What animal can rotate its head 180 degrees, has ears that function like satellites and marks its territory (and members of its social group) with urine? Meet our southern lesser galago (a.k.a. Moholi bushbaby) brothers, Mopani and Damara! The pair arrived in February and have settled into their new digs at the Small Mammal House. Get to know them in this Q+A with keepers Kara Ingraham and Ann Gutowski.
What might visitors be surprised to learn about galagoes?
Both males and females will urinate on their hands—a behavior called “urine washing”—then spread that urine around to maintain their territory. They will also wipe their hands on other galagoes in their social group, which helps strengthen their social bonds. It’s not the most pleasant behavior to us humans, but for galagoes, scent marking is an important part of communicating.
Galagoes have some amazing adaptations, including the ability to rotate their heads 180 degrees. Their large ears function like satellites—they never seem to stop moving and re-adjusting to listen all around them.