Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Quick and the Loris

First it was anteaters. Then it was cassowaries. Then I think it was axolotls. Now, for the time being, the coolest animal I can think of has to be the slow loris. Yes, I realize that slow loris sounds like a name some unfortunate girl would have earned in elementary school pre-Great Depression. Perhaps it was, independent of this amazing animal. I don’t care. The slow loris, unhampered by its speed, demands your attention.

See what I mean? It’s like a lemur made love to a monkey and all the best parts combined into a in a single bastard hybrid species. Native to southeast Asia, the slow loris’s Indonesian name, malu malu, translates into English as “the shy one.” I think this is telling, as I can’t count how many kids coasted through my lower school classes by making an innate slowness with purported shyness.

A major negative: Their eyes are prized by practitioners of “traditional medicine” — or as the careless call them, witch doctors.

An even more major negative, in my book: The poor slow lorises must also cope with the fact that they have a sister species known as the slender loris. And that’s just unfair.

Run, slow loris! Come to me! Bury your uncannily expressive eyes in my shoulder and I shall feed you sugar cane and sweet, sweet raisins! I shall name you Doris or possibly Boris but most likely Doris! Your eyes shall remain in your head until I say otherwise.

Weird animals, previously:

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