Senegal bush baby
A nocturnal primate with thick soft fur and long hind legs and tail that help it jump from branch to branch in search of insects, fruit and gum.
Up to 14 years in captivity.
16cm long, with a 23cm long tail and weighing around 250g.
A small primate with thick, soft fur, a bushy tail, and grasping hands and feet. The hind legs are slightly longer than the forelegs. The ears are large, the face short and the eyes very large and forward-facing. Like most bushbabies, the fur is greyish, paler underneath, and with some slight light and dark markings on the face.
Senegal to Kenya
Arid woodland and scrub.
Invertebrates, small vertebrates, Acacia gum, fruits and nectar.
Bush babies (or galagos) are all nocturnal primates, which specialise in leaping from tree to tree. The Senegal bush baby can jump up to 5m using its long back legs, stabilised by its long tail. It urinates on its hands and feet, which helps improve its grip and may also scent-mark to show other individuals where it has been. They use their large eyes, which have a special layer at the back to improve low light vision, to judge jumps, but find their food using their acute senses of smell and hearing. Their sense of touch is also very good, and they can catch flying insects with their hands. Most of the night is spent foraging on their own, but individuals' home ranges overlap, and they often greet and even groom each other when they meet. They also call frequently. Males often spend the day sleeping alone in thick vegetation, whilst females and young sometimes sleep in a social group.
Breeding generally occurs twice a year. A dominant male will tend to monopolise access to fertile females whose home ranges his range overlaps. After a gestation period of 123 days, a single baby or twins (rarely triplets) are usually born. The mother will carry the young in her mouth, or let them cling to her, whilst moving them from nest to nest. They are usually weaned at around 2 months. Female young often stay in the mother's range for some time, and share her nesting sites whilst males disperse once they reach sexual maturity.
Not currently threatened.
Many calls, often sounding like a baby crying or a human voice.
New bushbaby species are being discovered as calls are being analysed and genetic tests are being done. Many look very similar but are distinct species.