Wednesday, January 02, 2013

New Primate Species Discovered in Borneo

With their beautiful soft coats and brilliant, huge brown eyes, the shy Nycticebus (the Latin name for the slow loris), is definitely one of the most adorable and captivating critters on the planet. And while they appear cute and cuddly, the bite of one of these small, shy nocturnal "night monkeys" carries quite a wallop. The Slow Loris is the only primate in the world that is venomous.

While they are omnivorous, their venom is used to catch and kill small prey animals, such as lizards, insects and birds, and as a defensive strategy to protect themselves and their babies. The animals access their poison by rubbing their hands on glands located in their armpits and then apply the toxin on their teeth. A Slow Loris bite is extremely painful and can cause swelling, fever and an anaphylactic reaction to humans who are allergic to the toxin and may similarly affect predatory animals as well.

Slow Loris monkeys are native to South and Southeast Asia. Due to their slow movements and their nocturnal habits, the species has been greatly misunderstood. Slow Loris monkeys measure between 9 ½ to 15 inches in height, and weigh approximately 4 pounds. Females give birth to only one offspring, following a gestation period of 193 days. Their life span is approximately 20 years.

What has brought the Slow Loris most recently into sharper focus, according to the National Geographic, a group of scientists have discovered the Nycticebus Kayan; a new species of this tiny, enchanting primate making their home in Borneo

So precisely upon what did the scientists base their claim that the Slow Loris N.Kayan was in fact a red-hot discovery? After studying several museum specimens and photographs of the Slow Loris species Nycticebus Menagenis, and carefully examining the distinct facial markings of these animals, they were able to ascertain that the Loris N.Kayan was in truth, totally new to science.

Continue reading (Incl. Pic) at: New Primate Species Discovered in Borneo