Asura International Seminars

and Affiliation

Dr. Anna Nekaris

Nocturnal Primate Research Group, Oxford Brookes University, UK


Why are slow lorises venomous and can this help us to conserve them?


The ability to produce and inject venom is rare amongst mammals, with Asia’s slow loris being the only primate known to have this trait. Since 2012, research on Indonesia’s slow lorises has helped us to elucidate the nature of their venom. By conducting research on wild-caught captive and free-living animals, we tested several hypotheses for its function including: prey consumption; anti-predation; ecto-parasite defense; intraspecific competition. We also have begun laboratory analyses of the biochemistry; collected information from local people on their beliefs regarding the venom and any data on its harmful effects; and collated medical studies on the impact of loris venom on humans. The most obvious selective functions with the greatest support from field investigations are that loris brachial oil forms part of an anti-parasitic defense function whereas loris saliva functions as a weapon in intraspecific competition. Despite these functions, slow loris venom is still capable of killing a human. The greatest threat to globally threatened slow lorises is the illegal wildlife trade. Thus understanding and disseminating information about the biology of their venom has proven a useful conservation tool. Using information from social networking, I discuss these impacts.

In Inuyama
Joint seminar of Asura International seminar, PRI seminar, and Ecology and Social Behavior Seminar
Date and Time

Tuesday June 21, 2016. 13:00-14:00

Dr. Anna Nekaris
Dr. Anna Nekaris


Large Conference Room, Primate Research Institute, Inuyama

Coordinator: Takashi Hayakawa and Makiko Uchikoshi
The seminar will be hosted jointly by
Leading Graduate Program in Primatology and Wildlife Science, Kyoto University
and Primate Research Institute, Kyoto University.
In Kyoto
Date and Time

Friday June 24, 2016. 14:00-15:00

Dr. Anna Nekaris
Dr. Anna Nekaris


Lecture Room, Kyoto City Zoo, Kyoto

Coordinator: Yumi Yamanashi
These seminars will be sponsored by Japan Wildlife Conservation Society (JWCS).