Bushbaby (Galago)

The Bushbaby, also called galagoes, these small, nocturnal primates are widespread in wooded habitats in sub-Saharan Africa. The bushbaby’s piercing cry is one of the distinctive sounds of the African night.

If you want to see a bushbaby, trace the cry to a tree, then shine a torch into it and you should easily pick out its large round eyes.

Five galago species are found in Uganda, of which the lesser bushbaby (Galago senegalensis) is the most common. An insectivorous creature, only 17cm long excluding its tail, the lesser bushbaby is a creature of woodland as opposed to true forest, and it has been recorded in all of Uganda’s savanna reserves.

The eastern needle-clawed bushbaby (G. inustus), Thomas’s bushbaby (G. thomasi) and dwarf buslibaby (G. den’tidovii) all occur in the Kibale and Bwindi forests and also the dwarf bushbaby that’s been recorded and Queen Elizabeth national parks.

bushbaby uganda_

Bushbabies are nocturnal primates, and they feed on fruits, insects, and even small birds, but a major component of the diet of most species is gum (tree exudate). This they extract by gouging holes in trees and scraping the bark, using their toothcombs (forward-tilted lower incisor and canine teeth).

Along with its big eyes, which help it see in low light, a bushbaby is adapted to nocturnal living with its large, collapsible ears that rotate independently like radar dishes to zero in on prey in the dark. The animals are ace jumpers, using powerful legs and extremely long tails to spring great distances. This allows the primates to move quickly through the forest canopy or snatch flying insects out of the air.

Bushbabies are omnivores that eat fruit, insects, and the gum that oozes out of certain tree species. Some of the larger galago species will even hunt small animals, such as frogs and birds.

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