Meet the Olinquito

A new species of mammal was discovered last week, the first such discovery in the western hemisphere in 35 years.  The olinquito are  small omnivorous mammals that are similar to a raccoon.  The animal was mistakenly identified over the past ten years.

olinquito map

Olinquito Habitat

Olinquito live in the mountainous forest of Ecuador and Colombia, in the northern part of South America.  Olinquito are around 14 inches in length with tails roughly equal in length to their bodies.  They eat mainly fruit, but also consume insects.  Female olinquitos raise a single offspring at a time.  Like many other members of their family, olinquito are nocturnal and spend most of their time in trees.

To learn more about this interesting story read this article.


    • Good question Kade. I took a quick look for opossum at and part of the definition included the fact that an opossum is a marsupial, meaning that it has a pouch like a kangaroo or koala. I am not sure that olinquito have this. I don’t how closely they are related. Their faces certainly look similar. Your question is a great example of inquiry at work. See what you can find out in the linked article and by searching for more information about species classification. I would love to hear what you find out.

  1. I think this story is amazing and cool. I love it . It gave me so much Information about this animal. I loved learning about this. I hope that there is something like this again.

  2. I think it is funny that they mistaken it for a raccoon for over ten years. I thought that it was very interesting to learn about the olinquito. It is cool that they discovered it last week.

  3. I think that the onliquito is a great new species to the western hemisphere. Can the onliquito come to North america from south america? If it can I hope it does so I can keep it as a pet.

  4. The Olinquito is an amazing discovery. It is interesting because it lives in three different countries. It is very small and smart. I want to meet one in real life.

  5. I think this is really cool and interesting. I love how we get to learn about animals that have just been discovered. Also the olinquito is very cute. It kind of looks similar to a raccoon. This is a very great article. I really liked reading this I even told my mom about this little creature. She thought is was really interesting to her, and me too. I hope we can read another thing like this again :)

  6. I think it’s great that another animal has been discovered. Now l have something to look for when l go camping with my grandparents. I desperately want to see one with my own eyes.

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