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Saturday, November 20, 2010

Creature Feature: Bush Babies.

And now for something completely different: 



OK, that's cute, but WTH is it? Whatever it is, should I avoid feeding it after midnight?

 

Actually, galagos (also called bush babies or nagapies ("little night monkeys")) are nocturnal primates of the family Galagidae. They are native to the lower parts of Africa and spend almost all of their time hopping around in the trees at night.

 These furry primates have huge eyes, long tails, big ears, and many other traits that make one wonder where Furby and Gremlins got the idea. It would be darn impossible to avoid feeding them after midnight. Don't think they like getting wet, though.


Bush baby is not amused. 

Bush babies were probably named for their loud cries in the night and/or cute appearance. They are social, vocal animals with cries that resemble those of human offspring.  Alas, I had trouble finding a good soundbyte of this.
 
These small, furry primates eat bugs, eggs, nuts, and fruits. They also love tree gum, and hop around trees like crazy; despite being small primates (less than a foot from head to tail), they can jump over 20 feet. They give tree kangaroos a run for their money in so many regards.




Bush babies look like large rodents or lemurs, but they are a totally different sort of primate. Like lemurs, they are used in scientific research to see what distinguishes humans from other primates. A project is underway to get a full genome off of a galago and compare it to more hominid primates.  Either that, or they really are trying to make gremlins real.



To answer what everyone is thinking: Yes, you can have these as pets, but do you really want one? Monkeys are usually a bad idea because they carry diseases contagious to humans. Galagos have a similar problem.  In this case, they may just be cute enough to compensate for any parasites or bugs they might carry.

2 comments:

  1. Hi Kurokarasu,
    Did you take the bush baby photo (with his head on one side), or if not do you have the name of the photogapher please? I would love to use the photo for a campaign flyer to raise money for world rainforest charities. I think this lovely expression will really connect with the public. The campaign is also to educate the public about deforestation causes. Thanks.PS I'm afraid this is urgent as I need to make the flyer in HTML etc asap. Huge thanks
    jane Langley
    Cool it Schools.com

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  2. Oh, I WISH I had taken it myself. It was found via Google Images. Trying to find it again, but I doubt the photographer would mind using such a charming creature to raise money to keep the rain forest alive.

    (On that note, I really need to wire comments to my e-mail somehow...)

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