You have probably encountered a lot of unique animals that stand out with their visual nuances and personality traits. But even if you’re a nature enthusiast, you might not know about a Bushbaby — one of the smallest and cutest creatures that live in the depths of the forests.
Bushbabies are known as the Galago and today, there are at least 20 species of these adorable, tiny squirrel-sized animals. However, some scientists believe that many species of this animal are yet to be discovered.
In this article, you’ll learn more about the unique characteristics and behaviors of these fascinating creatures. We’ll also uncover some of the most intriguing facts about Bushbabies.
Bushbaby Appearance: Key Features & Main Characteristics
Bushbabies are called “Night Monkeys” in Afrikaans. Perhaps this nickname already indicates that these unique creatures are nocturnal. This means that they are mainly active at night and spend most of the day sleeping. Their eyes are relatively big compared to their body size, which allows them to see perfectly even in low-light conditions. Considering that their eyes absorb a large amount of light, they glow like cat eyes in the dark.
Along with exceptional vision, the hearing of Bushbabies is so sensitive that they fold their ears during daytime sleep to block out all the sounds of the forest and sleep soundly. However, their captivating features don’t end with their night vision or their delicate ears. If you’re curious to learn more about these intriguing creatures, you can read more about the Bushbaby here and discover many more distinctive features of this animal.
Galago’s physical features deserve special attention. You probably agree that the color of the fur is often one of the important components that determine an animal’s uniqueness, right? Therefore, we should also note that while Bushbabies are gray or brown, they have yellowish fur on their legs.
Surprisingly, Bushbabies can run tens of meters in seconds, which is probably due to their powerful legs (a little bit of an unexpected feature, considering their small size). In order to maintain balance while standing on trees, they use their thick tails. Their fluffy fur is also helpful in avoiding pesky insects. Usually, the weight of bushbabies varies depending on the species, but they typically weigh between 3 and 11 oz. As for the height, they typically grow from 5 to 8 inches.
Natural Habitat & Behavior of Bushbaby
Most types of Bushbabies live in the forests of sub-Saharan Africa. But specific species, such as large brown galagos, prefer tropical and subtropical forests. As for the Somali galago, you will find them in dry, thorny habitats. Furthermore, the majority of species prefer to live in the hollows of trees, while others prefer nests made of trunks and vegetation. The Senegalese Bushbaby has been known to use abandoned bird nests or even bee hives for shelter.
The food preferences of Bushbabies are diverse: they eat insects, fruit, and even small animals such as frogs and various species of birds. The natural enemies of the Galagos are mongooses, genets, owls, and snakes. Unfortunately, as you can see, this cute little creature needs a lot of energy and awareness to survive.
3 Main Considerations That Set a Bushbaby Apart
1. Rotating Ears and Comb-Like Teeth
You may find it surprising, but as a matter of fact, Galagos’ ears can rotate independently. At first glance, this behavior may seem insignificant, but the galago’s ears act as radar and provide information about impending danger.
In addition to the extraordinary fact about the ears, galagos have another unique characteristic. Their lower teeth are comb-shaped and therefore they are used to remove debris from the fur.
2. Human-Like Cries
If you ever hear a strange sound in the wild, similar to a baby’s cry, then chances are that there’s a Galago somewhere near you. The thing is that they have this frightening sound that resembles human cries. The purpose of this unusual vocal tone is to establish communication between mates.
However, what is more unusual is that, unlike other animals, galagos send different messages to other members of their species with different vocal sounds. They have a huge vocal repertoire that includes squawks, yelps, and even cries.
Bushbabies are quite social creatures – if you observe Bushbabies during the day, you will notice that they sleep together in groups of 2-7 members. Male Galagos prefer to sleep alone, so you rarely see them with other family members. As night falls, the Galagos wake up and start looking for food.
Jumping Over 2 Meter
Galagos have an excellent ability to jump long distances. They can cover impressive distances in one jump, thanks to the muscle mass of their hind legs, which account for 25% of their total body mass. It should also be noted that, with the help of hand-eye speed and coordination, Bushbabies can catch insects in the air with both hands.
After discussing the unique characteristics of Bushbabies, here’s one last thing you should know: if you think about keeping them as pets, think again because keeping them in captivity is generally illegal.
Considering they are wild by nature, the well-being of these animals depends on living in a natural environment with other members of the same species. We deeply believe that, as a responsible animal enthusiast, you’ll share and respect this worldview!
Having discovered a fondness for insects while pursuing her degree in Biology, Randi Jones was quite bugged to know that people usually dismissed these little creatures as “creepy-crawlies”.