Thursday, July 13, 2017

by J.E. Rogers

I once had my picture taken with a kinkajou. Here’s that picture.

They’re really cute, and the little guy in this picture was enjoying all the attention he was getting. Why do I bring up the Kinkajou when the star of this week’s post is the Olingo? Well, it’s because the two look so much alike that the Olingo is commonly mistaken for a Kinkajou. They both are similar in appearance and behavior, and both of them are also members of the raccoon family. One striking difference is that the Kinkajou has a prehensile tail while the Olingo does not.

The Kinkajou is adorable, but we’re leaving him behind to focus on this week’s guest, the Olingo.

Photo credit:

The Olingo is a resident of the Andean Cloud Forest. A cloud forest is not a rain forest. The major differences between a cloud forest and a rain forest are that a cloud forest is continually in a fog and it is at a higher elevation than a rain forest. As a result, a cloud forest is much cooler than a rain forest.

Photo credit:

The Olingo is a solitary, arboreal creature that lives in the cloud forests of Central and South America. It is not an endangered species. They are nocturnal creatures with small rounded ears and large eyes which help them navigate the forest at night. Although Olingos are considered carnivores, they will eat fruit. Their usual diet is insects, small vertebrates, and invertebrates. They grow to approximately sixteen inches in length, and their tail accounts for another nineteen inches. Generally speaking, they weigh about three pounds. Their light weight affords them agility through the trees. They also have a ‘stink gland’ much like that of a skunk which they will use to ward off predators.    

Photo credit: Patrick C. Young

There is a newly described species of Olingo called the Olinguito. It was discovered in 2013. This is a phenomenal discovery since discovering a new mammal at this point in time is highly unusual. And although it has just recently been discovered, the Olinguito is believed to be the oldest member of the species in evolutionary terms.

Photo credit: Mark Gurney/National Museum of Natural History

The following video is super. It will explain a bit about the different species in the raccoon family from the raccoon itself down to the newly discovered Olinguito. Don’t miss it.

If you would like to learn more about the Olingo, visit the following sites:

Thanks for stopping by and visiting. I hope you’ll be by again.


Jeanne E. Rogers, Award Winning Author
The Sword of Demelza, The Gift of Sunderland and
One Hot Mess, A Child’s Environmental Fable
Where Endangered Animal Heroes Roam the Pages!

To learn more about me, visit my ‘author page’ on Amazon:

My newest book, Kohana, A Native American Creation Myth
will be published by Fahrenheit Books in early August. 
Visit the following to learn more:

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