Newest Discovered Carnivore: Olinguito

Newest Discovered Carnivore: Olinguito
Olinguito (National News and Pictures photo)

It's a bird, it's a plane, it's cat, it's a rat, it's a teddy bear? No, though it looks like a  cat or a very small teddy bear - but it's actually the newest carnivore species discovered in the Western Hemisphere for 35 years, called the olinguito. The 12-14 inch tree climbing olinguito weighs only 2-lbs. The olinguito is related to an animal we all know, the scavenging raccoon or the coati mundi or kinkajou.

Records showed that the creature lived high in the mountains, at elevations of 5,000 to 9,000 feet above sea level and grainy footage from a camcorder video provided a lucky early lead. Eventually, a team of researchers discovered olinguitos living in an Ecuadorian forest and spent a number of days observing the creatures.

They learned that the olinguito is mostly active at night, eats fruit as well as meat, rarely leaves the trees, and has one offspring at a time.


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