A small, slow-moving nocturnal Asian primate with a short or absent tail, living in dense vegetation.
Genera Loris and Nycticebus, family Lorisidae, suborder Prosimii: the slender loris (L. tardigradus) of South India and Sri Lanka, and the slow loris (genus Nycticebus, two species) of SE Asia
- ‘Only in recent decades have prosimians - a suborder of primates that includes lemurs, lorises, bushbabies, and tarsiers - begun to be studied systematically.’
- ‘Primate species are gibbons, langurs, lorises and macaques.’
- ‘However, some primates such as apes, spider monkeys, and lorises have morphological and behavioral specializations that may enhance efficiency during vertical climbing.’
- ‘Fossils suggest that lemurs, bush babies, lorises, aye-ayes, and their relatives (the prosimians) spilt off from the ancestors of monkeys and apes around 55 million years ago.’
- ‘Aye-ayes have large, naked, mobile ears, a muzzle that is shorter than that of most lemurs but longer than lorises, and large eyes with yellowish brown irises.’
Late 18th century from French, perhaps from obsolete Dutch loeris ‘clown’.