Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Galago Galagos, also known as bushbabies or bush babies, are small, nocturnal primates native to continental Africa, and make up the family Galagonidae. They are sometimes included as a subfamily within the Loridae or Lorisidae.
Several galagos are also known as bush babies. The name bush baby may come either from the animals' cries or from their appearance. Like all galagos they have an acute sense of hearing.
Galagos are agile leapers, and run swiftly along branches. They have large eyes, giving them good night vision; strong hind limbs; and long tails, which help them balance. Their diet is a mixture of insects and other small animals, fruit, and tree gums.
Bush babies are born with half-closed eyes, unable to move about independently. After a few days, the mother carries the infant in her mouth, and leaves it on convenient branches while feeding.
Adult females maintain territories, but share them with their offspring. Males leave their mothers' territories after puberty, but females remain, forming social groups consisting of closely related females and their immature young. Adult males maintain separate territories, which overlap with those of the female social groups; generally, one adult male mates with all the females in an area. Males who have not established such territories sometimes form small bachelor groups.
Galagos communicate both by calling to each other, and by marking their paths with urine. At the end of the night, group members use a special rallying call and gather to sleep in a nest made of leaves, a group of branches, or a hole in a tree.
There has been much recent study of the Galagonidae. Several new species have been discovered, and they are now grouped into three genera, with the two former members of the now defunct genus Galagoides returned to their original genus Galago:
- ORDER PRIMATES
- Suborder Strepsirrhini: non-tarsier prosimians
- Suborder Haplorrhini: tarsiers, monkeys and apes
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