Geek Trivia

The Only Primate With A Toxic Bite Is The?

Black-Eyed Tarsier
Pygmy Sloth
Slow Loris
Red Uakari Monkey
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Answer: Slow Loris

Slow lorises, a group of nocturnal primates found in Southeast Asia, have perhaps the most appropriate name this side of the bullet ant (known for its intense sting that victims report is as bad as getting shot). The slow loris moves slowly, grooms itself slowly, reproduces slowly, and practically everything in the loris’ life is a sloth-like ballet of deliberate and glacial movement.

The one thing about the slow loris you might be surprised by, however, is that their bite is capable of delivering a toxin. Primates in the slow loris family obtain their toxin by licking a brachial gland on their arm and mixing the secretion with their saliva to activate it. Mother lorises, for instance, will coat their babies, like a mother cat grooming her kittens, before leaving the nest so that any creatures who come to attack the babies while she is foraging will get a nasty mouthful.

Image by Helena Snyder/Wikimedia.