The world’s newest mammal – the olinguito

The new mammal is cute! PHOTO — MARK GURNEY / WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

The new mammal is cute!
PHOTO — MARK GURNEY / WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

Adapted from The Vancouver Sun and The Smithsonian
Level 3

Researchers found a new mammal in South America. The new mammal is called an olinguito.

Olinguitos are small. Their fur is reddish-brown.

Olinguitos are cute! They have faces like teddy bears.

They jump through the trees and travel at night.

Olinguitos live in Ecuador and Columbia.

They are hard to see because they are small and travel at night.

The olinguito is related to the raccoon. It is the smallest member of the raccoon family.

The olinguito is the first new mammal since 1978.

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The little olinguito lives in the trees.  PHOTO — CAMILO MARMOL –GUIJARRO/ CC, FLICKR

The little olinguito lives in the trees.
PHOTO — CAMILO MARMOL –GUIJARRO/ CC, FLICKR

Facts about the olinguito

  • It is the smallest member of the raccoon family.
  • It is about 35 centimetres or 14 inches long
  • Its tail is about of the same length as its body.
  • The adult olinguito weighs about 900 grams or 2 pounds.
  • Males and females are about the same size.
  • They eat mainly fruit. They also eat insects and nectar.
  • They live alone and spend their time in trees.
  • They travel at night.
  • Female olinguitos have only one baby at a time.
  • They are found in the mountain forests of northern Andes in Ecuador and Colombia

Vocabulary

The word ‘Olinguito’ sounds like ‘oh-lihn-GEE-toe’.
A mammal is an animal with warm blood, mammary glands and hair or fur.

25 thoughts on “The world’s newest mammal – the olinguito

    • You are welcome! They are the cutest little animals! Check our Twitter. We posted a video of a baby polar bear cub. It is also very sweet.

  1. How do you know that its a new animal and the people in ecuador did not find it first? How do you tell a male from a female?

    • Good questions. I don’t know the answer. Click on the links to the National Geographic or BBC links to find out if they answered your questions.

  2. This animal looks more like a mix of a bear,ferret, and something with a long tail. I don”t think he looks like a part of the racoon family unless bears and ferrets are a part of the racoon family.

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