Slow Loris – a slow-moving, joker-looking night mammal, is an incredible mammal. In this article here, we are going to take a look at some really amazing Slow Loris facts that will leave you awestruck! For example, do you know Slow Lorises are considered as mammals with supernatural powers? Before knowing some facts about Slow Loris, let us learn some facts about loris first.
Slow Loris Facts: 1-5
1. Loris is an arboreal (animal which lives on trees) and slow-moving animal. It belongs to the family Lorisidae. It is nocturnal.
2. The word “loris” originated from the Dutch language which means ‘clown’. The facial features of this animal might have earned it such name.
3. They are usually found in South East Asian countries like India, China, Sri Lanka etc. They have big eyes, and their body is covered with fur. They don’t have tails and they use hands and legs to move from one tree to another tree. They are insectivorous but feed on vegetables as well.
4. These lorises can be divided into two genera. The first genus is Loris. This genus is further divided into grey slender loris and red slender loris.
5. The second genus is Nycticebus. Slow Loris ( Nycticebus coucang) belongs to this genus. They have a large head, small body and big eyes and the fur’s color depend on the species. It is considered as one of the rarest mammals. Here, check out the classification details:
Slow Loris Facts: 6-10
6. It is difficult to know the history of its evolution because there are very few fossils and the studies conducted on the animal’s fossils have so far given inconsistent results.
7. Their nearest cousin is the “African bushbabies”. The development of Slow Lorises diverged some 40 million years ago. They are also related to lemurs.
8. All Slow Lorises have a protecting layer over their eyes, which goes by the name tapetum lucidum. It reflects the light. Animals like cats, lions, etc. have the same layer.
9. There is a gland on the arms of these animals, which produce an inactive toxin but when this toxin mixes with their saliva, it becomes active (which is rare in mammals).
10. They use this venom in two ways. The first way is to simply save itself from other predators and the second way is that of protection. The mother Slow Loris licks off the fur of the baby Slow Loris with this venom so that the baby stays protected even if the mothers are away.
Slow Loris Facts: 11-15
11. It is the only animal of the loris family to have venom. What makes it deadlier is the fact that there is no antidote for this venom till now. The scientists are yet to know the source of this venom.
12. It is of 7 to 16 inches or 18 to 40 centimeters long. Unlike the Slender Loris, which has thin and long legs, the Slow Loris has thick and short legs. Slow Lorises live for up to 20 years when they are in captivity. But when they are in wild, they can live up to 25 years.
13. Did you know that they have opposable thumbs (thumb which can be placed opposite the fingers of the same hand), which help them in grasping things? They have vestigial (waste or of no use) index or forefingers. The second or the middle finger is extensively used for gripping.
14. Did you know that they have the longest tongues in the family of primates (only if the tongues are compared to body size)?
15. Slow Loris feeds on fruits, small reptiles, small birds, and eggs. They can survive on tree leaves and gum produced by some trees.
Slow Loris Facts: 16-20
16. They are nocturnal and their big eyes help them locating their prey during the nights. Their hands and feet help in gripping the trees perfectly.
17. There are about 9 species of Slow Loris. They are N. bancanus, N. bengalensis, N. borneanus, N. coucang, N. linglom, N. javanicus É., N. kayan Munds, N. menagensis Lydekker, N. pygmaeus Bonhote. All of these species are listed as endangered.
18. Like many animals, they communicate with other members and mark their territories through scent. Though they are pretty small, their territories can range up to 35 football grounds which makes up to 3,200 square meters and they can have up to 60 sites for sleeping in that area.
19. The movement of these primates is somewhat similar to a snake. They can twist their bodies that well because of the presence of more vertebrae than most of the primates.
20. The Slow Loris becomes sexually active when it is 18 months old. However, they mate every 1-1.5 years and produce only 1 or 2 babies.
Slow Loris Facts: 21-25
21. They take nearly 6 months to reproduce some 50 gm weighing babies and the babies are either carried by their parents or put on the branches (which pose a high risk of becoming a prey).
22. Slow Lorises are known for their slowness (as indicated by the name). They can remain motionless for hours together but at night when they are hunting prey, they can catch up a speed of 8 kilometers per hour.
23. They move very slowly and with little noise or movement in their surroundings, they just freeze and it would be hard to identify them.
24. Slow Lorises are considered to have supernatural powers and thought to cure about 100 diseases. They are killed so that they can be used as medicine.
25. Many people show interest in making these wild animals as pets and hence remove their teeth. This leads to blood loss, infections and many of them die. Though there are many international laws regarding their protection, many of them are sold as pets or killed to use in alternative medicine.