One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A small, slow-moving nocturnal Asian primate with a short or absent tail, living in dense vegetation.
Genera Loris and Nycticebus, family Lorisidae, suborder Prosimii: the slender loris (L. tardigradus) of South India and Sri Lanka, and the slow loris (genus Nycticebus, two species) of SE Asia
- ‘Only in recent decades have prosimians - a suborder of primates that includes lemurs, lorises, bushbabies, and tarsiers - begun to be studied systematically.’
- ‘However, some primates such as apes, spider monkeys, and lorises have morphological and behavioral specializations that may enhance efficiency during vertical climbing.’
- ‘Fossils suggest that lemurs, bush babies, lorises, aye-ayes, and their relatives (the prosimians) spilt off from the ancestors of monkeys and apes around 55 million years ago.’
- ‘Primate species are gibbons, langurs, lorises and macaques.’
- ‘Aye-ayes have large, naked, mobile ears, a muzzle that is shorter than that of most lemurs but longer than lorises, and large eyes with yellowish brown irises.’
Late 18th century: from French, perhaps from obsolete Dutch loeris ‘clown’.
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