|“||To those who listen carefully, the perspicacious loris can be quite helpful.||”|
A perspicacious loris is a small, monkey-like creature created by Dr. Barlow. According to the Manual of Aeronautics, the creature resulted from a project begun in 1910, in which a group of boffins led by Dr. Barlow attempted to create a beastie with "a tendency to say useful things." The scientific name of this beastie is Nycticelus perscitus. Most of its "life-threads" probably come from the natural types of lorises. Zaven tells Alek and Deryn that "perspicacious" means "shrewd or far-sighted." These creatures bond with the person who is present at their hatching, and are able to give that person advice by pointing out important parts of conversations and faulty reasoning. When a loris is learning a new word, it says it loud and clear. The loris has extremely precise control of it's vocalizations, not only repeating words but the accent and inflection of the speaker they originally heard it from. They are also able to imitate non-speech sounds from their environment, both animal and inanimate. In more than one instance in the series, a loris was observed using its voice to create acoustic wave interference in order to neutralize an existing sound.
In the seriesEdit
Dr. Barlow created twelve eggs of these creatures, but most of them were destroyed when the Leviathan crashed in the Alps and the rest were damaged. These eggs were the secret cargo that Dr. Barlow was transporting to the Ottoman Empire; one of the eggs was to be a gift for the Sultan to prevent the Ottomans from going to war with Britain over Churchill's seizing of the Osman for British purposes, but the egg was crushed by German powers behind the throne. Dr. Barlow has her own loris, and Alek has Bovril. Bovril helps Alek solve the mystery of Deryn being a girl.