Biology Magazine

Wild & Weird: New Species of Venomous Armpits Discovered in Borneo

Posted on the 10 January 2013 by Earth First! Newswire @efjournal

by the Center for Biological Diversitytumblr_lyvvrqJqlJ1r421jso1_500

Sure, your coworker’s B.O. may be a little offensive at times, but let’s try to see the glass as half full, shall we? At least it’s not deadly poison. Unlike the armpit secretions of deceptively adorable, big-eyed slow lorises — a little-understood group of nocturnal primates that live in Southeast Asia. Slow lorises use their venomous pit-secretions for hunting and defense, with mother lorises smearing it on their babies to protect them.

Nycticebus kayan, a newly discovered slow loris in Borneo, accesses its poison by rubbing its hands under glands near its armpits — not unlike Molly Shannon in Saturday Night Live — and then applies the poison to its teeth. A bite from one of these ridiculously cute, living Beanie Boos can send a victim into anaphylactic shock, followed by death.

Unfortunately, even weaponized armpits are no match for the illegal pet trade. Read more about that, and the new discovery, in National Geographic.

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