Talk:Slow loris

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Featured article Slow loris is a featured article; it (or a previous version of it) has been identified as one of the best articles produced by the Wikipedia community. Even so, if you can update or improve it, please do so.
Main Page trophy This article appeared on Wikipedia's Main Page as Today's featured article on December 10, 2014.
Article milestones
Date Process Result
March 30, 2011 Good article nominee Listed
May 27, 2011 Featured article candidate Promoted
Did You Know
Current status: Featured article

Featured topic[edit]

For the proposed good topic, we have two more things to do. One is getting Pygmy slow loris to GA, which we're now working on in Sasata's sandbox. The other is fulfilling criterion 1c, which (almost) mandates that the articles be placed together in a navigation template. I think we should either extend Template:Lorisidae nav to cover fossil species and Conservation of slow lorises or make a dedicated slow loris navbox.

10 articles
Featured article Slow loris
Captive N. bengalensis from Laos with 6-week baby.JPG
Featured article Conservation of slow lorises
Good article Sunda slow loris
Good article Bengal slow loris
Good article Pygmy slow loris
Featured article Javan slow loris
Good article Bornean slow loris
B-Class article Nycticebus bancanus
B-Class article Nycticebus borneanus
Good article Nycticebus kayan
Good article ? Nycticebus linglom

Above is the featured topic box, which I fetched from the archive with the page names corrected. Currently, we're almost there for a good topic, but to make this into a featured topic, we'll need to get at least two more articles to FA. All the living species should be fairly close to FA standards, so we might want to pick two (or more) to get to FA. Ucucha 09:51, 15 June 2011 (UTC)

  • I'll take pygmy through FAC when we're done working on it. As for the others, I agree they all look pretty good. Hopefully the shorter length of the species articles will make the FAC somewhat shorter than for the genus article :) How about Bengal for the other candidate (type species)? Sasata (talk) 15:11, 15 June 2011 (UTC)
  • All this sounds good. I was planning to run each of the species through FAC after my current nomination passes. Feel free to make tweaks to them in the meantime. Personally, I've got a lot on my plate at the moment. – VisionHolder « talk » 19:24, 15 June 2011 (UTC)
  • By the way, how do the collaborators feel about the Javan slow loris article? I'm thinking about submitting that as my next FAC. I'll double-check before I submit it, but I'm pretty sure I exhaustively covered my available sources when I worked on writing it. – VisionHolder « talk » 18:07, 19 June 2011 (UTC)
  • Fine by me; I'll read through it again tonight and recheck the lit databases as well. Someone's probably gonna mention the small distribution section. Should we dump the cladogram per the Slow loris fac, or perhaps combine the coucang(s) + bengalensis branches? Sasata (talk) 20:22, 19 June 2011 (UTC)
  • As I've said before—dump it, and wait until we get a more definitive phylogeny.
  • In the Javan article, the claim that Lesson called that species "Bradylemur tardigradus" should probably go. He seems to be calling all slow lorises (and perhaps some slender lorises, since he said the species is on Ceylon) Bradylemur tardigradus, and the Javan form is included as one of four varieties (var. D). Ucucha 20:41, 19 June 2011 (UTC)
  • I believe the explanation of the synonyms was added per a GAN request. If we remove the mention of Lesson, then I can see FAC reviewers asking why we only discuss 2 of the 3 synonyms. Should we just explain it better (with an additional ref, I suppose), or delete all three? – VisionHolder « talk » 00:29, 20 June 2011 (UTC)
  • Why is it in the synonym list in the first place? MSW 3 doesn't list tardigradus as a synonym of javanicus, and I don't see why it should be one. Ucucha 00:33, 20 June 2011 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Sasata, where is your sandbox for the article Pygmy slow loris? I lost the link. From what I remember seeing of it, the biggest issue was the references. Do you think we could clean those up and publish it, even if it still needs some work for GAN? Something is better than nothing for this poor species. – VisionHolder « talk » 15:40, 11 July 2011 (UTC)

Here, Conservation/Trade/captivity sections need lots of work (still too close to the source in some places), any help appreciated! Sasata (talk) 15:47, 11 July 2011 (UTC)
Is there a way to know which parts are too similar to the sources? Otherwise, I'll start a talk page for the sandbox and ask my questions there. – VisionHolder « talk » 16:14, 11 July 2011 (UTC)


