Gray Slender Loris
Photo: Creative Creative/ Maky
Where do they live?
- The Gray Slender Loris lives in southern India and parts of Sri Lanka. They live high up in the trees of the various types of forests that include both dry and wet climates.
What do they look like?
- These fur balls are cute and peculiar looking. They have large eyes and thin, slender bodies with long limbs. Their eyes are so large because it helps them see better at night. They are nocturnal primates so they are awake at night and sleep all day. Despite their name they are not always gray. Sometimes they are a reddish brown color.
- They have small, super thin ears that are almost totally hidden by fur. They have no tail. They range between 7 and 10 inches long (17.5 – 26 cm) and weight about 3-13 ounces (85 – 350 grams). Their hands are small and fingers are slender allowing for them to have amazing grip on the branches! They have a special muscle and vascular system around their wrists and ankles that allows them to not get cramps even days after holding on. It is nearly impossible to detach a Loris’s hand from a branch it’s clinging to.
- The unique thing about Loris’s hands is that every hand and foot has nails except for the second toes, which have claws. This allows for better grooming! Their teeth are also unique in that the bottom four front teeth are fused together and are called a toothcomb.
What is their social life like?
- Gray Slender Lorises spend their day curled up with 2-7 other gray lorises, but when night comes they go their separate ways and find food alone.
- They primarily stay in groups of one female (with her offspring) with one or more males. The females can give birth to twins which is unusual for primates to do.
- They mostly feed on insects but will resort to other type of food if necessary. They can eat shoots, fruit, flowers, small mammals, small birds and leaves.
- Lucky for these guys they are not in too much danger! The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species puts them as least concern, which means they are doing well. They are low on the list because they are spread out in a wider area and are not found just in one location. Their ability to adapt to differing environments is extremely important for this species. With habitat loss it has become increasingly important that species are able to adapt, and adapt quickly to different environments. The problems that lorises will be facing are the losses of habitat, and also hunting.
Photos and Video courtesy of ARKive.org
Written by Heidi Giancola, March 2016