The tree hyrax or tree dassie is a small nocturnal mammal native to Africa. Distantly related to elephants and sea cows, it comprises the four species in the genus Dendrohyrax, one of only two genera in the family Procaviidae, which is the only living family within the order Hyracoidea.
Analysis of calls found that they could be divided into 'shrieking' hyraxes and 'barking' hyraxes, with the barkers being a genetically distinct fourth species.
The tree hyrax has four-toed front feet and three-toed back feet with rounded nails, and rubbery soles that help it climb.
The habitat of the tree hyrax is mostly in forested places with a mix of older and younger trees. It can be found in elevations up to 4500 m above sea level.
Despite being more common than the rock hyrax, the tree hyrax is much more difficult to spot, as it is both nocturnal and extremely shy.
Tree hyraxes are nocturnal, arboreal folivores, which make use of cavity-bearing trees as dens in forests whereforest fauna decreased due to the change in the structural nature of forests in Eastern Cape, South Africa. Studies which were used to study the specific habitat requirements of fauna in their forest, revealed that the tree hyrax was found to select for den trees with particular characteristics: seven tree species were selected as den trees, which were usually the tallest trees in the canopy 4–8 m. Den trees were usually only partly decayed, with multiple cavity entrances and trunk angles between 45 and 68°. Cavity entrance and orientation did not appear to play a role in den tree selection by Dendrohyrax spp.