The article about venom links here and the article is in the venomous mammal category yet the article itself makes no mention of the slow loris being venomous or any detail related to that. Dr. Lobotomy (talk) 00:52, 16 August 2011 (UTC)

The problem is that the literature doesn't explicitly say that they have venom... just a toxin that they keep in their mouth. Between following the sources and having a good definition of the word "venomous", it made it quite difficult to write. I'm open to discussion of the topic, though. – VisionHolder « talk » 08:20, 16 August 2011 (UTC)

Actually other places have said that this is not a venom at all but perhaps something akin to a scent based signaling mechanism. The references at the end of this post might be useful — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:36, 8 November 2012 (UTC)

The article already cites most of those sources, and the article phrases things in a way that fall in line with the views of leading loris researchers. More may be published about it soon. There is a strong possibility that that toxin is only found in wild lorises, not captive ones, and it may be a result of their diet. Without a diet of toxic insects, the secretion may be no more potent than cat dander. But we can't say this until the research is published. For now, the debate over whether the slow loris is venomous or not boils down to a debate over the precise meaning of the word "venomous". At this point, I am inclined to favor the phrase "toxic bite". – Maky « talk » 22:21, 8 November 2012 (UTC)

"Two tongues" and more...[edit]

A note to my co-authors of this article, and anyone else wanting to comment:

In the Natural World series on the BBC, the slow loris was just featured in the U.K. with a special entitled "Jungle Gremlins of Java", which followed Dr. Nekaris around the Java as she studied slow loris distribution and the toxicity of their bite, while also addressing the illegal pet trade. (I should note that our research and discussion of the illegal trade, along with some perfect timing, helped to spark a protest on YouTube last year, which helped popularize this issue and get the BBC interested in Dr. Nekaris' work. Good job, team, for our small part!) Anyway, the video stated some information that is not present in the article, and I wouldn't be surprised that as this video gets released in other countries, people will start trying to add it in. Three of these tidbits that I noted when watching it include:

  1. Slow lorises have "two tongues".
  2. There may be as many as 12 species.
  3. The toxic bite may be used to repel parasites or to injure/kill other lorises competing for territory. (They even showed Dr. Nekaris testing this.) The show also noted that lorises returned to the wild have a low survival rate, and this may be due to not getting the chemicals needed to produce their toxin in their captive diets.

These are all interesting points, but obviously we will need to watch for publications from Nekaris that discuss them. I know in Osman Hill's book, the "two tongues" are discussed for all strepsirrhines, so we can probably add that. It's called a "sublingua" and is thought to be used by strepsirrhines to clean their toothcomb, and possible help collect nectar in some lemur species. For some reason, the staff at the Duke Lemur Center insist quite strongly on the term frenulum (or lingual frenulum), but I know no other literature that uses that term to describe this organ. Anyway, I can try to add this later if everyone feels it would make a good addition. – VisionHolder « talk » 22:57, 27 January 2012 (UTC)

The sublingua has been mentioned in the article with appropriate citations. I used the same explanation on this article as I did on the Lemur article. I will try to create an article on the sublingua, and if we are lucky, someone at the Duke Lemur Center may help by contributing a photo. The rest of the information above will have to wait for future publications. – VisionHolder « talk » 07:36, 6 February 2012 (UTC)


What does crown strepsirrhines means? It appears in the section Anatomy and physiology, 4 paragraph. --Andresisrael (talk) 21:01, 16 August 2012 (UTC)

Thanks for catching that. I have linked the word "crown" to the article Crown group. In short, it means "living strepsirrhines" but simplifying it this way can lead to misinterpretations since it does not exclude recently extinct strepsirrhines. Basically, the crown strepsirrhines exclude much older, extinct groups of strepsirrhines that are more distantly related (called stem groups). I hope that explains it. Unfortunately, any discussion of primates gets confusing because too few people understand their evolutionary history, and oversimplifying terms often leads to misunderstandings, even among experts. – Maky « talk » 03:54, 17 August 2012 (UTC)

Sagittal crest[edit]

Hi again, I think this ([1]) could be a better and more recent source about the presence of a sagittal crest in Nycticebus. --Andresisrael (talk) 00:11, 21 August 2012 (UTC) (PD: I mean more recent than Elliot 1913, becouse both are pretty old)

