Where do bush babies live?
Bush babies are found throughout East Africa as well as in woodlands and bushlands in sub-Saharan Africa. They generally do not inhabit areas above altitudes of 6,500 feet. Most often, they live in tree hollows that provide shelter. Sometimes, they construct nests in the forks of branches, but these are not as commonly used as are natural holes. Bush babies prefer trees with little grass around them, probably as a precaution against wildfires. They will also seek shelter in man-made beehives.
Tags: Benin, Burkina Faso, DRC, Kenya, Niger, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, East Africa, West/Central Africa, Kilimanjaro, Virunga, Cameroon
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What is a bush baby?
The lesser galago, also called a bush baby, is one of the smallest primates, about the size of a squirrel. Its plaintive cries and cute appearance may account for the name "bush baby." Bush babies have large, round eyes for good night vision and bat-like, delicate ears that enable them to track insect prey in the dark. As they jump through thorn bush or thick growth, they fold the ears flat against their heads to protect them. They fold them during rest, too.
The bush baby enjoys a varied, seasonal diet.
The majority of its diet is made up of what is most abundant at that time of the year, including insects, leaves, and fruit.
They cry like human infants.
Despite its small size, the bush baby produces loud, shrill cries surprisingly like those of a human baby. Aside from these baby-like cries, they make croaking, chattering, and clucking sounds or shrill whistles in case of danger.
Bush babies travel in leaps and bounds.
In a series of leaps, a bush baby can easily cover 10 yards in seconds. The tail (longer than the length of the head and body) powers the leaps made to catch prey, escape from enemies, or get around obstacles. The bush baby's other methods of locomotion are kangaroo-like hops or simply walking or running on four legs. They frequently mark their routes with urine. By following their own scent, they can jump onto exactly the same branches each time when they go to or from their nest. Males also urine-mark the boundaries of their territories and will sometimes become aggressive toward intruders.
The tiny newborn weighs less than half an ounce.
Females may have singles, twins, or triplets, with each newborn weighing less than half an ounce. The first three days or so the mother keeps the infants in constant contact with her. She picks them up with her hands or mouth, and they cling to her. The young are suckled for six weeks and can feed themselves at two months. They grow rapidly, causing the mother to walk slowly and awkwardly as she transports them. Sometimes, the mother will take just one young with her, leaving the others in the nest.