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A Bushbaby On A Warm Starry Night

By: Megan Coviello

One starry winter night there I am, a Bushbaby in Eastern Africa foraging for insects.

The cool but dry 68 degree weather keeps me just comfortable.  Being nocturnal, I use my large eyes to allow in as much star light as possible, to find any sort of stimuli in the trees that could be food. The single type of cone in my eyes helps me seek sensitivity at about 545 nm.



All of a sudden, one of my large, satellite like ears turns in the direction of a cricket that is walking silently in the trees above me. I then, slowly make my way over to my prey, using my tail to keep balance in the treacherous trees. I also use my palmar pads and terminal touch pads on my forelimbs to help me stay on the branch.


As I eat the insect, I hear with my other ear, a Great Horned owl swooping in. I quickly

finish my dinner, and  use the strong force of my hind legs to jump to the next tree branch.


The cover of night along with my dark brown dorsal coat helps me stay hidden from my predator above.The owl swoops in, missing me,  as I continue to use my hind leg power stemming from my femur to jump from branch to branch.

All of a sudden, I hit a thorny patch in the trees and I automatically move my large ears to shield my eyes from the prickly encounter.



It seems I ran out of trees to cling to. I make the quick decision to take a leap of faith, with my trusting bushy tail to navigate myself safely to the ground.  The hunt isn’t over yet, since my eyes do not move, I rotate my head 180 degrees to take a quick glance at the predator above.
















I watch as the Great horned

owl fades away in the distance. I then make the rash decision to use one of my 18-25 different calls to warn off the other bush babies in the immediate area.


Once the owl is completely out of sight and the coast is clear, I make a distinct call only my family would know so I can locate them. Within minutes I again

use my large ears to locate my newborn twins sitting in the hollow nest above. I rush over to them and immediately check them over using my second tongue and second digit, also known as the grooming claw to groom them.

When I realize all is okay, I prepare for bed as

the sun begins to rise.





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