The slow loris (Nycticebus coucang; Lorisidae) is a slow-moving, arboreal mammal with a very low metabolism relative to other eutherian species of its body mass. A slow pace of life has been causally linked to a low intake rate of usable energy due to a diet that is generally low in energy, is unpredictably periodically scarce, and contains high amounts of toxins or digestion inhibitors. To assess whether the slow loris faces any of these limitations, we studied its dietary habits in an area of West Malaysia (Manjung District, Perak State) by direct observations of radiocollared individuals and by fecal analysis. The diet was composed of 5 distinct types of food: floral nectar and nectar-producing parts, phloem sap, fruits, gum (another group of plant exudates), and arthropods. The largest proportion of feeding time was spent on phloem sap (34.9%), floral nectar and nectar-producing parts (31.7%), and fruits (22.5%). These foods should provide high amounts of easily digestible sugars, indicating that slow lorises did not face an energy-poor diet. Dietary habits were indistinguishable between rainy and dry seasons, even though most dry-season data were collected during periods of extreme drought induced by the 1997–1998 El Niño Southern-Oscillation event. However, many genera of food plants contain secondary compounds that are toxic or reduce digestibility. We suggest that low metabolism in slow lorises is at least partly related to the need to detoxify secondary compounds in high-energy plant diet.
You have requested a machine translation of selected content from our databases. This functionality is provided solely for your convenience and is in no way intended to replace human translation. Neither BioOne nor the owners and publishers of the content make, and they explicitly disclaim, any express or implied representations or warranties of any kind, including, without limitation, representations and warranties as to the functionality of the translation feature or the accuracy or completeness of the translations.
Translations are not retained in our system. Your use of this feature and the translations is subject to all use restrictions contained in the Terms and Conditions of Use of the BioOne website.