1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Loris

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LORIS, a name of uncertain origin applied to the Indo-Malay representatives of the lemurs, which, together with the African pottos, constitute the section Nycticebinae of the family Nycticebidae (see Primates). From their extremely slow movements and lethargic habits in the daytime these weird little creatures are commonly called sloths by Anglo-Indians. Their soft fur, huge staring eyes, rudimentary tails and imperfectly .developed index-fingers render lorises easy of recognition. The smallest is the slender loris (Loris gracilis) of the forests of Madras and Ceylon, a creature smaller than a squirrel. It is of such exceeding strangeness and beauty that it might have been thought it would be protected by the natives; but they hold it alive before a fire till its beautiful eyes burst in order to afford a supposed remedy for ophthalmic! The mainland and Cingalese animals form distinct races. Both in this species and the slow loris there is a pair of rudimentary abdominal teats in addition to the normal pectoral pair. The slow loris (N ycticebus tardigradus) is a heavier built and larger animal, ranging from eastern Bengal to Cochin China, Siam, the Malay Peninsula, lava and Sumatra. There are several races, mostly grey in colour, but the Sumatran N. t. hilleri is reddish.(R. L.*)