Bush Baby Facts: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Diane Sieverson

Diane has taught all subjects at the elementary level, was the principal of a K-8 private school and has a master's degree in Measurement and Evaluation.

Bush babies are one of the world's smallest primates. Come learn about bush babies, what they look like, where you can find them, what they like to eat, how they got their name and some other cool facts about these tiny animals.

What Are Bush Babies?

Imagine walking through a thick forest in the dark of night. Out of nowhere, you hear what sounds like a baby crying. You walk around a little more, trying to find out where the sound is coming from. You look up into the trees and see something move as quickly as a flash. When you finally do catch a glimpse of this animal, you see large, round eyes watching you. You are looking at a bush baby!

Also known as galagos, bush babies are small primates that live in Africa and have thick fur, long tails, big ears and huge, round eyes. They get their name because of the loud noises they sometimes make that sound like crying, shrieking babies.

As primates, bush babies are related to monkeys, apes and humans. They have fingers and toes that can grab things, the way you can, and they have flat fingernails similar to yours.

Bush baby
Bush baby

Just like people have different hair colors, bush babies can have different colored fur. It may be lighter brown to a grayish brown with yellowish sides, arms and legs. Though most bush babies are very small and weigh less than one pound, the biggest bush babies can weigh as much as 3 pounds, which is still less than a 2-liter bottle of soda!

Some kinds of bush babies are expert jumpers and can soar 15 feet in a single leap. That's almost as long as three giraffe legs put together! Others like to run and climb across high tree tops using all four legs.

There are at least 20 different kinds of bush babies, but scientists think there may be around 40 because they haven't all been discovered yet.

Where do Bush Babies Live?

In the wild, bush babies live in parts of Africa, though you can see them in some zoos, too. And just like different people like to live in different kinds of houses, different kinds of bush babies live in different environments. These environments include brushy thickets, forests, savannahs, valleys, rainforests, semi-dry areas and coastal forests.

Bush babies usually live together in family groups with anywhere from two to seven members. They hang out in trees most of the time but will sometimes move along the ground when they need to.

Bush baby clinging to a tree limb
Bush baby clinging to a tree limb

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