This Week’s Quirkiest Animal: The Bushbaby (Galagos)

October 9, 2013

These cute little animals are native to Africa and are part of the family Galagidae. Galagos are nocturnal creatures with big bulbous eyes and cry like a baby (hence their nickname) when they are distressed or to heed off danger. With excellent night vision, agile limbs and long tails for balance they move quickly through trees. Their diet consists of insects that they grab off of the ground or catch in midair. Fruit is also part of their diet. They can leap to great heights (up 2.25 metres has been recorded). Their large ears are of course cute, but are there to help them to listen for the scrounging of insects, or predators.

The Galagos interact with each other by means of sound, calling out to each other and they mark their territory by urinating on the branches of trees. Their social groups are interesting as the males leave the nest after puberty, but the females remain forming close groups. The adult males have separate territories, and one male will mate with all the females in the area. They can be seen playing together swinging from branch to branch and throwing things at each other. So not only are they cute, but they seem to have quite a character too!

Hopefully on a night safari you can get a glimpse of these quirky creatures and snap a quick photograph or two, but in the meantime have a look at the following clip of a rather tame bushbaby, Boris.


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