Brief Summary

    False potto: Brief Summary
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    Lorisoid primate of uncertain taxonomic status found in Africa

    The false potto (Pseudopotto martini) is a lorisoid primate of uncertain taxonomic status found in Africa. Anthropologist Jeffrey H. Schwartz named it in 1996 as the only species of the genus Pseudopotto on the basis of two specimens (consisting only of skeletal material) that had previously been identified as pottos (Perodicticus potto). The precise provenances of the two specimens are uncertain, but at least one may have come from Cameroon. Schwartz thought the false potto could even represent a separate family, but other researchers have argued that the supposed distinguishing features of the animal do not actually distinguish it from the potto; specifically, the false potto shares several features with West African pottos.

    The false potto generally resembles a small potto, but according to Schwartz it differs in having a longer tail, shorter spines on its neck and chest vertebrae, a smaller, less complex spine on the second neck vertebra, an entepicondylar foramen (an opening in the humerus, or upper arm bone), a lacrimal fossa (a depression in the skull) that is located inside the eye socket, a smaller upper third premolar and molar, and higher-crowned cheekteeth, among other traits. However, many of these traits are variable among pottos; for example, one researcher found entepicondylar foramina in almost half of the specimens in his sample of pottos.

Comprehensive Description