Sunday, August 28, 2011


Perodicticus potto
Meet the Potto! This interesting looking mammal is a member of the Primate order, and lives in the Equatorial Rainforests of Africa. They are the largest member of the Loris Family.

Males and females look alike and they have some neat little adaptations that help them to thrive in arboreal habitats. For one, they have highly flexible ankle and wrist joints. They also have opposable thumbs and vestigial index fingers that allow them to get better grips. Pottos also have special blood vessels in their limbs that allow them to keep their tight grips for longer periods of time.

Pottos also have a strange bit of anatomy whose full purpose we aren't 100% sure of. They have bony projections on their neck vertebrae that form a sort of shield. These bones are covered by a very sensitive layer of skin, which means the purpose may be for social reason, and it may also help to protect the Potto from predators. When threatened, Pottos tuck their head, in which presents the shield, and then they sway side to side making warning noises.

Pottos are nocturnal, and eat mostly fruit. They also consume gums, insects, and even small vertebrates! They are generally solitary, but they do interact with other Pottos at various non-breeding times, as well as during the very flexible breeding season. Because the ranges of males and females frequently overlap, it is believed that they have a either a promiscuous or polygynous breeding structure.

IUCN Status : Least Concern
Location : Africa
Size : Length up to 15.5in (40cm)
Classification : Phylum : Chordata -- Class : Mammalia -- Order : Primates
Family : Lorisidae -- Genus : Perodicticus -- Species : P. potto

1 comment:

  1. What an interesting animal which I have never heard of until you mentioned it to us. Thanks for doing so!


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