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Horton Plains Slender Loris pictured for first time

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posted on Jul, 19 2010 @ 05:32 PM
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One of the world’s rarest primates driven to the brink of extinction by Britain's taste for tea has been photographed for the first time, scientists said.

The Horton Plains slender loris has been so elusive for more than 60 years scientists believed the wide-eyed mammal had become extinct.

It had only been seen four times since 1937 but was fleetingly spotted in 2002 by researchers who identified it by the reflection of a light shone in its eyes.

...Experts believe the prime reason for its rarity was due to the loss of its natural forest habitat largely destroyed by the drive to create tea plantations.

Now scientists from the Zoological Society of London's (ZSL) edge of existence programme have managed to capture the world's first pictures of the rare animal during research aimed at quantifying how many species remain in the wild...

...The team not only took pictures of the animal but also captured three live specimens long enough to measure them.

"We are thrilled to have captured the first ever photographs and prove its continued existence - especially after its 65-year disappearing act,” said Dr Craig Turner, a ZSL conservation biologist...

...Estimates suggest there are just 100 of the endangered creatures left in the wild, putting it among the world's top five most threatened primates.

But researchers admitted that so little was known about them that numbers could in fact be below 60, which would make them one of the rarest breeds in the world...
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None of us has ever seen one of these before!

There is something charming about a little furry animal that has survived against all the odds. But there's something very sinister about the way you just know intuitively its odds of future survival are probably miniscule.

It remains to be seen whether this discovery will actually facilitate the Horton Plains Slender Loris' survival. extra DIV




posted on Jul, 19 2010 @ 06:11 PM
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Creepy and cute in an alien meets ferret type of way. Thanks for sharing this. Wonder how well they have adapted to the new environment they are in now. Be interesting to see if in the next 50 years they start to make a comeback or continue to dwindle out.

Thanks



posted on Jul, 19 2010 @ 06:40 PM
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