Described as a cross between 'a cat and a teddy bear' the olinguito was introduced to the world today becoming the first new carnivore to be discovered in the western hemisphere for 35 years.

The racoon-like creatures, which live in the jungles of Ecuador and Colombia, were thought to belong to a closely related but different species known as olingos.

The discovery of the new species came about when scientists at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History in the USA decided to classify a collection of olingos and realised that some of the animals had different characteristics.

The new species had smaller teeth and skulls than olingos, with longer and thicker coats, the carnivores appeared to have lived in higher reaches of the northern Andes than any known olingo species.

Kristofer Helgen, Curator of Mammals at the Smithsonian Institutions explained why it had taken so long to discover the new creatures.

"Like so many animals in the rain forest only comes out at night. It's wet, it's dark, it's socked in with cloud, it's hard to find these animals."


Responses to "Meet the 'olinguito' the world's newest mammal (Video)"

  1. Anonymous says:

    the world never stops amazing me. even as we destroy it the earth repopulates itself with new species. may god or the great spirit or whom ever you believe in forgive us.

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