Galagos or bush babies are small, nocturnal primates native to continental Africa. Like other members of the Galagonidae, they have an acute sense of hearing. They are sometimes included as a subfamily within the Loridae or Lorisidae.
There has been much recent study of the Galagonidae. Several new species have been discovered, and they are now grouped into four genera, Euoticus, Galago, Galagoides, and Otolemur:
- FAMILY GALAGONIDAE
- Southern Needle-clawed Galago, Euoticus elegantulus
- Northern Needle-clawed Galago, Euoticus pallidus
- Allen's Galago, Galago alleni
- Gabon Galago, Galago gabonensis
- Somali Galago, Galago gallarium
- Eastern Needle-clawed Galago, Galago matschiei
- Mohol Galago or Southern Lesser Galago, Galago moholi
- Lesser Galago or Senegal Galago, Galago senegalensis
- Demidoff's Galago, Galagoides demidoff
- Grant's Galago, Galagoides granti
- Thomas's Galago, Galagoides thomasi
- Mountain Galago, Galagoides orinus
- Rondo Galago, Galagoides rondoensis
- Matunda Galago, Galagoides udzungwensis
- Zanzibar Galago, Galagoides zanzibaricus
- Thick-tailed or Greater Galago, Otolemur crassicaudatus
- Garnett's Galago, Otolemur garnettii
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.