Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Angwantibo

A specialized hunter...

The angwantibo is not very quick, but it is fond of insects.  This little creature specializes in hunting caterpillars.  Having a very keen sense of smell, it finds them by their odor.  Some caterpillars are covered with stinging hairs, but that doesn't bother the angwantibo.  It scrapes them, stretches them out, and skins 'em before swallowing them.  It makes no sound except for groaning or hissing when frightened.  It holds to branches so tightly that it is very hard to make it loosen its grip.  Observations of the angwantibo in captivity have shown that its hands will grasp the bars of a cage with a reflex motion like that of a bird's claws.

Angwantibos grow to a size of 22 to 30 cm, and have almost no tail at all. They only weigh up to 0.5 kg. Their fur is yellow brown to golden in color. Their snout is more pointed than that of the other lorids and this, along with their round ears, gives it the bear-like appearance that lends them their name in German: Bärenmaki "bear lemur." Solitary, nocturnal and arboreal, they prefer the underbrush and the lower layers of the forests. They spend the day hidden in the leaves. Like all lorisids, they are characterized by slow movements.

This small, tailless primate is very sensitive to noise.  It moves about at night, very quietly, in the brushwood and forests of equatorial Africa.  It can even, when in danger, move with motions so slow as to be imperceptible.  In this way it escapes its carnivorous enemies that find monkeys by watching for the disturbance of leaves in the trees.  Each angwantibo lives apart from its fellows and, in spite of its small size, has a large territory (several acres).
With its close relative the potto, also African, it resembles the loris of Asia.  These three animals form the family of lorisidae.


---End of Post "Angwantibo"

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