Thursday Thoughts – Your Friend the Potto

I like weird animals. This stems from an early love of dinosaurs, but since those glorious beasts died off and/or evolved into birds, I’ll happily take any oddity nature provides us. But what counts as “weird” when a bus-sized, tusked-faced, hose-nosed behemoth like the elephant feels pedestrian?

There’s countless answers to that, which I’d gladly babble on about at length, but my all-time favorite will always be the potto. My fascination with the little fluffy oddballs earned me the nickname “potto” in college, and it’s stuck as a nickname (and mistaken surname) since.

Roughly the size of a cat, they don’t look like much at first glance. They’re just wide-eyed, round, hairy things. (The similarities I share with them are staggering) But under that bundle of innocuous fluff is a hardcore creature!

The most metal of all is the fact that its neck vertebrae extend out as spines. That’s right – that doe-eyed teddy bear will stab you with its neck bones! And if that wasn’t enough to drive you off, it’ll bite you with a special saliva mixture that inflames the wound. Still haven’t learned your lesson? It’ll just curl up and drop out of the trees like a cannonball and waddle off like it ain’t no thang – good luck catching up. It is the living embodiment of the trope where the goofball supporting character is secretly the utter badass.

No, it’s not one of the four venomous mammals in the world. It’s not going to set any world records in terms of speed, strength or ferocity. But it’s a stub-fingered cuddle-monkey that can stab you with its spine! Isn’t that just fascinating and delightful?!

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