In an age when 100,000 species become extinct each year, sometimes it seems that all there is left to do is to count up the losses. But as it turns out the age of discovery might not yet be over. In August of this year, Smithsonian scientists announced that they had discovered a new species of mammal: the raccoon-like Olinguito.

Although the discovery of new species of invertebrates or amphibians isn't unusual, the discovery of a new species of carnivorous mammal is. Especially since a mammal hasn’t been discovered in the Western Hemisphere since 1978. The last, most recent discovery of a mammal on Earth was in 2010 with the discovery of the Durrell’s Vontsira in Madagascar.

According to Smithsonian zoologist Kristofer M. Helgen, who led the effort to identify the Olinguito, “The discovery of the olinguito shows us that the world is not yet completely explored, its most basic secrets not yet revealed.”

The newly discovered Olinguito was found in the cloud forests of South America, in the western Andes of Colombia. A full-grown Olinguito, which has been described as "a cross between a teddy bear and a house cat," is said to grow up to 14 inches long. These animals eat mostly fruit and only have one baby at a time. Their long claws and padded feet help them grip branches as they walk among trees in the cloud forest.

Fortunately, unlike so many other species, Olinguitos are not at risk of extinction any time soon. Enjoy the pictures of this cute little creature below.

Responses to "Adorable images of an Olinguito, the newest mammal recently discovered on Earth."

  1. Anonymous says:


  2. Anonymous says:

    This is great now I hope they don't get wiped out due to deforestation.

  3. Anonymous says:

    How long before they start being kidnapped and to fill human demand for "Cute Pets"

  4. Anonymous says:

    Hey, where can I get One of these? Can they be Litter box trained? Are they edible when full grown?

  5. What a CRUEL, CRUEL, world we live in, I wonder how long this poor creature will survive before the most despicable species on earth "MAN" exploits them for greed or whatever despicable cruelty only HUMANS can dream up for the most ridiculous reasons. I am ashamed to be human!

  6. Anonymous says:

    love your comment anonymous 7.39 pm and going to steal x ps are new species perhaps evolving from others, as has always happened?

  7. I sure hope that I get to see one of these. They are adorable, but wonder how friendly they are. Good work Smithsonian on finding the Olinguito.

  8. Anonymous says:

    people will disappoint us at times, so I look at this new lil find as a gift to a troubled world, like hope.

  9. Anonymous says:

    enough with pet-ing....telk urself to be nough watching them live freely over there..

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