Pygmy slow loris in exhibit

Pygmy Slow Loris

Scientific Name
Nycticebus pygmaeus
Geographic Range
Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, and southernmost China
Soft fruits and gums, tender shoots, and other plant and animal material
Pygmy slow loris in exhibit Endangered Status Graph - Endangered Endangered Status Graph - Endangered

More Information

At around 8–9 inches long and just 1 pound in weight, pygmy slow lorises are most easily identified by their huge brown eyes, which help them spot food in the dark. Their short reddish-brown-and-gray coat varies from individual to individual. They have opposable thumbs, along with strong hands and feet that help them climb trees. They have a very short tail.

Pygmy slow lorises are solitary and nocturnal and stay mostly in trees. When they sleep, they curl up into a ball with their head tucked under their arms to keep warm, and as a form of camouflage. When awake, they are in almost constant motion, moving more quickly than other loris species. Males mate with several females each season, with gestation lasting a little over six months. Infants cling to their mother’s bellies, but females will also “park” their young on a branch while they forage for food. Females reach sexual maturity from 9–16 months and males do so at 18–20 months of age.

Did You Know?

  • These prosimians secrete a substance from glands on the inside of their elbows, which mixes with their saliva to create venom. Slow lorises are the only primates with a venomous bite, which they use to defend themselves against rivals and predators. They can also emit a strong odor as a warning.
  • They have extra vascular bundles in their arms and legs, which allow blood to flow through their extremities, preventing the paresthesia (that pins-and-needles tingling) caused by poor circulation.
  • Pygmy slow lorises are one of the only primate species that go into torpor, an abbreviated type of hibernation that happens between October and April when food is scarce.


Species Survival Plan logo

Species Survival Plan®

We cooperate with other members of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums to manage the zoo population of this species through a Species Survival Plan®.

Learn More

Animal Care staff working with seal

Commitment to Care

Lincoln Park Zoo prioritizes individual well-being over everything else. Guided by scientific research, staff and volunteers work to provide the best welfare outcomes for each individual in the zoo’s care.

Learn More

Support Your Zoo

Two Chilean flamingos in exhibit

Animals Depend On People Too

When you ADOPT an animal, you support world-class animal care by helping to provide specially formulated diets, new habitat elements, and regular veterinary checkups.

Adopt an Animal

Asian small-clawed otter in exhibit

Wish List

The Wish List is full of one-of-a-kind items for the zoo’s animals, including nutritious snacks and enrichment items to keep them active and healthy.

Browse the Wish List

African penguin eating a fish

Take Action With Us

Wildlife face many daunting challenges—some global, like planet-wide climate change, and some that affect individuals, like an animal ingesting plastic—but now is not the time to despair. None of these problems are too big for us to come together and solve.

Take Action

Empty Playlist