Tiny Bush Babies are surprisingly Built for the Kill

Tiny Bush Babies are surprisingly Built for the Kill

Tiny Bush Babies are surprisingly Built for the Kill

The bush babies’ hands and feet are made for walking and climbing. Like many primates, this Aegean creature has opposable thumbs. It improves its grip on branches by urinating on its feet. Its hands are all about grip. 

 Bushbaby claw

The long slender fingers and toes have flat disks of thickened skin to aid in traction. A shorter index finger helps with the grip around bigger branches.

Its large eyes give it the equivalent of night vision and the big bat-like ears can pick up the flutter of insect wings. 

 The odd finger out is the toilet claw used for grooming and cleaning its ears.

Bushbaby toilet claw


 A rat is a good climber, but compared to a bushbaby, it comes in below average.

One remarkable feature of a bush baby is that it can jump up to 2.25 m (7 ft.), which is 12 times its body length! This agile creature accomplishes this feat with the help of extremely strong, stretchy tendons in its back legs. Its hind leg muscles are unusually long and make up 10 per cent of its body weight, twice as much as ours’ do. 

Bushbaby hind leg

 When a bushbaby prepares to leap, it uses muscles to stretch those tendons and store elastic energy in them. Then when the bush baby jumps, those tendons release their stored energy like catapults to help the animal spring forward. 

 The legs of the bushbaby allow it to jump twelve times its body length by storing energy in tendons.

The bush babies’ tail is longer than its entire head and body. It holds the animal secure before it begins its jump, then acts as a rudder, giving it control during flight. A bushbaby can jump more than 20 feet from one tree to another. Which is why a rat doesn’t stand a chance against this primate. 

Bushbaby catch mouse

One last leap and it is game over for the rat.



Smithsonian Museum

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