Chapter

Indonesian Primates

Part of the series Developments in Primatology: Progress and Prospects pp 383-396

Date:

Using Facial Markings to Unmask Diversity: The Slow Lorises (Primates: Lorisidae: Nycticebus spp.) of Indonesia

  • K. A. I. NekarisAffiliated withNocturnal Primate Research Group, School of Social Sciences and Law, Oxford Brookes University Email author 
  • , Rachel MundsAffiliated withNocturnal Primate Research Group, School of Social Sciences and Law, Oxford Brookes University

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Abstract

The slow lorises (Nycticebus) are the only strepsirrhine primates found in Indonesia (Nekaris and Bearder 2007). In addition to features such as a toothcomb and moist nose, these small nocturnal primates were given their name based on their trademark steady, stealthy, and fluid locomotion. Morphologically incapable of leaping (Sellers 1996), slow lorises rather slither through the treetops, and if startled, they may freeze or even cover their face, resulting in one of their many Indonesian names, malu malu or “the shy one” (Supriatna and Wahyono 2000). Alternatively, they can fleetingly but silently escape, resulting in the name buah angin or “wind monkey” in Acehnese (Nekaris and Nijman 2007a). One of two genera of nocturnal primates found in Indonesia (the other being Tarsius), slow lorises are a unique part of Indonesian primate communities, and are widely spread on at least 27 of Indonesia’s islands, including Borneo, Sumatra, and Java (Table 22.1) (Nijman and Nekaris in press). Despite this, studies of Indonesian slow lorises are in their infancy.