Lesser Bushbaby

Lesser Bushbaby.


Name

Lesser Bushbaby or Lesser Galagos [Galago moholi]

Introduction

The lesser bushbaby, known to scientists as Galago moholi, is a small, tree-dwelling primate active by night. They are capable of leaps of remarkable distance between trees. At times they may venture on the ground, when they walk either on their hind legs or on all fours.

Diet

The diet of the Lesser Bushbaby consists mainly of tree gum and insects. Feeding on fruit has not been recorded but is likely.

Breeding

Females have a short oestrus period during winter. They generally give birth to twins before the rainy season, which is immediately followed by a second oestrus. Well before the onset of the next dry season a second set of twins are born. Gestation period is 125 days. A female will mate with up to six males during the peak of her oestrus cycle.

Behaviour

Apart from adult males avoiding confrontation with each other by maintaining individual territories, their social system is similar to that of the Thick-Tailed Bushbaby. Adults are solitary foragers, but companions do meet at night to interact, and congregate before going to sleep during the day in groups of up to six.

Prior to 1974 only six species were recognized, but by 1995 research has shown that in fact 17 species warrant recognition in Africa. As more of Africa's forests are being scientifically explored and as scientific technology improves, the discovery of more new species is likely to continue.

Where they are found

Because of their dependence on trees, they are restricted to savanna woodlands, particularly Acacia, Rhodesian teak and Brachystegia woodlands. This species occurs in the Northern Province and Mpumalanga in South Africa, as well as Botswana.

Field Notes

Although nocturnal by habit a theory was developed that the Bushbaby was one of a few animals that was naturally scared of the dark. This theory was based on its nervous-seeming disposition when moving about at night. No substance has been added to this theory, but many researchers point out that all creatures are wary when moving about and hence the wary behaviour has been mistaken for nervousness.



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