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Poison bath

Duration: 02:10

In South East Asia lives the aptly named slow loris. By creeping around quietly and unobtrusively it manages to avoid detection by predators. Without shaking the branches it can craftily sneak up on its prey. But it has got another trick up its sleeve as well. Its saliva is highly toxic - maybe because of the poisonous insects it eats - and can stun an animal the size of cat. It is not exactly the kind of thing one would think of smearing all over a tiny baby, but lorises are immune to the poison, possibly because they have such a slow metabolism. A mother gives her baby a good licking before she goes off for a night's hunting. Normally leaving a baby alone is foolhardy, but the saliva acts as a toxic shield. This baby is armed and dangerous.

Available since: Tue 28 Jun 2011


Bernard WALTON
Daniel REES

This clip is from


In this first of a three part series on primates,Charlotte UHLENBROEK embarks on her global adventure to meet gorillas and early primates such as lemurs.

First broadcast: 16 Aug 2000

Image for FIRST PRIMATES Not currently available on BBC iPlayer

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