BUSHBABY (Thick-tailed) - Otolemur crassicaudatus

SIZE: Length (including tail) 73 cm, mass 1,2 kg.

COLOUR: Grey, tinged with brown; bushy tail usually lighter than body; upper surfaces of feet somewhat darker. Throat and belly are a lighter grey.

MOST LIKE: The Lesser Bushbaby, but more than twice as large and eight times heavier; it has a more pointed face and a longer, bushier tail.

HABITAT: Forests and woodlands including eucalyptus and other plantations from sea level up to 1 800 m.

Lesser bushbabies are more lively than the thick-tailed bushbaby, and also spend relatively more time in trees: they are known for their spectacular leaping abilities. They often forage in acacias, the gum from which is a major item in their diet and is either licked or chewed. They also eats insects, scorpions and small reptiles. If a convenient hole is unavailable, then the lesser bushbaby will make itself a flat, treetop nest or take over a disused bird's nest. When a group of lesser bushbabies share a nest, they lie at all angles, some upside down, in comfort: their ears folded back, forefeet covering the head and tail curling over it. They take a moment or two to wake up when woken and are quite vulnerable at this time. Lesser bushbabies wet the soles of their feet with urine which helps dominant males to mark out their territory. This 'urine washing' is also part of their mating behaviour. The young are born in the shelter of a nest, which may be re-lined with leaves. When foraging the mother will carry the young from the nest and leave them clinging to a branch, returning them to the nest before dawn.

DISTRIBUTION
The (South African) Lesser Bushbaby has large eyes, a soft furry body, a small, rounded head, and extremely mobile, membranous ears. It is strictly nocturnal and spends a lot of time grooming before embarking on the night's activities.

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