If you’ve ever seen those plush toys with impossibly large eyes, that’s one of the ways toy manufacturers use our innate desire for cuteness to entice a purchase. One of the animals that don’t need any help in that area is the Slow loris. There are multiple Slow loris species, but they all share some of the same key features, which we find to be universally adorable. The most prominent of them is their enlarged eyes, which weren’t evolved to make them desirable to humans; rather, they are an adaptation to their nocturnal lifestyle.
Slow lorises have a small snout and nose and enlarged eyes, which check multiple boxes on the baby schema. As a result, most people who see them consider them to be cute, but their cuteness should not entice anyone to approach these tiny primates. The bite of a Slow loris is highly toxic, which is rare among mammals. It is derived from licking a sexual gland on their arm, which secretes a liquid that combines with their saliva to become toxic. They spread this substance on their fur as a deterrence to predators. Slow lorises are cute, but they’re more of a ‘look but don’t touch’ kind of species.
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