Behavior

They are the only gliding mammals in Africa and fulfill a similar ecological role to gliding squirrels elsewhere. Anom-alures remove small branches that obstruct their traditional gliding lines out from their denning tree. The long duration of the Anomalure lineage has led to some remarkable examples of coevolution with the tree species they feed on, including the deliberate gnawing off of the tops of any young non-food trees nearby, thus reducing competition with their food trees and favoring food tree growth. Anomalures and hornbills compete for dens/nest holes. Eagles are occasional predators. Scent is important in communication and large glands in the groin region produce a variety of strong-

smelling secretions. Field studies of anomalures have been made difficult by the remoteness of their habitat and by the fact that they are sensitive to the red light biologists usually use to observe nocturnal animals. Anomalures are not rare, but they are hard to find. Recent population estimates in the Foret des Abeilles, central Gabon, indicate that there may be up to 500 anomalures (of three species) per 1.2 mi2 (1 km2).

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