Smithsonian scientists have discovered a new carnivore species, the first to be discovered on American continents in 35 years. The olinguito (Bassaricyon neblina) is related to raccoons, coatis, kinkajous, and olingos, and looks like a cross between a tiny bear and a domestic cat. It’s native to the cloud forests of Colombia and Ecuador, but olinguitos have been living in museums for over 100 years misidentified as olingos — related animals with larger skulls and thinner fur. During a field expedition to find the olinguito’s natural habitat, scientists learned that the creatures are primarily fruit eaters, are mostly nocturnal, and live up in trees. To learn more about the adorable olinguito, take a look at the announcement on Smithsonian Science.
photos by Mark Gurney via Smithsonian Science
via The Verge