Yes, both are old. What is the conclusion of this paper? (All the article says is: "The skull has prominent crests.") I don't have access to it, and the scanned first page is hard to read. Is it simply suggesting differences in these crests between Nycticebus species? If so, it might be worthwhile to wait for some upcoming literature by Anna Nekaris. I believe she is working to revise slow loris taxonomy, and I'm pretty sure that will be addressed. – Maky « talk » 01:46, 21 August 2012 (UTC)
If Nekaris is working in an upcoming research or book, is better to wait. Actually I was quite sorprize that in Primate Anatomy didn't mention anything about it. --Andresisrael (talk) 05:02, 21 August 2012 (UTC)
I just checked Osman Hill's detailed volume on strepsirrhine anatomy, and it didn't say anything about the crests. I guess it wasn't noteworthy? – Maky « talk » 05:44, 21 August 2012 (UTC)


The slow loris article is one of the featured articles in the “primates” section. The article is very comprehensive in all areas. The article contains general information on the genus, with further information on specific species. The specific species pages are far less specific and edited in general. The behavior section, in my opinion, could be improved organizationally. It would benefit from having subtopics in addition to “diet.” Behaviors described include male/male interactions, communication, movement, breeding and rearing patterns, and diet. It does not include information on sibling interaction, kin selection, or offer very much information on parent/offspring relationships. The article states that behavior is not fully known. There is clarification and fact cross-checking in the talk section. It appears that the page is updated several times a month by multiple authors and was created in 2004. Katims90 (talk) 19:42, 25 September 2012 (UTC)

Thank you for your constructive feedback. First of all, I'm surprised that you say that the species articles are less specific and less edited—all are either good articles (GA) or featured articles (FA), except for Pygmy slow loris, which is not GA because we haven't had time to polish up the references. If details are lacking in those articles, there may have been oversights, but it is most likely due to avoiding redundancy with the genus article. All of these articles were re-written together as part of a fairly impressive collaboration project. More specific examples of what could be improved would be appreciated.
I'm also a little confused... You say that the article could use a subsection on "diet", yet you list "diet" as one of the topic discussed in the Behavior section. I'm pretty sure we covered everything that was published on that topic. Sadly, there aren't many people studying slow lorises, and I have regular email contact with the most noteworthy one—Dr. Anna Nekaris. If you have a specific question about the diet that is not answered in the article, I can try asking her if anything is published on it. I know that a lot of (illegal) pet owners want to know what to feed their pet, but Wiki is not a how-to manual for pet care. Also, I don't think anything has been published about sibling interaction, kin selection, or parent/offspring relationships. (Again, prosimian primates are not as well studied as simians.) I wish I could offer more information on the article, but that requires further (published) research. – Maky « talk » 20:45, 25 September 2012 (UTC)

Slow loris in Spanish[edit]

Hi, I just want to announce that I traduced this article to the Spanish version of Wikipedia, where I'm going to nominate it to AD (the spanish version of FA). BTW, incredible article Maky. If you have any suggestion (I don't know if you speak Spanish), please talk to me in my talk page. --Andresisrael (talk) 13:13, 31 October 2012 (UTC)


In the seccion Anatomy and Physiology, 6th paragraph, it says that the pygmy slow loris can weight 265 g. In Nekaris et al 2010, it says that it weight from 360 g to 580 g. I think that in the article it should say Bornean slow loris. --Andresisrael (talk) 02:04, 11 December 2012 (UTC)

Recent article suggests slow loris weep in response to pain[edit]

Researchers discover new species of slow loris with toxic bite

At the end of the article, it is stated that slow loris are tortured in order to induce them to cry. Then the tears are collected for use in traditional medicine. I find this claim highly dubious. I thought that humans were the only animal that produces tears in response to physical or emotional pain. Besides, it would be more efficient to introduce an irritant such as pepper.

