Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

8/15/2013 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (

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.


By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (

8/15/2013 (2 years 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'

Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for October 2015
That human trafficking, the modern form of slavery, may be eradicated.
Evangelization: That with a missionary spirit the Christian communities of Asia may announce the Gospel to those who are still awaiting it.


More Green

Why are there more animals around Chernobyl than nearby wildlife preserves? Watch

Image of The wolf population around Chernobyl has recovered to seven times what it is in non-contaminated areas.

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Scientists assessing wildlife populations around Chernobyl have learned something startling. Despite the radiation, there's more wildlife around Chernobyl than on surrounding wildlife preserves. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Scientists recently conducted a survey ... continue reading

Hurricane Joaquin heads to NE America Watch

Image of Overhead view of Hurricane Joaquin (NASA).

By Kenya Sinclair (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The National Hurricane Center reported hurricane Joaquin intensified Thursday afternoon to a Category 4, which means the wind speed ranges between 131 and 155 mph. Joaquin had maximum sustained winds at 130 mph. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - CNN reported ... continue reading

JUST IN CASE: Scientists plan to save world from giant asteroid - as in 'Armageddon' movie Watch

Image of Both the NASA and the European Space Agency plan to implant the device into the 52-foot Didymoon. The experiment will test the principle that a much larger asteroid threatening the Earth could be deflected.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

They're not saying it's going to happen -but just in case, scientists are planning a space mission to nudge an asteroid out of its orbit. You know, like in that 1998 Bruce Willis movie Armageddon. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The joint European-U.S. effort, ... continue reading

Mars revelations may reveal God's personality according to Vatican astronomer Watch

Image of Architectural Digest's winning design for a 3-D-printed habitat on Mars.


An exciting discovery found on the surface of Mars revealed details about the planet which gives people a better understanding of God's personality, Vatican astronomer Brother Consolmagno reported.  LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - NASA scientists confirmed ... continue reading

Climate Talk: Al Gore spreads the environmental gospel Watch

Image of Al Gore leads environmental training prior to Paris climate change talks.


Nobel Peace Prize winner Al Gore trained an army of organizers and encouraged them to promote and spread the environmental gospel prior to climate talks that will occur in Paris later this year. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The climate talks are due to commence ... continue reading

Remarkable neon-glowing sea turtle discovered Watch

Image of Hawksbill sea turtles glow neon ( via David Gruber).

By Hannah Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

While researching biofluorescence in small sharks and coral reefs, an unexpected glowing creature passed a team of scientists who identified the fluorescent creature as a sea turtle species. After testing others, they determined hawksbill sea turtles have attained the ... continue reading

Strange Stonehenge-styled rocks found on surface of Mars Watch

Image of


Alien experts and hunters usually look for -and find- the most bizarre images beamed back from the surface of Mars, which includes coffins, pyramids, crabs and even floating spoons. New images of Mars have excited alien enthusiasts with what appears to be an alien ... continue reading

Very rare simultaneous supermoon and eclipse expected to hit the sky this weekend Watch

Image of Lunar eclipse and blood moon from 2011 ( David Paleino).


A supermoon lunar eclipse is expected this weekend, exciting some people but bothering those who believe it signifies the nearing end of times as cited by some religions. Regardless of the contrasting responses, NASA and a professional photographer have some reminders ... continue reading

Massive 100,000-year-long meteor shower could be responsible for Earth's shape Watch

Image of Meteor shower lasing 100,000 years could have helped form the Earth's crust (CORBIS).


Earth has higher levels of magnesium and lower levels of silicon today than it does in deposits of its formative materials, leading French scientists to question "why?" MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - According to Daily Mail, a recent theory was made after ... continue reading

Love Birds: Research finds birds really do fall in love Watch

Image of


There are more characteristics birds have that are similar with humans. In a recent study created by a team of researchers in Germany, it was discovered that "lovebirds" isn't just a name of a specific kind of bird, but that birds really do fall in love. MUNTINLUPA, ... continue reading

All Green News


Newsletter Sign Up icon

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

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Joel 1:13-15; 2:1-2
13 Priests, put on sackcloth and lament! You ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 9:2-3, 6, 16, 8-9
6 the enemy is wiped out -- mere ruins for ever -- ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 11:15-26
15 But some of them said, 'It is through Beelzebul, ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for October 9th, 2015 Image

Sts. Denis, Rusticus, and Eleutherius
October 9: The first mention we have of these three martyrs who died around ... Read More