Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

8/15/2013 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Olinguito is fluffy, round-faced new member of the raccoon family

A new mammal, a member of the raccoon family has been identified and categorized - and it's adorable! The olinguito, pronounced oh-lin-GHEE-toe, has fluffy red-orange fur, a short bushy tail and a rounded face. It's like a plush toy sprung to life.

The olinguito primarily eats fruits, as well as insects and nectar, and its activity is mostly at night. The animal lives in the trees and can jump from one to another. Mothers raise a single baby at a time.

The olinguito primarily eats fruits, as well as insects and nectar, and its activity is mostly at night. The animal lives in the trees and can jump from one to another. Mothers raise a single baby at a time.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

8/15/2013 (1 year ago)

Published in Green

Keywords: Olinguito, mammal, new species, Colombia, raccoon


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The Bassaricyon neblina, or olinguito is the first mammalian carnivore species to be newly identified in the Americas in 35 years.

Some scientists argue that the olinguito should be considered the smallest living member of the raccoon family. This branch include other such cute critter as coatis and kinkajous. The Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History likens the olinguito's appearance as a cross between a house cat and a teddy bear.

Olinguitos have always been with us, although they have been mistaken for other species before. Kristofer Helgen, curator of mammals at the Smithsonian says that the species "was in museums, it's been in zoos, and its DNA had even been sequenced, but no one had connected the pieces and looked close enough to realize, basically, the significance of this remarkable and this beautiful animal."

Scientists had previously assumed that olinguitos were members of their sister species, the olingos, Helgen says, which are larger, less furry and have longer faces than the newly discovered species.

Helgen began defining the new species when he set out about 10 years ago to begin a comprehensive study of olingos.

Helgen remembers pulling out a drawer of skins and skulls at the Chicago Field Museum in 2003. The examples didn't look like any animal he had ever seen before, or that had been reported by zoologists. The teeth and skull were smaller and shaped differently than olingos, and the coat was denser.

Records indicated the species had come from the northern Andes about 5,000 to 9,000 feet above sea level, which is much higher than olingo habitats.

Helgen and colleagues worked with Miguel Pinto, a zoologist in Ecuador in 2006, using Pinto's knowledge of cloud forest habitats to pick the best spots to investigate.

They didn't have long to wait. On their very first night on the pursuit, the team found a real, living olinguito. Helgen felt "sheer elation, just incredible excitement but at the same time almost disbelief. This animal had been missed by everyone."

The olinguito primarily eats fruits, as well as insects and nectar, and its activity is mostly at night. The animal lives in the trees and can jump from one to another. Mothers raise a single baby at a time.

At about 2.5 feet long from nose tip to tail tip, the olinguito weighs about 2 pounds and is a little smaller than a house cat.

DNA analysis confirmed that while olinguitos and olingos both belong to the raccoon family, they are "sister groups," in the same way that humans are closely related to chimpanzees.

Found primarily in Colombia and Ecuador, the animal stays mostly in the trees which has helped keep the species relatively obscure to scientists until now, Helgen said.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for September 2014
Mentally disabled:
That the mentally disabled may receive the love and help they need for a dignified life.
Service to the poor: That Christians, inspired by the Word of God, may serve the poor and suffering.



Comments


More Green

Scientists call upon Pope Francis to take the lead on climate change Watch

Image of Pope Francis and the Catholic Church could change attitudes on an important topic.

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Historically, the Catholic Church has been accused of being anti-science. This is a lie. The Catholic Church is pro-truth and in cases where science was not yet established, the Church has demurred or cautioned. Yet in cases where the science is established, the Church ... continue reading


Sunday's global warming march displays everything that's wrong with global warming activism Watch

Image of Displays like this are both absurd and counterproductive. The discussion about global warming needs to move from political rhetoric to one informed by ethics and moral guidance.

