Taxonomic Classification: Loridae Loris lydekkerianus
Common Name: Gray Slender Loris
Physical Description: The gray slender loris has a small slender body and limbs, small hands, large eyes and a narrow snout. Females and males are usually around the same size, between 7-10 inches and weigh approximately 9 ounces. Their dentition formula is 2:1:3:3. Even though it’s a “gray” slender loris, their fur is a reddish brown color on top and gray-white underneath. The gray slender loris has many unique features. They don’t have a tail and their index fingers on their hands and feet are shorter than their other fingers which helps them grasp tree branches.
Geographical Location and Range: The Gray Slender Loris can be found in the tropical rain forest and woodland areas of Sri Lanka and India.
Diet: The Slender Loris’ diet is made up of mainly insects especially grasshoppers, fruit, small vertebrates, bird eggs, shoots, leaves. Most lorises are insectivores even though they eat an array of plants. They slowly approach their food and then strike fast grabbing with their hands. Their hands are very useful with thumbs to grab objects or prey. Much of their time is spent searching for food and mothers spend more time searching for food when they have children.
Social Organizations: Both males and females have social contact within overlapping ranges of age. During the day lorises tend to sleep in groups up to seven. Each sleeping group usually has one female, her offspring and one or more males. During the night they have physical contact and groom each other. Females rarely interact with each other. Lorises also forage alone or go in groups of two.
Reproduction: The mating period of the slender loris lasts from April to May as well as from October to November. Females, who become sexually mature at 12 to 15 months, have an estrus swelling lasting only 24 hours. Males become sexually mature at about 15 months as well. The gestation period is about 166 days, after which one infant is born although twins are not uncommon.
Parental Care: Mother lorises carry their infants for their first four weeks of life. Mothers and other males groom infants. After their first four weeks mothers “park” their infants on a branch or nest at dusk and continue to return to their offspring in the mornings after hearing infants cry. Males also visit “parked” infants. Mothers stay at sleeping sites away from infants. Depending on the sex of the offspring alters the age in which they start maturing. Females often mature by the time they are six months old, and at this time they part from their mothers. Males mature around ten months old and are ready to court females.
Language and Communication Abilities: Individuals communicate with each other via vocal signals by whistling, growling, screaming, and a variety of other noises. They use these vocalizations in times of territorial warning, aggression, and fear respectively. They will also use their urine to communicate using chemical signals.
Evidence of Culture: Mothers are very protective of their children having them cling on them at all times. When the mother needs to hunt for food she “parks” her child on a branch and licks it with mild allergenic saliva to discourage predators. Then she goes and gets food for the child. Lorises mark their territory with urine and lorises have a special way of marking their territory called urine washing, in which they put urine on their hands to mark their territory when walking. Some types of lorises live in family groups. Social grooming is very common and lorises have a special claw to do so.
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