If you are planning to include this torture claim, please find a more reliable source. Becalmed (talk) 23:28, 15 December 2012 (UTC)

I wasn't planning on it, and I would have reverted it if someone had. What I think it means is that they burn it alive, and as it shrieks in pain, its eyes melt and the juices pour out. That is what they would collect. In fact, this is already discussed in the article Conservation of slow lorises: "Slow lorises are also burned alive, causing their eyes to burst and release a liquid called minyak kukang (or loris oil)..." – Maky « talk » 00:25, 16 December 2012 (UTC)
Thanks for the info! I'm glad that you didn't need my heads up. Becalmed (talk) 02:50, 19 December 2012 (UTC)

Number of species[edit]

The lede says that contrary to earlier claims, there are now eight known species; the body of the article ("Distribution and diversity") says that there are five. This should be reconciled. Joefromrandb (talk) 11:50, 18 December 2012 (UTC)

Done... except I can't list the other species and their locations until I have a better source than an online news source. I am waiting for the formal publication be released, and that may be getting held up because of the news leak. And FYI, it's a "lead" not a "lede". There's a difference—see Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Lead section. – Maky « talk » 23:45, 18 December 2012 (UTC)

I heard somewhere it was 12. Probably misremembering. WikipediaUserCalledChris (talk) 09:15, 20 December 2016 (UTC)


"...and when threatened, they freeze and become docile."

Hard to believe "docile" would be the right word choice for what happens in the face of a predator. Also, 'freezing' and 'becoming docile' seem to be somewhat contradictory here - rigid vs. pliable. Perhaps "freeze and remain immobile" or simply "freeze"? Should there also be added something like "...biting only when directly threatened"? Heavenlyblue (talk) 16:38, 8 November 2013 (UTC)

Both "freeze" and "docile" is actually the words used in the source. However since the wording is too close to that of the source, I will reword to say "...and when threatened, they stop moving and remain immobile" as you suggest. As for the suggestion about their biting, I'm not sure why this is needed. The part of the article that first discusses their bite in detail starts with: "When threatened, slow lorises may also lick their brachial glands and bite their aggressors..." This shows that they are not aggressive animals and bite only in self defense. – Maky « talk » 17:46, 8 November 2013 (UTC)
I suggested the reference to biting as a more logical alternative to "and become docile". I must point out that "bite only in self defense" from the source is essentially identical to my suggestion of "biting only when directly threatened". Either is fine. Heavenlyblue (talk) 18:34, 15 November 2013 (UTC)

An important question remains unanswered throughout the article...[edit]

Why is the Slow Loris slow? Maybe it would be helpful to readers if this were explained. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

The article already discusses this sufficiently. Search for: "Slow lorises are slow and deliberate climbers" and read that paragraph. – Maky « talk » 16:51, 15 April 2015 (UTC)

I'm replying to an old comment here. I saw a BBC documentary "Jungle Gremlins of Gava" in it they are described as only slow when exposed to bright light, one of the reasons for the title, this does, however, boil down to how slow is slow. Throughout they did appear to move quite slowly. Perhaps simply not AS slow when not in bright light. WikipediaUserCalledChris (talk) 09:11, 20 December 2016 (UTC)

Danger of a slow loris bite[edit]

I have just removed a statement that claimed the slow loris possesses a "potentially lethal bite". I feel that, even with the word "potentially", such a statement requires some evidence. I also removed the reference that was used to support that statement (Exploring cultural drivers for wildlife trade via an ethnoprimatological approach: a case study of slender and slow lorises (Loris and Nycticebus) in South and Southeast Asia). The article from the reference just says:

"Other features of lorises, however, including their strong odor and potentially lethal bite [Alterman, 1995]"

and I do not have access to the Alterman reference, which may be found at the following link:

I think that someone with access to that book should decide if it constitutes sufficient evidence of a "potentially lethal bite". If so, restore the statement that I deleted, but cite Alterman, not the old reference. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Cog77 (talkcontribs) 15:28, 20 June 2015 (UTC)

The article was entirely rewritten a few years ago as a large collaborative effort, and this source was included in that research. The toxicity of the bite has been noted in research by Nekaris (a leading slow loris researcher) and even discussed on a popular documentary on the BBC. The material also was vetted at FAC. – Maky « talk » 17:06, 20 June 2015 (UTC)

The cited Nekaris paper does not make sense as a source because it doesn't provide any evidence for the claim of a "potentially lethal bite". If there is evidence elsewhere, maybe in the Alterman book cited by Nekaris, or even the BBC documentary you mention, then that source should be the one cited here instead. Just to clarify - I am not disputing whether or not a bite is toxic, but whether or not it is *lethal* (or potentially so). Surely such a claim should be supported by more than a one-off sentence in a paper? Cog77 (talk) 19:33, 21 June 2015 (UTC)