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

This Sunday, thousands of climate activists will march on the streets of New York, in an effort to rekindle due concern over the environment. While the cause appears noble, the entire effort may be off to a doomed start. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - This Sunday, ... continue reading


Just in time for Halloween! 'Werewolf' cat enchanting fanciers Watch

Image of The cats' sickly appearance is only skin deep. Aside from the patchy hair that makes them notable, the first few generations of Lykoi cats seem rather healthy thus far.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Gaining in popularity among cat fanciers and breeders, the "Lykoi" cat is most peculiar looking. Many would instantly assume the patchy critter is inflicted with a sort of mange. The "Lykoi" cat, or "werewolf" cat is in fact carefully raised for its unusual ... continue reading


Antarctic sea ice reaches record levels and why that's bad Watch

Image of Antarctic sea ice continues to expand by about 1.5 percent coverage every year. This trend has continued since 1979 and it thought to be driven by global warming.

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Research ships and other vessels traveling through Antarctic waters will have to be very careful this year because Antarctic ice has expanded rapidly, increasing the hazard to ships. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - An incredible quantity of sea ice has formed ... continue reading


Terrifying new discovery: Spinosaurus dinosaur was the largest predator ever to walk the Earth Watch

Image of The monster's most distinctive feature was a row of spines that created an enormous sail down the middle of its back. Scientists think it was used for display purposes rather than to trap heat or store fat.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Described as a cross between a Tyrannosaurus Rex, a crocodile and a whale, the Spinosaurus was the largest predator ever to walk the Earth . or swim in its rivers. A recent discovery, the fierce beast is the first dinosaur known to have been adapted to an ... continue reading


VIDEO: Amazing video catches volcanic eruption along with sonic boom Watch

Image of Mount Tavurvur is known as a rather active volcano, one that caused many deaths and covered a nearby town in ash in 1994.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Mount Tavurvur, a volcano in Papua New Guinea, erupted late last month on August 29, throwing ash high into the air and causing a shock wave and resultant sonic boom. Phil McNamara caught the rare sight while boating near the New Guinea coast. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


Sun spits STORM OF FIRE at Earth, will the northern lights be visible? Watch

Image of The Sun has an 11-year cycle of activity and is presently at its maximum for the current cycle.

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A powerful solar storm approaching Earth should not be a direct hit, removing much cause for alarm. On Wednesday, the Sun spewed an X1.6 class solar flare aimed right at Earth, but the bulk of the resulting coronal mass ejection appears on track to miss Earth, passing ... continue reading


Deforestation of the Amazon continues at an alarming rate despite Brazil's best policies Watch

Image of Illegal logging has become an incredibly large part of the deforestation problem.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Brazilian government has released figures which reveal that destruction of the world's largest rainforest accelerated last year by 29%, totally reversing gains made since 2009. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The figures were compiled from satellite data ... continue reading


Is it getting hot in here? Greenhouse gas levels hit historic highs Watch

Image of A new study has revealed that the level of greenhouse gases in the Earth's atmosphere have hit record highs, and suggest that the Earth is losing its ability to disperse the heat retaining gases.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Atmospheric temperatures have climbed much faster than scientists have expected and the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere reached a record high last years according to new research published by the U.N.'s agency on meteorology. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


Where are the wildfires? Global warming theory says California should be in flames... Watch

Image of California ought to be in flames, but without late-summer thunderstorms to spark fires, the state simply remains dry.

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Washington Times recently reported that a mild fire season in the Western US is disrupting the global warming narrative --a sort of inconvenient truth for climate change proponents. The article is certainly correct, the fire season is well below average, so far, ... continue reading


All Green News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, First Corinthians 15:35-37, 42-49
35 Someone may ask: How are dead people raised, and ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 56:10-12, 13-14
10 In God whose word I praise, in Yahweh whose word I ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 8:4-15
4 With a large crowd gathering and people from every ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for September 20th, 2014 Image

Sts. Andrew Kim Taegon, Paul Chong Hasang, and Companions
September 20: Feastday: September 20 The evangelization of Korea began ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter