You read it first in this week’s The Factory in Guide magazine.

Big Eyes, Bad Bite The only known species of venomous primate is the Javan slow loris.  When it needs to defend itself or its family, it mixes venom produced in its armpits with its saliva. The toxic venom causes an animal’s flesh to rot.–

You read it first in this week’s The Factory in Guide magazine.

Do you like going to the Zoo? It’s always an adventure!  It’s a chance to see all kinds of animals one would never get to see otherwise.  Monkeys are always a favorite because of their silly antics. One mammal that is considered a primate, but not a monkey, is the Javan slow loris. It is related more closely to the lemur.

Primates are considered to have a large, complex brain allowing for intelligence, forward-facing eyes that allow for depth perception, and hands with fingers that can grasp and curl around things like tree branches. There are many kinds of Slow Loris, mostly depending on where they live. 

The Javan Slow Loris comes from Java, Indonesia. They are beautiful creatures with big eyes, and have darker colored, teardrop shapes around their eyes. They have light brown fur with a darker stripe down their back. As adults, they aren’t very big, and get to be about a foot long, and weigh a pound to a pound and a half. 

Javan Slow Loris

The thumbs and big toes of a slow loris are located almost 180 degrees away from their other digits and are twice the width, providing the animal with an extremely tight grasp. Their index fingers and the second toe on each of their feet are greatly reduced in length and have longer nails than the rest of the digits. While these shortened index fingers serve to provide the hands with a pincer-like grasp, the second toes serve as grooming claws, or toiled claws, used to clean themselves. They are able to hold onto tree branches and limbs for a long time without losing circulation like we would. They can even hang upside down for a long time with their feet so they can eat using both hands.

They are considered nocturnal, which means they prefer getting around at night. They are also considered arboreal because they spend their life predominantly in the trees, specifically the rainforests, bamboo forests, mangroves and plantations where they can find their food. They eat a little fruit, but mostly bugs, reptiles, gum, nectar and sap.

Because they move slowly, and would be easy prey otherwise, they were created with a very special defense venom.  Their bite is very strong and they have sharp little teeth. If they feel threatened they will lick their armpit area where special oil is secreted. This will mix with their saliva, and when they bite an attacker, it won’t take long for the attacker’s skin to rot.

An unfortunate reality is that these creatures are listed on the Critically Endangered List.  Many have been taken for the exotic pet markets, dwindling their numbers. Another factor is their major loss of habitat (vines, trees and land).

Well, if you get a chance to see any of the several types of slow loris remember just how special they are. And the fewer in number they get, the more special! 

This reminds me of how special we are to God. Isaiah 43:4 says, “Since you were precious in My sight, You have been honored, And I have loved you…”  NKJV

Scripture taken from the New King James Version, Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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