Bushbabies are among the cutest primates living in the forests of Africa. They are often found hanging from the trees, and due to their similarity of appearance and nature with monkeys, they are known as 'night monkeys'. But why night monkeys you ask? Well, these primates hunt during the night, hence the name.
They are quite good-looking animals with long ears, brown, yellowish to reddish-brown or gray-colored soft, wooly fur, along with large eyes, long hind legs, and long tails. Their ears are quite delicate. Thus they fold their ears during jumping from one tree to another, or while climbing.
They are very mindful of their territory. They use body posture, loud cries, and even special tactics to protect their territory from other bush babies. Although they are not aggressive by nature while protecting their area they can show intensive aggressiveness. They also become aggressive if kept alone. Due to their inherent nature of mating, these animals cannot be left alone.
They are quite exotic and rare. In the United States, they used to be pretty common pets. However, with every passing day, their popularity as pets is decreasing. One of the main reasons is that in the United States pet trade has been made illegal.
They are an interesting species and there is a lot of interesting information. Keep on reading to learn more about exotic bush babies and bush baby pet facts
Senegal bushbaby - Least Concern Lesser bush baby - Least Concern
Where you'll find them
Subtropical and tropical forests, rainforests, savanna, dry and thorny habitat
Nigeria, Botswana, Namibia, Mocambique Zimbabwe, sub-Saharan Africa, South Africa
Senegal bush baby - Galago senegalensis Lesser bush baby - Galago moholi
Bush Baby Interesting Facts
What type of animal is a Bush Baby?
Exclusive to Africa, the cute little saucer-eyed primates are known as bush babies. The bush babies also go by the name galago. There are 20 species of galagos that have been discovered to date. Researchers believe that there are also many other species of the animal that have not yet been discovered. The Africans have named the galagos nagapies, meaning 'night monkeys'. All the species of the galago are believed to be nocturnal.
What class of animal does a Bush Baby belong to?
The unique named animals belong to the Mammal class.
How many Bush Babies are there in the world?
The exact number of bush babies or galagos present in the world is not known. However, there are 20 known species of the galagos living in Africa, and researchers believe that there are more species of them that are yet to be discovered.
Where does a Bush Baby live?
The species of bush baby is exclusive to Africa. However, here they are found all over the country. Among so many species of bush babies, they are spread in many parts such as Nigeria, Botswana, Namibia, Mozambique, and Zimbabwe.
What is a Bush Baby's habitat?
Bush babies can be found all across Africa, hanging from tree branches in bat-like positions. They are nocturnal animals, and due to their nature of hanging from branches, they are known as nagapies. Apart from the trees they can be found in subtropical and tropical forests, rainforests, savanna, and in dry and thorny African habitats.
Who do Bush Babies live with?
During the day bush babies live in a family of between two and seven individuals. Although, as dusk comes they split in search of food.
How long does a Bush Baby live?
Bush Babies have an average life span of 10 years. However, due to their predators, their life span is lessened to three or four years in the wild.
How do they reproduce?
The primates reproduce twice a year. Also, they are polygynous, which means that the males mate with more than one female. Their mating season takes place during the month of November and February. After a gestation period of 110-120 days, the female bush babies give birth to one or two babies, and rarely three babies. The baby of a bush baby is known as galago. The female bush babies raise the galago in nests that they build using leaves.
What is their conservation status?
Bush babies are exclusive to Africa. According to the IUCN Red List, the conservation status of a species like the Senegal bush baby (Galago senegalensis) and lesser bush baby (Galago moholi) are of Least Concern. However, their number is rapidly decreasing. The lesser bush baby, also known as the thick-tailed bush babies are quite common in Africa.
Bush Baby Fun Facts
What do Bush Babies look like?
Living in African land these primates are weirdly appealing in terms of appearance. They have brown, yellowish to reddish-brown or gray-colored soft, wooly fur, along with large eyes, long hind legs, and long tails. They are known for their eyes, alongside their upper portion of the feet, named tarsus, which is relatively long, and their ability to fold their ears. They hang from the tree branches in a bat-like position and are nocturnal predators. However, a bush baby is an omnivorous primate, which means that their diet consists of fruits, gum trickling from certain trees, alongside insects and small birds.
How cute are they?
A bush baby is, without a doubt, a pretty cute animal. With their small body, hind legs, long ears, and, of course, large eyes. The eyes of the bush babies are extremely pretty, and they enjoy quite a bit of popularity for their beautiful eyes. Hanging from tree branches in the African sub-Saharan area, during the night, they have garnered the name 'night monkey'.
How do they communicate?
They use many mediums as means of communication, such as body posture or visual communication. However, the use of vocal communication is most common among them. Some even believe that the bush baby has its origin in their loud cries since it is similar to that of a human baby. The bush babies use loud cries in order to alarm, show fear or aggressiveness, or even to contact other bush babies.
How big is a Bush Baby?
The primates are pretty small in size. They are about 6.2-24in (16-61cm) long and 5.2in (13.3cm) tall. Bush babies are almost 10 times smaller than monkeys.
How fast can a Bush Baby move?
The small structure and the long tail of the bush baby are ideal to catch prey, get ahead of enemies, and cross obstacles. The primates are pretty fast and can run at a speed of 20mph.
How much does a Bush Baby weigh?
A bush baby is a small animal. Their average weight falls somewhere around 2.6-3.9lb (1.2-1.8kg).
What are their male and female names of the species?
Male and female bush babies do not have separate names. Both are called bush babies.
What would you call a baby Bush Baby?
A baby bush baby is called galago.
What do they eat?
Bush babies are omnivorous animals. It means that their diet consists of food both of animal and plant origin. The animals prey on insects and small birds, but their diet also consists of fruits and gum trickling from certain trees.
Are they loud?
Hanging from tree branches the night monkeys are quite famous for their loud cries. Many compare their loud cries with that of a human baby and believes that this is what gives them their unique name.
Would they make a good pet?
The wild bush baby animal can be easily made into a good pet. They are not at all harmful or dangerous. And due to their small structure, they can be easily be fitted in a large macaw cage. However, they come under the exotic pet category and can be pretty costly. As of 2020, they can cost more than $4000 and can be bought from special stores.
Did you know...
The bush babies use a process called 'urine washing'. They fill their cupped hands with urine and run on their feet before climbing or jumping through the trees. They do this to mark their territory.
Naming the Bush Baby
The African bush baby is known for its famous child-like cry that they use to communicate with other bush babies and to mark their territory as well. One group of people believe that the reason behind their unique name - bush baby - is their loud calls. While the other group believes that the name was assigned to them due to their appearance.
Can you keep Bush Babies as pets?
Bush babies can easily be made into good pets. They are small in size, thus a large-sized cage is all that is needed to keep them. But slowly their popularity as pets is decreasing. Mostly in the United States, because the pet trade for the primates there is illegal. Apart from that, they are quite exotic and costly as well.
Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other mammals including the mangabey and the patas monkey.
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