The "Behavior and ecology" section outlines in detail the dangers of the bite, including its toxicity and risk of anaphylactic shock. The "Conservation" section doesn't need to cite everything again. – Maky « talk » 20:18, 21 June 2015 (UTC)

So it does - I had missed that one sentence in the "Behavior and ecology" section that mentions a human fatality. Still, I think that the "Conservation" section sentence could be improved. Either it doesn't need to cite everything again, in which case the current reference can be removed, or if it does require a reference, it should be a relevant one. I would suggest one of the following references from the "Behavior and ecology" section:

"Venom" of the slow loris: sequence similarity of prosimian skin gland protein and Fel d 1 cat allergen"

or, perhaps better:

"Anaphylactic shock following bite by a 'slow loris', Nycticebus coucang"

Both seem particularly suitable, although I can only preview access the first page of the latter.Cog77 (talk) 21:03, 21 June 2015 (UTC)

Actually, I now suspect that the reference I have been recommending for removal was supposed to cover the "bad smell" part of the sentence as well. I still think the addition of one of the references listed in my last post here would be useful - it initially appeared to me that the current reference would give details about "lethality", and it does not. I will leave the decision to others though.Cog77 (talk) 21:10, 21 June 2015 (UTC)

Done... though I don't really like it. It makes that new ref look like it supports the entire statement and not just the minor issue with a single word. Again, I'm of the opinion that the potential lethality is fully supported elsewhere, so that one brief mention in the original source should be more than sufficient. If other editors agree, they're welcome to remove the additional ref. – Maky « talk » 22:44, 21 June 2015 (UTC)

Yes, I have to say that I'm not as certain as I originally was, but I do think the original reference was a bit odd for the lethality part. As before, I leave it to you and others to decide. If the original and new reference both remain in this sentence, perhaps it would be clearer if the original one was moved to the middle of the sentence?

"Furthermore, few know about their strong odor[o] or their potentially lethal bite.[n]" [o] = original, [n] = new.

Maybe that would fix it with regard to the second sentence in your last comment?Cog77 (talk) 09:51, 22 June 2015 (UTC)

I did something similar. It should be good now. – Maky « talk » 18:33, 22 June 2015 (UTC)

I think that looks good also, thank you.Cog77 (talk) 20:51, 23 June 2015 (UTC)

Venomous? (take 2)[edit]

If you ask Prof Bryan Fry, world leading expert on venom, the answer is YES. plain and simple. (here TIME = 11:35 and here and here ). מינוזיג (talk) 17:36, 13 September 2015 (UTC)

PS - and it is most definitely NOT a folklore as written in the artical מינוזיג (talk) 11:42, 15 September 2015 (UTC)
The "folklore" part, if read in its entirety, does not say that the toxicity is folklore. It merely introduces the stories of its toxicity as originating in folklore. I just tweaked the wording so that the paragraph doesn't give extra weight to the cat allergen hypothesis. I think the way it's worded now makes is clear that there is potential toxicity associated with the bite of a wild slow loris. – Maky « talk » 21:19, 15 September 2015 (UTC)
hi Maky. from your answer i can understand that you are not 100% convinced of venom presence and you are very cautious about it. still, i think that the wording not reflecting precisely this issue. cat allergen is one component amongst others, the chemicals produced by slow lorises are more complex then that and has not yet been fully understood. toxin is found in wild lorises but presence in captive born ones. today theories about Slow loris suggest that venom appear when needed and like Platypus venom associate with Intraspecific competition. example:

"It is possible that venom is costly to produce and lorises may only activate it when they need it. In one of two recorded cases of a human entering anaphylactic shock after a loris bite [9], the loris delivering the bite had previously nipped his owner several times. It was only when the loris had been introduced to a conspecific with which it fought, and the owner separated the two, that a potentially deadly bite was delivered, causing the owner to go into anaphylaxis."

we understand now that venom have wide purposes and structures in many animals. this is my opinion and for you to decide.מינוזיג (talk) 08:20, 3 October 2015 (UTC)
Thanks for the link to the article. I'll try to take a look soon. When the article was written, the "venom" view was new and not supported well with the literature. I'll try to take a look and see if another re-write is needed. As it stands, I think the article does a good job explaining the history of our understanding and leans strongly towards the "venom" view. – Maky « talk » 01:48, 4 October 2015 (UTC)

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