This big-eyed mammal packs an unusually deadly bite. Slow lorises resemble lemurs, their close primate relatives. But unlike any other primate, the slow loris possesses saliva that can be lethal to predators. A new study takes the first in-depth look at the chemical composition of this toxin and examines the role it plays in loris social interactions and defense.

Science Bulletins is a production of the National Center for Science Literacy, Education, and Technology (NCSLET), part of the Department of Education at the American Museum of Natural History.


Journal of Venomous Animals and Toxins: Mad, bad and dangerous to know: the biochemistry, ecology and evolution of slow loris venom

AMNH: The Power of Poison

New York Times: Scientist at Work blog: Mary E. Blair

The IUCN Red List: Javan Slow Loris (Nycticebus javanicus)

Little Fireface Project

Conservation database for lorises and pottos, prosimian primates

AMNH Center for Biodiversity and Conservation: Primate Research

Duke Lemur Center: Slow loris

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