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MammalMAP: the thick tailed bushbaby
The thick tailed bushbaby (Otolemur crassicaudatus), is a nocturnal primate whose child-like cries and thick tails gave rise to its name. It is the largest of the bushbaby species. This bushbaby has silvery brown to gray fur, large eyes and large ears that often furl and unfurl – giving the bushbaby a quizzical expression.
Thick tailed bushbabies are typically found in coastal or riverine forests as well as savannah highlands. Naturally, they are physiologically adapted for life in the trees. Bushbabies have long fingers and flattened toes that end with thickened skin – this aids them in scaling trees and grasping tree limbs. Their diet varies according to their locality but in SA they feed primarily on gum and often supplement their diet with insects and fruit.
The breeding season of thick tailed bushbabies also varies according to locality. However, a litter size of two individuals is fairly constant across the different localities. Thick tailed bushbabies are the most social of all known bushbabies. Social behaviour includes tail pulling, wrestling, non-aggressive biting, chasing, walking and pouncing. These bushbabies sleep together in nests during the day and split up at night to feed.
The IUCN lists the thick tailed bushbaby as a species of least concern because it has no major threats.