Venomous primate

Lots of spiders, snakes, and fish are venomous. This is not news to most people. Many people know that the platypus has venomous spurs… but it turns out that the platypus is not the only mammal with venom.

Slow Loris
Jmiksanek [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
This happy little creature is the slow loris, a nocturnal primate that lives in many parts of Southeast Asia.

For starters, what a rude name! It’s not like there are any fast lorises out there. And a note of clarification, venom is not poison. Broadly speaking, if you bite something and you die, it’s poisonous; if something bites you and you die, it’s venomous.

The slow loris has venom in its saliva, and venom from a gland on its arm. It licks its arm to combine the two, and then bites something that it wants to go away. There’s only one recorded instance of a human dying from a slow loris bite – these guys have the same metabolic rate as sloths.

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