Thick-Tailed Bushbaby

© Roger De la Harpe

Name

Thick-tailed bushbaby, Brown Greater Galago (Otolemur crassicaudatus)

Introduction

The thick-tailed bushbaby gets its English name from the sounds it makes that are similar to baby-like cries. It is a nocturnal primate and the most gregarious of all known bushbabies, likely due to its larger size and diet.

Thick-tailed Bushbaby Diet

Groups of thick-tailed bushbabies scatter at dusk to forage for insects unaccompanied. They gather with members of other groups at established gum licks and trees carrying fruit.

Thick-tailed Bushbaby Breeding

After a gestation period of 132 days, 3-4 young are born. Birthing occurs at the beginning of the first rains in South Africa. A female can mate with several males during her oestrus cycle, which lasts 3-5 days.

Thick-tailed Bushbaby Behaviour

Males gather groups with females and their young to sleep together..

Where They Are Found

Thick-tailed bushbaby prefers open woodlands or savannas as their habitat and can be found in the northeastern parts of South Africa. In the southern and western regions of the country, they only inhabit riverine and coastal forests.

Field Notes

The child-like cries of the thick-tailed bushbaby have been confused by visitors for the panicked screams of a human child at safari lodges in South African wilderness areas. Its Afrikaans name is nagapie, meaning ‘small night ape’.