(Perodicticus potto) #62-441

Picture of the animal

Whole brain image

Whole brain photographs
• Left dorsal-lateral
• Rotating brain cast

Coronal section through middle of brain
• Movie Atlas

Physical characteristics and distribution

Potto Perodicticus potto

Head and body length is 305-390 mm, tail length is 37-100 mm. Adults weigh between 850-1600 grams. Color ranges from brownish gray to a rich, dark reddish brown. The underparts are slightly lighter. The fur of the adult is thick and woolly. On the forehand, the index finger is rudimentary, and the thumb is opposable to the remaining three fingers, allowing the Potto to grasp extremely well. The foot is equally adept at grasping, as the large toe is opposable to the others. The second toe is slightly shortened and has a long, sharp claw. All of the other digits have flattened nails, similar to those of humans.

The vertebrae of the neck are very long and project above the general contour of the flesh in this area. They are covered by sensitive, hairless tubercles. It is believed that the function is for tactile stimulation rather than for defense, aggression, abrasion or muscular support.

P. potto
prefers dense forest, and is usually found in trees between 5-30 meters. It is arboreal and nocturnal, spending its days sleeping in foliage. It moves slowly, but can make quick grabs with its hands and mouth. The diet consists mainly of fruits, but also includes some gums, insects, and small vertebrates which it can kill, such as birds and bats. P. potto locates much of its prey by smell.

Both male and female pottos are territorial. The females will defend an area large enough to support herself and her offspring. Older males establish home ranges which exclude the ranges of other males, but may include the home ranges of one or more females. Communication includes various vocalizations such as a high pitched "tsic" between mother and young, a whistling call by females in estrus, a threat groan, and a high pitched distress call. Pottos also leave scent trails, presumably for conspecifics, by urinating on branches.

The estrous cycle averages about 39 days with a gestation period of about 170 days. There is usually one offspring, although twins have been born in captivity. The young weighs 30-52 grams at birth, and clings to its mothers belly for the first few days of its life. Afterwards, it is left clinging to a hidden branch at night with the mother forages, and picked up and returned to the nest in the morning. At 3-4 months, the baby follows the mother or rides on her back. Weaning takes place at 4-5 months, when fruit is most abundant. Adult weights is attained at 8-14 months, sexual maturity is reached at 18 months.

P.potto is found in Cameroon to Guinea; Republic of Congo; Gabon; Dem. Rep. Congo to W Kenya.

Description of the brain

Animal source and preparation
All specimens collected followed the same preparation and histological procedure.

Other Related Resources
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