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Pedetes is a genus of rodent, the springhares, in the family Pedetidae. Members of the genus are distributed across southern and Eastern Africa.

Species


Pedetes

A number of species both extant and extinct are classified in the genus Pedetes. They include:

  • South African springhare or springhaas (Pedetes capensis)
  • East African springhare (Pedetes surdaster)
  • Pedetes laetoliensis (Davies, 1987) (fossil)

Throughout the 20th century, the living species (and occasionally the prehistoric one) were merged into P. capensis, making the genus monotypic.

Ecology


Pedetes

These rodents are generally nocturnal and sleep through the day in burrows they dig. They feed on foliage, roots and other vegetable matter, and occasionally arthropods. Outside the burrow they usually move around by hopping on their hind legs.

When only one springhare species was recognized, it was listed as vulnerable by the IUCN in 1996 due to an approximately 20% decrease in the population over the previous ten years. This has been caused by intense hunting and the loss of habitat. However, the negative trend has not persisted, and both species are now listed as Species of Least Concern.

References


Pedetes

Further reading



  • The Recent and fossil affinities of the genus Pedetes (Mammalia: Rodentia).
  • Postcranial morphology and springing adaptations in Pedetidae from Arrisdrift, Middle Miocene (Namibia).
  • A proposal for a new classification and nomenclature for the Glires (Lagomorpha and Rodentia).
  • The preplacenta of Pedetes, the trager, and the maternal circulatory pattern in rodent placentae.
  • Unworn teeth and relationships of the African rodent, Pedetes.
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