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Monday, 31 December 2012

Kenya lesser bush baby

Lesser bush baby (Swahili: Komba )Scientific Name: (Galago senegalensis)is an omnivorous tree dweller , which ways about 5 kilogram's, have a gestation period of about 4 months and a life span of 14 years. The lesser galago, also called 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 and its larger cousin, the greater galago (Galago crassicaudatus), are both arboreal and nocturnal in their 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. 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. 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. Bush babies are found throughout East Africa, as well as in woodlands and bush lands in sub-Saharan Africa.

They generally do not inhabit areas above altitudes of 6,500 feet. Bush babies prefer trees with little grass around them, probably as a precaution against wild fires. They will also shelter in man made beehives. Bush babies are usually found in small groups consisting of a mother and her offspring. They frequently mark their routes with urine. By following their own scent, they can jump onto exactly the same branches each time when they go to or from their nest. Males also urine-mark the boundaries of their territories and will sometimes become aggressive toward intruders. The young are suckled for 6 weeks and can feed themselves at 2 months.

They grow rapidly, causing the mother to walk slowly and awkwardly as she transports them. The bush baby's diet changes according to the seasons. Most of its diet is made up of what is most abundant at that time of the year, including insects, leaves and fruit. Bush babies hide during the day in order to avoid contact with predators such as eagles and large snakes. Since they are easily captured on ground they mostly stay in trees and rely on their extraordinary jumping capabilities. A prodigious leaper, the bush baby pushes off with its powerful hind legs and holds its arms up, leaping more than 20 feet.In both variety and abundance, the bush baby is one of the most successful primitive primates in Africa. They live a long time as long as 14 years in captivity.

JBA- Kenya Safari