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Disclaimer: If you are easily offended by sheer honesty, or you think me having my own opinions is "being negative", then this is not the place for you, and I suggest you leave and head elsewhere. I call a spade a spade, and I don't sugarcoat anything.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Bushbabies

Well, I just want to chat about my favorite animals. Bushbabies! Now when I say "bushbabies" I don't mean something like this:
I mean the tiny, nocturnal prosimians from Africa. Also known as "galagos". They look like this:


I think they are adorable anyway! The reason they are called "bushbabies" is because they are tree-dwellers, and they make noises that sound like that of a baby crying. They are very agile animals. For their size (between 6 and 15 inches not including the tail) they can make enormous leaps. They can leap several times their own body length. For example, a 8-inch senegal bushbaby can leap up to 20 feet. That's about the same equivalent of an average-sized man leaping 250 feet. And when bushbabies leap, they do it so smooth and gracefully that it can seem like the animal is gliding.
The bushbabies will be the predecessors of all tomorrow's prosimians. I figure anyway. They are very likely to survive as their diet is varied. They love to feed on insects, nectar, fruits, sometimes bird eggs and fledgelings, young shoots and leaves. Very rarely, a larger species like the greater galago (Otolemur) will feed on birds, rodents and even bats. The classification for bushbabies is still on the fence. Some scientists still place them in the same family with lorises and pottos. Some place them in their own family. To me, a loris or a potto is a slow-moving, hand-over-hand climber. Bushbabies are leapers. Bushbabies definately deserve to be classified in their own family. One other reason for this, a bushbaby's legs are a lot longer than their arms, whereas lorises and pottos have limbs all the same length. The habits may be the same, both lorises and bushbabies are nocturnal, but that's as far as the relationship goes as far as I am concerned.
In my Metazoica site and book, I have some "last-minute" bushbabies, species that resembles bushbabies and even has the same habits, and everything, but I place them in the same family with species like Oreolemur and Leptonosoma.
Oh yes! I also wanted to mention one of my favorite stories that will be available on my UMG site is called "Growing Up is Hard to Do" and it's about a bushbaby and an otter-shrew. The "shrew" (actually a tenrec) is lost and needs to make it back home to his river in Uganda, Africa. So the bushbaby helps him find his way. When she finally gets him home she turns to leave and the "shrew" does not think he can survive by himself and wants her to stay with him. So she does at his request, but she is miserable. One morning the shrew wakes up and finds the bushbaby missing. At first, he is upset, but then shakes off the tears and moves on with life and learning to grow up. He learns and the bushbaby "magically" appears again, just long enough to congratulate him in finally doing things for himself. It's really a great story, I cannot explain all of it here (mostly because I don't want to give it all away).
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