Using clamp-shaped hands and feet, with opposable thumbs and big toes, the potto (Perodictus potto) climbs

At the Cincinnati Zoo.

slowly and carefully through the rainforest canopy, and rarely comes down from the trees. If danger is near, the potto holds very still to blend in, and can hold its position for hours. If attacked, the potto tucks down its head and projects the bony processes between its shoulder blades that act as a shield. It can also inflict a nasty bite.

Though the potto is slow, it can quickly snatch up small prey animals if the opportunity arises.A mother potto “parks” her baby on a hidden tree branch while she goes out to forage at night.As solitary primates, pottos leave behind urine trails along branches to communicate with each other through scent.


  • Pronunciation: POT-oh
    Baby potto

    Baby potto at the Cincinnati Zoo. The Cincy Zoo is the only place in the continent breeding them.

  • Length: 1 to 1.3 ft
  • Weight: 1.7 to 3.7 lbs
  • Lifespan: More than 25 yrs
  • Range: Western and Central Africa
  • Habitat: Tropical forest
  • Diet: Fruit, insects and other small animals
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