Olinguito - new mammal discovered in the Andes

“The Smithsonian describes the olinguito’s appearance as a cross between a house cat and a teddy bear,” says Elizabeth Landau, CNN. Photo via www.cnn.com

An exciting announcement was made today by scientists at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington DC – a brand new mammal species has been discovered in the Americas for the first time in 35 years!  The cute, fluffy reddish-brown creature is called an olinguito and is a sister species to the olingo, similar to the way humans are a sister species to the chimpanzee.  Olinguitos and olingos are likened to racoons, but we think they’re much cuter.  So far, Olinguitos have been sighted in the Andean cloud forests of Colombia and Ecuador, but scientists believe they could live in other countries like Peru.  Read more about the newest mammal on the block in this CNN article

Considering the amount we write about endangered species on Good Nature, it’s a welcome change to be able to write about new animals still being discovered.

Experience the biodiversity of the Andean cloud forests on one of Nat Hab’s South America expeditions, and perhaps get a glimpse of an olinguito or olingo yourself!