Galago, popularly known as Bush Baby, is a small primate with adorable appearance. They are most famous for their incredible jumping. Bush baby was originally found in Africa, but because of its tolerance towards different climates and a wide distribution of the genus, they are now living in forests around the world with very different climates. Still bush babies don’t seem to mind the variety of climates in their habitats. Most of bush babies still live in Africa, especially east Africa and the sub-Saharan Africa. As we mentioned before they live in a great variety of habitats and ecological zones such as evergreen and deciduous forest, savannah, open woodland, steep sided valleys, rain forest, coastal forest, and many more. As you can see from their habitats, bush babies love trees. They spend most of their time on trees or jumping from one tree to another. They usually sleep in hollow trees, or on branches. They are also looking for trees that are surrounded with grass.
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Bush babies feed both on vegetation and other animals, making them omnivorous animals. Don’t let their adorable appearance trick you, bush babies are fierce predators. They are nocturnal animals meaning they hunt their prey at night while they sleep during the day. They can hunt anything from small insects and little birds to snakes. They catch their prey by jumping on it from a distance and using their sharp teeth to bite them. They are also in danger from other predators such as cats, other snakes and owls, but their incredible jumping and fast reflexes help them escape.
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Bush babies are adorable, we can all agree on that, but they are actually most famous for their agility. When we say agility, we are actually referring to their amazing jumping abilities. Bush baby can actually jump up to 7.5 feet in the air. They are also incredibly fast when jumping too. They use this to escape predators or to catch their own prey. They can also use their jumping to move through the forest at a very high speed, usually covering over 30 feet in a few seconds simply by jumping from one branch to the other.
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Once people realized how far bush babies can jump, It didn’t take long before scientist started exploring how this little animal can have so much power to propel itself 7 feet in the air. What they discovered was more than interesting. Turns out Bush babies leg muscles actually make 25% of their entire body mass. In fact, bush babies legs are so powerful that in comparison to the frog leg muscles, they should perform six to nine times better. What scientists also found is that not only do bush babies use their incredibly strong legs to jump, but they use their tail as well.
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The tail of the bush baby is actually longer than the entire body of the bush baby including their head. When they are preparing for the jump, bush babies also place their tail on the surface behind them, and as they extend their legs, they push of the branch or ground with their tail as well, giving them some extra power when propelling up. Another important aspect when it comes to their jumping is their technique, not only power. Once they find themselves in midair, bush babies tuck in their rear and front legs while relaxing their tail, allowing them greater aerodynamics, than right as they are about to grab on to a different branch they spring out their arms and legs.
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Bush baby is a part solitary part social animal. Males usually live a solitary life, having a territory of their own, where they sleep and eat, while females on the other hand usually live in groups. Male and female territories do overlap from time to time so that they can mate. In a typical scenario, there will be one male that will mate with all the females in the group on their territory. Once they mate, male usually leaves. Gestation period lasts around 110 to 130 days. Females usually give birth from 1 to 3 young. Once bush babies are born they are unable to move on their own and have semi closed eyes.
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After 6 to 8 days, mother carries them in her mouth to a nearby branch and leaves them there while she gets food to feed them. This will go on for about 6 to 8 weeks, until her offspring is ready to start feeding on its own. Once a bush baby gets mature enough to feed on its own, they become very playful in their groups. It is not unusual to see young ones playing social games such as chasing each other through branches, grooming or play fighting. Once mothers see that their babies are mature enough to play and feed on their own they gradually stop taking so much care of them and let them live in their territory, giving them attention only when they are looking for it. In a common scenario, male bush babies will soon leave their mothers territory and start living a solitary lifestyle, while mothers will stay in their groups. Once this transition happens, mothers show no effort to stop their offspring from leaving the group.
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Bush babies are also known for their specific communication. They have two ways of communicating with each other. First is by marking their path with a urine trail, which they use to mark borders of their territory or simply as a guide so that they can get back to the same branch or tree that they use for sleeping during the day. The other one Is the “loud call”. This is a vocal call that they are able to use, and it serves a multiple purposes. Loud call can be used to identify the other member of the same species from a distance or it can be used to call the other members of the same group when it is time to sleep, since they all sleep in the same nest made out of leaves or in a hollow tree.
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