Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

8/15/2013 (2 years 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 (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'


Copyright 2015 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for April 2016
Universal:
Small Farmers: That small farmers may receive a just reward for their precious labor.
Evangelization: African Christians: That Christians in Africa may give witness to love and faith in Jesus Christ amid political-religious conflicts.



Comments


More Green

'We see it:' The realities of global warming are finally accepted around the world Watch

Image of The Paris climate agreement saw Sen. Jeff Merkley state global warming is one of the greatest challenges of our generation (AFP).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

With more and more nations agreeing that climate change is not only real, but also dangerous, more world leaders are making a move to save the planet. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Senator Jeff Merkley took the Senate floor last week to say global warming is one ... continue reading


Volcanoes erupting everywhere! Is this a sign? Watch

Image of Popocatepetl erupts in Mexico. Prominent volcanoes in Russia and North Korea are also erupting.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Thirty-eight volcanoes are erupting right now. Earthquakes are making the news. Is something supernatural about to occur? LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "Take care that no one deceives you," Jesus admonished his disciples in the book of Matthew. The Disciples were ... continue reading


Major quakes predicted - As massive quakes strike the Ring of Fire, North America remains eerily quiet... Watch

Image of North America is overdue for a major quake, but when and where it will strike is impossible to predict.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Both a psychic and a scientist have predicted the current spate of quakes which have shook Asia, the South Pacific, and South America, and their predictions are on record. The eerie occurrence has many asking if North America is next. LOS ANGELES, CA (California ... continue reading


Scientists alarmed as massive ice sheet begins rapid melting Watch

Image of Greenland's ice sheet has begun melting early, alarming scientists.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Scientists are in shock as a massive Greenland ice sheet has started melting far sooner than expected and in great volume. The data is so surprising, the researchers initially believed it to be an error. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - On April 11, sensors that ... continue reading


Maybe this is why you're sick? Watch

Image of Global warming isn't just heating the planet, it's making people sick.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Anthropocentric global warming is going to make you sick, according to a new federal report. The 332-page report was released Monday and it predicts a host of consequences from global warming that will begin, or have already begin to affect the country. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


Arctic ice continues to decline as global warming accelerates Watch

Image of Sea ice will begin melting and will reach its annual low point sometime in September. If the present is any indicator, we will see less ice in the Arctic this September than at any time in modern history.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

The Arctic is melting and it's happening faster than anticipated. So far, Arctic sea ice has reached its lowest level ever on modern record. It is also thinner. While the Arctic sea ice does not contribute to sea level rise, it does serve as an indicator for how our ... continue reading


You'll never believe what blessing God bestowed upon California! Watch

Image of Lake Shasta reservoir is in danger of overflowing (California Department of Water Resources).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Imagine you have a farm and the years have been kind. You look out at your bountiful harvest that God has blessed for generations and you smile with pride and joy.Then the unthinkable happens; a horrible drought hits and suddenly the future of your farm, which has ... continue reading


Four scary new things about global warming we've just learned Watch

Image of As acids and CO2 build up in the ocean, coral reefs die globally. A quarter of all sea life and over half-a million people depend on healthy coral reefs for survival.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Report after report, study after study confirms, the planet is in serious trouble. Within 50 to 150 years, and within the lifetime of children born today, the world will experience catastrophic weather changes. Carbon dioxide, and methane emissions have spiked and ... continue reading


Searing February heat shatters global record, called 'whopping' by skeptic Watch

Image of A polar bear lies dead on an Arctic beach that ought to be covered in ice. The record warm temperatures have resulted in havoc on Arctic ecosystems.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Does everybody still believe global warming is a hoax? Yet more data confirms what scientists have feared for a long time, the planet is warming, and it may have passed a tipping point. The latest data now reveals that February 2016 was the hottest February on record, ... continue reading


BIG quake prediction for California caused by... Watch

Image of A road worker examines damage done by a quake in California.

By Marshall Connolly, California Network (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A massive earthquake predicted for California in early March did not occur, although scientists now know what set off the alarm among so many scientists. The answer is, a glitch in satellite data. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - In late February, California was ... continue reading


All Green News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

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

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Acts 15:22-31
22 Then the apostles and elders, with the whole church, decided to choose ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 57:8-9, 10-12
8 Awake, my glory, awake, lyre and harp, that I may awake the ... Read More

Gospel, John 15:12-17
12 This is my commandment: love one another, as I have loved ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for April 29th, 2016 Image

St. Catherine of Siena
April 29: St. Catherine of Siena was born during the ... Read More