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Loris

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Descripton

Loris is the common name for the strepsirrhine primates of the subfamily Lorisinae in family Lorisidae. Loris is one genus in this subfamily and includes the slender lorises, while Nycticebus is the genus of the slow lorises.

Lorises are nocturnal. They are found in tropical and woodland forests of India, Sri Lanka, and parts in southeast Asia. Loris locomotion is a slow and cautious climbing form of quadrupedalism. Some lorises are almost entirely insectivorous, while others also include fruits, gums, leaves, and slugs in their diet.

Female lorises practice infant parking, leaving their young infants behind in nests. Before they do this they bathe their young with allergenic saliva that is acquired by licking patches on the insides of their elbows that produce a mild toxin that discourages most predators, though orangutans occasionally eat lorises.

Taxonomic classification

The family Lorisidae is found within the infraorder Lemuriformes and superfamily Lorisoidea, along with the family Galagidae, the galagos. This infraorder is a sister taxon of Lemuriformes, the lemurs. Within Lorisinae, there are ten species (and several more subspecies) of lorises across two genera:

  • Family Lorisidae Subfamily Perodicticinae Subfamily Lorisinae Genus Loris Gray slender loris, Loris lydekkerianus Highland slender loris, L. lydekkerianus grandis Mysore slender loris, L. lydekkerianus lydekkerianus Malabar slender loris, L. lydekkerianus malabaricus Northern slender loris, L. lydekkerianus nordicus Red slender loris, L. tardigradus Dry Zone slender loris, L. tardigradus tardigradus Horton Plains slender loris, L. tardigradus nyctoceboides Genus Nycticebus Nycticebus bancanus Bengal slow loris, N. bengalensis N. borneanus Sunda slow loris, N. coucang Javan slow loris, N. javanicus N. kayan Bornean slow loris, N. menagensis †? N. linglom (fossil, Miocene) Pygmy slow loris, N. pygmaeus
  • Subfamily Perodicticinae
  • Subfamily Lorisinae Genus Loris Gray slender loris, Loris lydekkerianus Highland slender loris, L. lydekkerianus grandis Mysore slender loris, L. lydekkerianus lydekkerianus Malabar slender loris, L. lydekkerianus malabaricus Northern slender loris, L. lydekkerianus nordicus Red slender loris, L. tardigradus Dry Zone slender loris, L. tardigradus tardigradus Horton Plains slender loris, L. tardigradus nyctoceboides Genus Nycticebus Nycticebus bancanus Bengal slow loris, N. bengalensis N. borneanus Sunda slow loris, N. coucang Javan slow loris, N. javanicus N. kayan Bornean slow loris, N. menagensis †? N. linglom (fossil, Miocene) Pygmy slow loris, N. pygmaeus
  • Genus Loris Gray slender loris, Loris lydekkerianus Highland slender loris, L. lydekkerianus grandis Mysore slender loris, L. lydekkerianus lydekkerianus Malabar slender loris, L. lydekkerianus malabaricus Northern slender loris, L. lydekkerianus nordicus Red slender loris, L. tardigradus Dry Zone slender loris, L. tardigradus tardigradus Horton Plains slender loris, L. tardigradus nyctoceboides
  • Gray slender loris, Loris lydekkerianus Highland slender loris, L. lydekkerianus grandis Mysore slender loris, L. lydekkerianus lydekkerianus Malabar slender loris, L. lydekkerianus malabaricus Northern slender loris, L. lydekkerianus nordicus
  • Highland slender loris, L. lydekkerianus grandis
  • Mysore slender loris, L. lydekkerianus lydekkerianus
  • Malabar slender loris, L. lydekkerianus malabaricus
  • Northern slender loris, L. lydekkerianus nordicus
  • Red slender loris, L. tardigradus Dry Zone slender loris, L. tardigradus tardigradus Horton Plains slender loris, L. tardigradus nyctoceboides
  • Dry Zone slender loris, L. tardigradus tardigradus
  • Horton Plains slender loris, L. tardigradus nyctoceboides
  • Genus Nycticebus Nycticebus bancanus Bengal slow loris, N. bengalensis N. borneanus Sunda slow loris, N. coucang Javan slow loris, N. javanicus N. kayan Bornean slow loris, N. menagensis †? N. linglom (fossil, Miocene) Pygmy slow loris, N. pygmaeus
  • Nycticebus bancanus
  • Bengal slow loris, N. bengalensis
  • N. borneanus
  • Sunda slow loris, N. coucang
  • Javan slow loris, N. javanicus
  • N. kayan
  • Bornean slow loris, N. menagensis
  • †? N. linglom (fossil, Miocene)
  • Pygmy slow loris, N. pygmaeus

As pets

While it appears that lorises might make very good pets as they seem harmless and cute by many people, they are wild animals and not suitable to be kept as recreational livestock. The fact remains that they are only harmless once their teeth have been removed as they are capable of inflicting a toxic bite. Tooth removal, while common, is sometimes crude, causing the slow, painful death of many animals. It should not be forgotten that lorises are wild animals, which can be obtained only in the grey market sector. They suffer a lot when taken away from their natural habitat and struggle to adapt to new homes. Many social activists are fighting to save lorises and to stop their illegal trading. Youtube viral videos showing activities of lorises as pets, which are considered cute and adorable, have been major setbacks for these social activists.

References

Loris


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