This order of herbivorous mammals was very diverse and abundant during the Early Oligocene period, about 35 million years ago, having radiated from its origins in the Eocene into many ecological niches. Some hyracoids looked like tapirs, some were similar to horses, while others resembled rabbits, as do modern hyraxes. Some grew as large as pigs, but most were smaller. They seem to have declined as grazing animals expanded, and are represented today by only 7 species living in Africa and parts of the Middle East. The most notable of these is the rock hyrax.
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