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Slow loris

Slow lorises are a group of several species of nocturnal strepsirrhine primates that make up the genus Nycticebus. Found in Southeast Asia and bordering areas, they range from Bangladesh and Northeast India in the west to the Sulu Archipelago in the Philippines in the east, and from Yunnan province in China in the north to the island of Java in the south. Although many previous classifications recognized as few as a single all-inclusive species, there are now at least eight that are considered valid: the Sunda slow loris (N. coucang), Bengal slow loris (N. bengalensis), pygmy slow loris (N. pygmaeus), Javan slow loris (N. javanicus), Philippine slow loris (N. menagensis), Bangka slow loris (N. bancanus), Bornean slow loris (N. borneanus), and Kayan River slow loris (N. kayan). The group's closest relatives are the slender lorises of southern India and Sri Lanka. Their next closest relatives are the African lorisids, the pottos, false pottos, and angwantibos. They are less closely related to the remaining lorisoids (the various types of galago), and more distantly to the lemurs of Madagascar. Their evolutionary history is uncertain since their fossil record is patchy and molecular clock studies have given inconsistent results.

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The slow loris is a type of primate. It may appear adorable (it is) but it also has a toxic bite formed by licking a gland in their arm that contains a secretion that mixes with their saliva. Their toxins can be severe to predators. It is also used in grooming the fur of their infants as a form of protection. This beautiful and curious species is sadly classified as "Endangered" on the IUCN Red List.

Contributed by Peyton Johnson

Slow Lorises are so adorable, but unfortunately they are illegal to own. They are also poisonous! They can secrete a toxin from the sides of their elbows when they feel threatened, and they mix it with their saliva as well as coat their fur with it. It can cause anaphylactic shock!

Contributed by Devan Seaman

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