potto

potto

[pot-oh]
noun, plural pottos.
1.
any of several lorislike, African lemurs of the genera Perodicticus and Arctocebus, especially P. potto, having a short tail and vestigial index fingers.
2.
the kinkajou.

Origin:
1695–1705; < Dutch, said to be < Wolof pata tailless monkey

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potto (ˈpɒtəʊ)
 
n , pl -tos
1.  a short-tailed prosimian primate, Perodicticus potto, having vertebral spines protruding through the skin in the neck region, native to tropical forests in West and Central Africa: family Lorisidae
2.  golden potto another name for angwantibo
3.  another name for kinkajou
 
[C18: of West African origin; compare Wolof pata type of tail-less monkey]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

potto

slow-moving tropical African primate. The potto is a nocturnal tree dweller found in rainforests from Sierra Leone eastward to Uganda. It has a strong grip and clings tightly to branches, but when necessary it can also move quickly through the branches with a smooth gliding gait that makes it quite inconspicuous. It feeds on fruit, small animals, and insects (especially larvae) and curls up to sleep by day in tree hollows. Its length is about 35 cm (14 inches), excluding its furry 5-10-cm (2-4-inch) tail. It has large eyes, sturdy limbs, stublike second fingers and toes, and dense woolly fur, which is grizzled reddish in colour. A ridge of short, blunt spines formed by the neck vertebrae runs down the nape. The spines are covered by thin, highly innervated skin and are thought to be sensitive to the movements of potential predators when the potto tucks its head between its arms in a defensive posture. Gestation is six months; single young are typical

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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