Spring is a time for renewal and exploration of the world around us. Although we are still waiting for our rains to start, trees and plants are greening up after their long winter rest, and young baby animals bound about everywhere. Could there be a better time to be alive? The whole world is happy around us. I met this new baby yesterday.
The lesser galago, also called a bush baby, is one of the smallest primates, about the size of a squirrel. Despite its size, it is exceptionally vocal, producing loud, shrill cries surprisingly like those of a human baby. It is both arboreal and nocturnal in it’s habits.
Bush babies have large, round eyes for good night vision and batlike ears that enable them to track insect prey in the dark. Fast, agile and accurate, they catch some insects on the ground and snatch others from the air. As they jump through thorn-bush or thick growth, they fold their delicate ears flat against their heads to protect them. They fold them during rest, too.
The bush baby travels through the trees in literal leaps and bounds. In mid-flight it tucks its arms and legs close to the body and as it lands, brings them forward, grabbing a branch with its hands and feet. 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.
This species has at least 18 different calls. A Bush baby‘s eyes cannot move in their sockets, and so the head is continually active when searching for prey. They have highly developed hearing, and their ears have a complex series of folds, which enables them to position the source of a sound very accurately. Hearing is acute enough to hear the gliding of an owl. Their movements are extremely quick, and they can catch grasshoppers and moths in the air with their front feet, while holding onto a tree with their hind legs. Also nocturnal, the Lesser Bush baby is very particular about its appearance, grooming conscientiously before embarking on a night’s foraging expedition. Don’t you think they look decidedly like these?
I also have to share the following picture with you which I found on google while searching for “bush” baby pictures. He somehow just doesn’t have the same cute appeal, does he?