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April 21, 2005

Poisonous primates


If there were a contest for cutest venomous creature the slow loris would win hands down (or elbows out, as the case may be).

The slow loris secretes a toxin from sebaceous glands located in crooks of its elbows. When a loris is fixing to bite, it first coats its own teeth in the poison. If a mother slow loris has to leave her babies unattended she will slick them down with poison to protect them from predators in her absence.

Dr. Bryan Grieg Fry a toxicologist and doting loris foster dad explains:

Having worked extensively with the lorises for the last couple years I am absolutely smitten with them. However, while they have the face of those cute and cuddly gremlins, they have the attitude of the evil, after-midnight flipside. With disproportionately huge and sharp canine teeth (very fang-like) and powerful jaw muscles their bites alone can be absolutely agonising. However, the pain is compounded by factors beyond the simple tissue trauma caused by the mechanical damage from the powerful jaws. The lorises are actually toxic! On the inside of their elbows, sebaceous tissue secretes a toxin (like sweat pores, which is rather fitting since the toxic mixture smells remarkably like sweaty socks). The lorises take it into their mouth and deliver it in the bite. It is not the upper and lower jaw vampire like canine teeth that deliver this toxin. It is the innocuously small teeth in the front of the lower jaw which slope forward and help conduct the saliva into the wound.

Via Monkeyfilter.


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Gremlins are only of the "evil, after-midnight" variety. The cute ones are Mogwai. See this is why peer review is so important!

Cute. Evil ... but cute.

Super neat.

Maybe the Mesa SWAT team should invest in these little guys.

Ah lories, a fascinating example. But why stop there!
There are actually a number of poisonous mammals (and not just the artificially produced ones due to heavy metals int he food chain.)

A 30 sec. google search found this:

Q: What is the name of the most poisonous mammal living today? (Ariana, Albuquerque, New Mexico)

A: The egg-laying platypus of Australia is the world's most poisonous mammal. Males have hollow spurs connected to venom glands on the ankle of each hind leg. The extremely painful poison can harm a man but won't kill him.
(scroll down to the bottom of the page)""

Ah, even the platypus! Alas poor Yorick (the platypus) I hardly new thee until you kicked me in the face with your hind leg.

So in the loris we see cuteness having evolved as an offensive weapon.

Well, surely we SHOULD cut down all the Truffula trees so these filthy beasts will have nowhere to live!

Surely the slow loris is only the second most toxic primate, and, with props to the platypus, the third most toxic mammal. As for as the combination of cuteness and venom, though, that slow loris will be hard to beat.

With a name like "poisonous primates", I thought this post would be about Benedict XVI. . .

So it has to rub its teeth with its elbows before it attacks? Flexible beastie. Try it. I just did.

Dan - the cuteness of the Loris is accentuated by the fact that its defensive posture involves raising its arms above its head. Looks like she's surrendering, but actually she's just getting ready to lick her inner elbows, the better to inject her venom into your veins. Muahahaha!

i have been bitten by a slow loris am i in danger?what shall i do?please help

I have been bitten by a slow loris as well, what shall I do? Please help

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