Huh?: Scientists 'Rediscover' New Species Of Mammal

August 16, 2013


This is an olinguito (oh-lin-GHEE-toe), a species of carnivorous mammal that has been known to exist for over 100 years, but was only recently scientifically documented and classified. That's weird. Maybe not as weird as where all the dried blood under my fingernails came from, but I am about to get naked in front of the mirror and find out.

The 2-pound olinguito, with its large eyes and woolly orange-brown fur, is native to the cloud forests of Colombia and Ecuador, as its scientific name, "neblina" (Spanish for "fog"), hints. In addition to being the latest described member of its family, another distinction the olinguito holds is that it is the newest species in the order Carnivora ― an incredibly rare discovery in the 21st century.

"The discovery of the olinguito shows us that the world is not yet completely explored, its most basic secrets not yet revealed," said Kristofer Helgen, curator of mammals at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History and leader of the team reporting the new discovery. "If new carnivores can still be found, what other surprises await us? So many of the world's species are not yet known to science. Documenting them is the first step toward understanding the full richness and diversity of life on Earth."

Scientists describe the olinguito's appearance as "a cross between a house cat and a teddy bear", but it looks more like my little sister if you ask me. Doesn't it, Becky? Haha, she ran away and locked herself in her room again. I don't want her dating until she's 30. And even then, girls only. Sorry, but no dudes for you, Becky. "But--" But nothing, just please be a lesbian, okay?

Hit the jump for a couple more shots.



Thanks to Rich, Delabear, TheAmberAmazon and E V I L A R E S, who heard the olinguito on display at that Chinese zoo from yesterday was just a squirrel.

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