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article imageOlinguito, the newest animal discovery

By Amanda Byas     Aug 15, 2013 in Environment
Olinguito has a long tail, orange fur and big eyes and is said to resemble a cross between a domestic cat and a teddy bear. Olingutio happens to be the newest mammal and the first carnivore discovered in the Americas in the last 35 years.
The olinguito is native to the high, misty cloud covered forests of Colombia and Ecuador. The olinguito is the smallest member of the raccoon family, according to Kristofer Helgen, a Smithsonian scientist.
The light bulb did not go off in a South American forest, but at the Chicago’s Field Museum, the creature’s discoverer, said Helgen.
Helgen recalled his first view of the long-gone 20th century specimen, which was identified as a related species, the olingo.
Helgen explained that the teeth and the skull of the specimen were a lot different from those of the olingo, which was larger and had more prominent ears than the olinguito.
Helgen stated that he could have published this amazing finding in a scientific journal, but he wanted everything to be thorough, so he asked his colleagues to support the existence of the species in its natural habitat.
Olinguitos are considered carnivores, yet though they mainly eat fruit; however, they have teeth that look like they are fully capable of eating meat.
They have thick, woolly fur that is much brighter than Olingos. Olinguitos are about 2.5 feet long and can weigh up to 2 pounds. Males and females are about the same size, and the females raise one baby at a time.
More about olinguito, Mammal, Discovery, olingo
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