(CNN) — A small mammal with fluffy red-orange fur, a short bushy tail, and an adorable rounded face has leapt onto the raccoon family tree.
Scientists at the Smithsonian in Washington announced Thursday the discovery of a new species of mammal called the olinguito (pronounced oh-lin-GHEE-toe). If you’re a fan of long technical names, this one is Bassaricyon neblina.
Such a discovery is rare. The olinguito is the first mammalian carnivore species to be newly identified in the Americas in 35 years, according to Kristofer Helgen, curator of mammals at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History. His research group’s study on the creature is being published in the journal ZooKeys.
Researchers argue that the olinguito should be considered the smallest living member of the raccoon family, which includes other animals that make us go “awww” such as coatis and kinkajous. The Smithsonian describes the olinguito’s appearance as a cross…
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