Dictionary of Human Evolution and Biology

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Perodicticus Bennett, 1831

Monotypic prosimian genus to which the (Bosman’s) potto belongs. Distribution from western equatorial Africa into central Africa; occupies the canopy level of tropical rain forests; sympatric with Arctocebus in western range, but resource partitioning prevents competition. Arboreal; nocturnal; slow methodical climbers; moderate tail. Digit 2 is reduced and possesses a grooming claw; pollex is 180 from digit 3, providing for a powerful vice-like grip that can be held for long periods of time; circulatory adaptations in the paws provide an ample oxygen supply that prevents lactic acid buildup in the muscles. Body mass from 850 to 1600 g. Dental formula: 2.1.3.3.; dental comb present; upper anterior dentition is peg-like and short; frugivorous with insect supplements in western range; in the eastern part of their range they are reported to be gummivorous with fruit supplements. Possesses a defensive cervical shield formed by thick skin, the processes of cervical vertebrae and associated musculature, and equipped with guard (tactile) hairs that helps the animal detect danger. Noyau with overlapping home ranges that form a neighborhood.

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