Venomous Primate Discovered in Borneo
New slow loris species has "striking" eye patches, toxic bite.
Small, nocturnal animals native to South and Southeast Asia, slow lorises are poorly understood, mostly due to their slow movements and nighttime activity.
But scientists are able to distinguish slow loris species using the primates' distinctive face masks, or markings. So a team recently examined several museum specimens and photographs of the slow loris species Nycticebus menagenis of Borneo (map).
Differences in face markings revealed that N. menagenis had incorrectly included three additional species of slow loris—two of which were previously classified as subspecies and N. kayan, which is completely new to science. (Also see "'Extinct,' Pop-Eyed Primate Photographed for First Time.")
Like all slow lorises, N. kayan has a toxic bite—one of the few mammals that do, noted