Evolutionary divergence between rock hyraxes and rock-wallabies  


wallaboboPetrogale xanthopus photo © Adam Jenkins



Rock hyraxes and rock-wallabies are adapted to extremely similar environments but could hardly differ more in their modes of locomotion. Rock hyraxes run quadrupedally by virtue of adhesive friction on precarious surfaces; instead of hugging the rock surface, rock-wallabies flee bipedally by bouncing off rocks while swinging the long tail for balance. One reason why rock hyraxes contrast with rock-wallabies in being able to squeeze their virtually tailless body into crannies is that they share their boulders and cliffs with baboons – tail-grabbing mischief-makers with no counterparts in the Australian fauna.
Robin and the Honey Badger, 22 March 2016