Demidoff's Galago (Galago demidoff)


MORPHOLOGY:
This is one of the smallest primates, the average body mass is around 60 grams.

RANGE:
The Demidoff's galago is found throughout the forests of central and western Africa. This species adapts well to secondary forests.

ECOLOGY:
The Demidoff's galago is primarily an insectivorous species, but it also eats fruit and gums. This species sleeps in trees with dense vegetation or makes a spherical leaf-nest; males sleep alone and females most often sleep in groups. The Demidoff's galago is a nocturnal species.

LOCOMOTION:
This species, unlike most other galagos, moves quadrupedally through the forest. It is not a well-developed leaper.

SOCIAL BEHAVIOR:
The males and females of the Demidoff's galago have ranges that overlap, but males' territories do not overlap. This species can be classified as having a polygynous mating system, although females may sometimes attract more than one male (Charles-Dominique, 1977). This species sleeps in groups huddled together and may sleep in leaf nests. The mother carries her infants in her mouth when she has to move them.

VOCAL COMMUNICATION:
territorial call: this call sounds like a "plaintive squeak" (Estes, 1991).

alarm call: this call of the Demidoff's galago sounds like a "chip call" (Estes, 1991).

infant call: this call sounds like "tsic" (Estes, 1991).

distress call: this call sounds like "weet" (Estes, 1991). It can function to stop fighting in Demidoff's galago (Estes, 1991). This call can attract predators as much as it attracts conspecifics (Estes, 1991).

OLFACTORY COMMUNICATION:
urine-washing: the Demidoff's galago takes its hands and cups them, and then deposits urine on them (Estes, 1991). Next the Demidoff's galago takes that urine and spreads it on the soles of the feet (Estes, 1991). When the Demidoff's galago walks now, it leaves a little bit of urine on the substrate (Estes, 1991). Males urine-wash more frequently than females do, and when the female is in estrus, the male will deposit the urine directly upon the female (Estes, 1991). A Demidoff's galago will urine-wash when foraging in a new area, looking at a strange object, during aggressive encounters, and social grooming (Estes, 1991).

VISUAL COMMUNICATION:
staring open-mouth face: This is where the eyes are opened wide, the mouth is open with the teeth covered by the lips (Jolly, 1972). This occurs when mobbing a predator or serves to communicate an inhibited threat (Jolly, 1972).

staring bared-teeth scream face: This is where the eye are opened wide, the mouth is open with the corners drawn back so that the teeth and gums are revealed (Jolly, 1972). This display occurs with terror flight (Jolly, 1972).

silent bared-teeth face: This is where the eyes are staring at the stimulus, the eye brows are either relaxed or up, and the corners of the mouth are drawn back allowing the teeth to show (Jolly, 1972). This is used with protective responses (Jolly, 1972).

bared-teeth gecker face: This is like silent bared-teeth face only with a rapid noise attached to it (Jolly, 1972). This occurs with defensive threat calls and infant clicks (Jolly, 1972).

TACTILE COMMUNICATION:
nose-to-nose sniffing: the Demidoff's galago does this when first coming upon a conspecific (Estes, 1991). This is followed by nose-to-face contact (Estes, 1991).

nose-to-face contact: this occurs after nose-to-nose sniffing (Estes, 1991). An individual will touch the face of a conspecific with its nose (Estes, 1991).

social grooming: this behavior is not as developed in the Demidoff's galago (Estes, 1991). This behavior is basically regulated to reciporcal licking (Estes, 1991). Each individual deposits saliva upon one another and sometimes urine (Estes, 1991).

REPRODUCTION:
This species gives birth to either a single offspring or to twins.

REFERENCES:
Burton, F. 1995. The Multimedia Guide to the Non-human Primates. Prentice-Hall Canada Inc.

Charles-Dominique, P. 1977. Ecology and Behaviour of Nocturnal Prosimians. Duckworth: London.

Estes, R. D. 1991. The Behavior Guide to African Mammals. University of California Press.

Jolly, A. The Evolution of Primate Behavior. Macmillan Publishing Co., NY.

Last Updated: April 1, 2007.
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