

    If you want the opposite, for instance with mangoes whose outward golden ripeness you want to speed up, place a chunk of calcium carbide (calboro) in a sealable container with the fruits and mist it with water. This will produce enough acetylene to snuff off all the chlorophyl out of the green fruits (although they remain sour and unripe inside).

    Sep 15, 2014 | 3:10 pm

  42. Risa says:

    Footloose, that’s interesting. I’ve heard of the calboro method before, and just assumed that it increased the temperature and hastened ripening. First time I’m hearing about charcoal.

    My father used to work at sea, and they would get months’ supply of green bananas. He mentioned bringing out a “piling” from storage and sitting it in a warm place with a ripe apple as their method. I would wonder though if it’s more the warmth than the apple that set it up.

    Sep 17, 2014 | 10:24 am

  43. Marketman says:

    Risa, the gases from the apple do ripen the banana, you can try it in a brown paper bag on a kitchen counter. Versus a banana in the bag on its own…

    Sep 17, 2014 | 12:45 pm

  44. Footloose says:

    Oranges you get here in North America are actually exposed to acetylene in sealed chambers (skipping the calcium carbide + water method), that’s how they get to be uniformly orange. In Brazil, oranges are sold green.

    The charcoal treatment actually works with any green vegetables too in your fridge compartment. That’s my used Brita water filters’ (which are made of activated charcoal) halfway house to the garbage.

    Sep 17, 2014 | 4:27 pm


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