Petromuridae – Dassie Rat

The family contains only a single species -the dassie rat. Rodents that are found in southwestern Africa.

These cute, squirrel-like, long-tailed rodents occur regularly and sometimes commonly in rocky areas within this vast swathe of desert and semi-desert land. Petromuridae is thought to be most closely related to the giant Cane Rats that still occur in grasslands and cane fields of more moist areas of Africa.

These rodents can squeeze through the tiniest of crevices because their ribs are so bendy. Dassie rats produce between two and three young rats in a year. Being the only member of their family makes them extremely sought after. They are active during the day. Group members use a distinctive whistle to warn of predators.