Slow Loris

Slow Loris

Slow lorises are a group of five species of strepsirrhine primates which make up the genus Nycticebus. Found in South and Southeast Asia, they range from Bangladesh and Northeast India in the west to the Philippines in the east, and from the Yunnan province in China in the north to the island of Java in the south. Although many previous classifications recognized fewer species, five are now considered valid: the Sunda slow loris (N. coucang), Bengal slow loris (N. bengalensis), pygmy slow loris (N. pygmaeus), Javan slow loris (N. javanicus), and Bornean slow loris (N. menagensis). The group's closest relatives are other lorisids, such as slender lorises, pottos, false pottos, and angwantibos. They are also closely related to the remaining lorisiforms (the various types of galago), as well as the lemurs of Madagascar. Their evolutionary history is uncertain since their fossil record is patchy and molecular clock studies have given inconsistent results.

Slow lorises have a round head, narrow snout, large eyes, and a variety of distinctive coloration patterns that are species-dependent. Their arms and legs are nearly equal in length, and their trunk is long, allowing them to twist and extend to nearby branches. The hands and feet of slow lorises have several adaptations that give them a pincer-like grip and enable them to grasp branches for long periods of time. Slow lorises have a toxic bite, a rare trait among mammals. The toxin is produced by licking a gland on their arm, and the secretion mixes with its saliva to activate it. Their toxic bite is a deterrent to predators, and the toxin is also applied to the fur during grooming as a form of protection for their infants. They move slowly and deliberately, making little or no noise, and when threatened, they freeze and become docile. Their only documented predators—apart from humans—include snakes, hawk-eagles and orangutans, although cats, civets and sun bears are suspected. Little is known about their social structure, but they are known to communicate by scent marking. Males are highly territorial. Slow lorises reproduce slowly, and the infants are initially parked on branches or carried by either parent. They are omnivores, eating small animals, fruit, tree gum, and other vegetation.

All five species are listed as either "Vulnerable" or "Endangered" on the IUCN Red List and are threatened by the wildlife trade and habitat loss. Although their habitat is rapidly disappearing and becoming fragmented, making it nearly impossible for slow lorises to disperse between forest fragments, unsustainable demand from the exotic pet trade and traditional medicine has been the greatest cause for their decline. Deep-rooted beliefs about the supernatural powers of slow lorises, such as their purported ability to ward off evil spirits or cure wounds, have popularized their use in traditional medicine. Despite local laws prohibiting trade in slow lorises and slow loris products, as well as protection from international commercial trade under Appendix I, slow lorises are openly sold in animal markets in Southeast Asia and smuggled to other countries, such as Japan. They have also been popularized as pets in viral videos on YouTube. Slow lorises have their teeth cut or pulled out for the pet trade, and often die from infection, blood loss, poor handling, or poor nutrition.

Read more about Slow Loris:  Evolutionary History, Anatomy and Physiology, Distribution and Diversity, Behavior and Ecology, In Culture, Conservation

Other articles related to "slow loris, slow, loris":

Bengal Slow Loris - Distribution
... The species has the largest geographic range of all slow loris species and is native to Indian subcontinent (Northeast India and Bangladesh) and Indochina (Cambodia, Laos, Burma, Vietnam, southern China and ... The Bengal slow loris is sympatric (shares its range) with the pygmy slow loris in southeast of China, Vietnam, and Laos ... The Bengal slow loris is also sympatric with the Sunda slow loris on the southern peninsula of Thailand ...
Pygmy Slow Loris - Behavior - Diet
... The pygmy slow loris is omnivorous, feeding on ants, insects, and fruit ... concluded that the diet of the pygmy slow loris consists largely of tree exudates (gum) (63%) and animal prey (33%), with other food types making up the remainder ... The pygmy slow loris will gouge trees to feed on the released exudates ...
Javan Slow Loris
... The Javan slow loris (Nycticebus javanicus) is a strepsirrhine primate and a species of slow loris native to the western and central portions of the island of Java, in Indonesia ... described as a separate species, it was considered a subspecies of the Sunda slow loris (N ... It is most closely related to the Sunda slow loris and the Bengal slow loris (N ...
Slow Loris - Conservation - Wildlife Trade
... Until the 1960s, the hunting of slow lorises was sustainable, but due to growing demand, decreased supply, and the subsequent increased value of the marketed wildlife, slow lorises ... With the use of modern technology, such as battery-powered search lights, slow lorises have become easier to hunt because of their eye shine ... Traditional medicine made from loris parts is thought to cure many diseases, and the demand for this medicine from wealthy urban areas has replaced the ...
Bengal Slow Loris - Conservation
... See also Conservation of slow lorises Listed as "Data Deficient" as recently as 2006 on the IUCN Red List, The Bengal slow loris was evaluated in 2008 by the International ... Act of 1972, and in June 2007, it was transferred along with all other slow loris species to CITES Appendix I, which forbids international commercial trade ... The Bengal slow loris is used in traditional medicine in all of these countries, selling for US$15 in Vietnam, and is also eaten in Vietnam ...

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