Galagos, also known as bush babies or nagapies (which means little night monkeys in Afrikaans, a South African language of Dutch origin) are small nocturnal primates found in sub-Saharan Africa, and make up the family Galagidae (also sometimes called Galagonidae).
1. They are found in the forests of West and Central East Africa. They live in tree hollows that provide shelter and prefer trees with little grass around them, probably as a precaution against wildfires. They will also seek shelter in man-made beehives.
2. It is one of the smallest primates, about the size of a squirrel. Its shrill cries like those of a human baby, and cute appearance may account for the name bush baby. Aside from these baby-like cries, they make croaking, chattering, and clucking sounds or shrill whistles in case of danger.
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3. Bush babies have large, round eyes for good night vision. Their ears are delicate and bat-like, which enables them spot insects even in the dark. As they jump through the thick bushes, they fold their ears flat against their heads to protect them. They also fold them during rest.
4. The majority of its diet is made up of what is most abundant at that time of the year; including insects, leaves, and fruit.
5. Their strong hind limbs and long tails help them balance. And just like the kangaroo, can easily more than 9 metres in a series of leaps. The tail (longer than the length of the head and body) powers these leaps that enable them catch prey, escape from enemies, or get around obstacles.
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6. They frequently mark their routes with urine. By following their own scent, they can jump onto exactly the same branches each time they out from their nest. Males also urine-mark the boundaries of their territories and will sometimes become aggressive toward intruders.
7. Females usually have single, twin, or triplet babies. The first three days or so, the mother keeps the infants in constant contact with her, the young are suckled for six weeks and start feeding themselves at two months. Females also maintain a territory, which they share with their offspring.
8. Adult males maintain separate territories after leaving their mothers’ territories at puberty, while the females remain forming social groups consisting of closely related females and their young. Generally, one adult male mates with all the females in an area, while males that have not established territories sometimes form small bachelor groups.
9. There are four sub-species of bush babies spread across 25 countries in sub-Saharan Africa, and are usually preyed on by eagles, owls, genets, and large snakes.
10. Galagos exhibit both social and solitary lifestyles. This can be seen in their play, which includes play fights, play grooming, and following-play. When following-play, two galagos jump sporadically and chase each other through the trees. The older galagos in a group prefer to rest alone, while younger ones are in constant contact with one another.