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Animals are categorized due to their different characteristics and features, and so mammals are warm-blooded animals with hair and vertebrates or backbones. Among many mammals, there is slow loris, which is recognized to have some different and unique behaviors. They look cute and adorable and may look harmless but before snuggling into one, think twice, because their bites are dangerous cause they are packed with venom that is powerful enough to rot flesh. 

Slow loris venom - World’s only venomous mammal.

They are considered one of the world’s only venomous mammals.  Why do they have venom? How do they use it? Why are we trying to save this mammal from danger? These questions have fascinated scientists too. So let’s see, what these slow loris actually are. 

What is a slow loris?

They are mammals of the order, Primate in the paraphyletic group called Prosimian. They have bright huge round eyes, button noses, and fuzzy bodies. The big eyes it has helped to detect its meal at night and its sharp depth of sight helps it to see even among the dim trees.  

It has a short, dense, and wooly coat varying in colors from light brown to deep reddish-brown with chest and belly white in color.  The teeth in its lower jaw form a structure-like comb called the toothcomb used for scraping the resin from tree bark. 

They are nocturnal as they are active during the night and sleep during the day, spending their lives in trees. They are native to the rainforests of South Asia and Southeast Asia. They are described to be incredibly cute with unusual behaviors like hanging still in branches for hours. The males are highly territorial and communicate by scent marking. 

Why are they called slow loris? 

Why are they called slow loris? 

They are nocturnal animals who are active at night and sleep during the day. They move slowly making little or no noise and when they feel threatened they remain immobile. And this is why it got its name. 

How venomous is a slow loris? 

You should not take a bite from a loris as a joke. Underneath the armpits, they have glands that seep out harmful oil and when they lick those glands,  their saliva combines with oil to prepare the venom.  It is filled into their grooved canines that deliver a bite that is strong enough to pierce through bone.  This venom will cause the flesh of the victim to rot away. 

It was a long time debate on why a primate evolved to be venomous and then came to a conclusion that they use them to defend themselves from predators. Slow lorises are so aggressive in getting their territory that they use venom as a weapon. Males defend their mates while females protect their offspring and food. 

There are reports of people getting bit by the mammal and typically safe. But some can be extremely painful and will cause illness and even death in humans in some circumstances. 

Are slow loris good pets? 

They are not good pets, and before trying to own one know that they are illegal pet trade. They make terrible pets, as the bright light itself will be highly stressful to them. The poachers will cut the teeth, to prevent them from biting the buyer and they transport them in the dark, overcrowded, and poorly ventilated containers resulting in high mortality. People cannot properly feed them and it can cause disease and early death. So the Loris poaching is a black market. 

Are slow loris good pets?

They feed on some rare fruits and plants from particular regions of southeast Asia. Therefore providing them with a natural diet will be difficult. Although they can be fed various food items like bananas, they can still develop health problems due to the alterations in diet. You will not be able to approach a vet for treatment as it is illegal to own them.
These lorises belong to the forest and don’t suit under glaring lights for social media. 

Are slow loris endangered? 

The slow loris is in the world’s top 25 most endangered primates. The population is said to have declined by at least 80% over the last 24 years. 

Are slow loris endangered? 

These animals are taken as pets from the wild in some states. Their teeth are removed to prevent getting bites and this leaves them in pain and infections. Many die at the market or even before reaching it. When they die, their body parts are used for traditional medicines. 

The homes in forests are also destroyed by humans, and even these animals are destroyed by the tourism industry. 

Why do you need to save them?

It is important to maintain a healthy and balanced ecosystem. Therefore each organism’s existence is important to the planet. Slow lorises are seed dispersers and pollinators, so their existence is required to the earth in some way but their rainforest habitat and nocturnal lifestyle make it hard to how exactly their absence impacts the ecosystem. 

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