The Bengal slow loris (Nycticebus bengalensis) or northern slow loris is a strepsirrhine primate and a species of slow loris native to the Indian subcontinent and Indochina. Its geographic range is larger than that of any other slow loris species. Considered a subspecies of the Sunda slow loris (N. coucang) until 2001, phylogenetic analysis suggests that the Bengal slow loris is most closely related to the Sunda slow loris. However, some individuals in both species have mitochondrial DNA sequences that resemble those of the other species, due to introgressive hybridization. It is the largest species of slow loris, measuring 26 to 38 cm (10 to 15 in) from head to tail and weighing between 1 and 2.1 kg (2.2 and 4.6 lb). Like other slow lorises, it has a wet nose (rhinarium), a round head, flat face, large eyes, small ears, a vestigial tail, and dense, woolly fur. The toxin it secretes from its brachial gland (a scent gland in its arm) differs chemically from that of other slow loris species and may be used to communicate information about sex, age, health, and social status.
The Bengal slow loris is nocturnal and arboreal, occurring in both evergreen and deciduous forests. It prefers rainforests with dense canopies, and its presence in its native habitat indicates a healthy ecosystem. It is a seed disperser and pollinator, as well as a prey item for carnivores. Its diet primarily consists of fruit, but also includes insects, tree gum, snails, and small vertebrates. In winter, it relies on plant exudates, such as sap and tree gum. The species lives in small family groups, marks its territory with urine, and sleeps during the day by curling up in dense vegetation or in tree holes. It is a seasonal breeder, reproducing once every 12–18 months and usually giving birth to a single offspring. For the first three months, mothers carry their offspring, which reach sexual maturity at around 20 months. The Bengal slow loris can live up to 20 years.
The species is listed as "Vulnerable" on the IUCN Red List, and is threatened with extinction due to a growing demand in the exotic pet trade and traditional medicine. It is one of the most common animals sold in local animal markets. In traditional medicine, it is primarily used by wealthy to middle-class, urban women following childbirth, but also to treat stomach problems, broken bones, and sexually transmitted diseases. It is also hunted for food and suffers from habitat loss. Wild populations have declined severely, and it is locally extinct in several regions. It is found within many protected areas throughout its range, but this does not protect them from rampant poaching and illegal logging. Critical conservation issues for this species include enhancing protection measures, stricter enforcement of wildlife protection laws, and increased connectivity between fragmented protected areas.
... Throughout its geographic range, slow lorises are in serious decline ... Habitat destruction remains rampant, and all slow loris populations within its borders are significantly depleted ... the Indo-China region had reportedly lost 75% of the natural habitat for slow lorises ...
... The Sunda slow loris has dark rings around its large eyes, a white nose with a whitish strip that extends to the forehead and a dark stripe that stretches from ... The species is distinct from the Bengal slow loris due to the dark inverse teardrop markings around the eyes which meet the dark dorsal stripe on the back of the head ... between the eyes, more distinct dark coloring around the eyes, and a browner coat than the Bengal slow loris which is larger, grayer, and shows less contrast ...
... The Sunda slow loris was first described (in part) in 1785 by the Dutch physician and naturalist Pieter Boddaert under the name Tardigradus coucang ... pentadactyle du Bengale" ("the five-fingered sloth of Bengal"), but Boddaert later argued that it was more closely aligned with the lorises of Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) and Bengal ... Between 1800 and 1907, several other slow loris species were described, but in 1953 the primatologist William Charles Osman Hill, in his influential book, Primates Comparative Anatomy and ...
Famous quotes containing the words bengal and/or slow:
“In Bengal to move at all
Is seldom, if ever, done,
But mad dogs and Englishmen
Go out in the midday sun.”
—Noël Coward (18991973)
“Lords and Commoners of England, consider what nation it is whereof ye are, and whereof ye are the governors; a nation not slow and dull, but of a quick, ingenious and piercing spirit, acute to invent, subtle and sinewy to discourse, not beneath the reach of any point the highest that human capacity can soar to.”
—John Milton (16081674)