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article imageNew primate species discovered in Borneo

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By Layne Weiss     Dec 13, 2012 in Science
A new species of small primate has been discovered by Scientists in Borneo. The species is a new type of slow loris. Slow lorises belong to the primate group Nycticebus and are closely related to Lemurs. Slow lorises are also nocturnal.
Slow lorises can be found across Southeast Asia from Bangladesh and China's Yunnan province to the Island of Borneo, Sci-News reports. They have a unique fur coloration on their body and face. Slow lorises are also rare amongst primates for having a "rare toxic bite."
They are the only primates with a toxic bite, BBC News reports.
"Technological advances have improved our knowledge about the diversity of nocturnal animals mammals," said Rachel Munds of the University of Missouri in Columbia. Rachel was the lead author of the study along with Anna Nekaris of Oxford Brookes University in the UK, which was published in the American Journal of Primatology.
The newly discovered species is being referred to as the "Nycticebus kayan" after the Kayan river, Live Science reports.
It can be difficult to differentiate between species that are active by night, so the team of scientists had to look hard to discover the new species and how they differed from the others, BBC News reports. Part of Anna Nekaris' research was filmed for the BBC program Natural World.
The researchers found that there are actually four different species of of slow loris in The Philippines and Borneo. They all have their own unique head markings.
The researchers focused on details such as facial markings on the N. Kayan. It looked as if the primates were wearing a face mask.
All the new species of slow loris are said to have very difficult relations with humans, but they are so cute, unknowing humans want them for pets.
Slow lorises may look adorable to some, but it is important to not be deceived by appearances. Their bite is so toxic, it may cause anaphylactic shock in humans, BBC News reports.
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