Dictionary of Human Evolution and Biology

  • -id > 9:3
   

Nycticebus É. Geoffroy, 1812

One of the two prosimian genera to which the lorises belong; Nycticebus contains the two slow loris species. Found in Southeast Asia; natural history poorly known. Arboreal; nocturnal; slow methodical climbers; tail is short stump. The second digit is reduced and possesses a grooming claw, and the pollex is 180 degrees from digit 3, providing for a powerful vice-like grip that can be held for long periods of time; circulatory adaptations in the paws provide an ample oxygen supply that prevents lactic acid build-up in the muscles. Body mass ranges from 300 to 900 g. Dental formula: 2.1.3.3; lower incisors and canines form a dental comb; believed to be frugivorous. Nycticebus has been reported to have poisonous axillary glands; poison is applied to the teeth and an attacker is bitten. It has been theorized that this is a form of Batesian mimicry that deters an educated predator from future loris attacks. Social organization unknown.

Full-Text Search Entries