World's First Poisonous Monkey Discovered

14 Dec 2012

The thought that Planet of the Apes predicts a real life future has never worried us. We've always believed that primates were friends of humans rather than potential adversaries. We were wrong.

Scientists have discovered the first poisonous monkey, which only comes out at night. The nocturnal creature, which is a type of slow loris, has a bite so toxic it could kill a human.

It releases poison from glands at its elbows which it then takes into its mouth. Their bite can prove deadly because it can cause an anaphylactic shock.

Researchers believe the species, known as Nycticebus kayan, went undiscovered for so long because it's nocturnal. It's also more closely related to bushbabies and lemurs than monkeys and apes and is already on the endangered list.

Professor Anna Nekaris, of Oxford Brookes University, led the team of researchers who discovered the creature in Borneo and the Philippines.

She said: "The slow loris might look like a harmless, big-eyed Ewok from a scene in Star Wars, but the animal is actually one of the only poisonous mammals in the world."

(via news.sky.com)

(Image: Rex Features)

Tags: animals

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