IUCN threat status:

Vulnerable (VU)

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Biology

Active during the night, the Bengal loris can be found stalking through the trees with slow, deliberate movements as it searches for food (6). Its diet is varied, consisting mainly of fruit, but also insects, snails, small birds and reptiles (4). When catching prey, the Bengal loris will stand upright, its feet gripping the branch on which it stands, and quickly seize prey with its powerful hands (6). One of the more curious aspects of loris biology is the production of a toxic substance from glands on the insides of the elbows. This toxin, secreted in sweat, is licked off the gland and mixed with saliva (activating the toxin) where it appears to be channelled up the fine comb-like teeth at the front of the mouth. When defending itself, the loris's bite transmits this poison, and people who have been bitten have reported it to be particularly painful, with anaphylactic shock occurring in some cases (7). Information regarding the reproductive biology of the Bengal loris in the wild is limited, but it is known that it lives in small family groups, reaches sexual maturity at 20 months, and the females usually give birth to a single offspring every 12 to 18 months. The Bengal loris is relatively long-lived, living for up to 20 years (2).

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Source: ARKive

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