The Kinkajou (Potos flavus)
Kinkajou is a name that sounds a lot like the Pokemon Pikachu, which is a similarity not lost on many people. However, these two animals could not be more different. In fact, the kinkajou is from the Family Procyonidae, which includes the raccoon and the coatis. Let's take a look at this adorable mammal and see for ourselves what makes it special.
Physical Description and Behavior
The kinkajou has a round head, short fur, and rather large eyes. These larger eyes help them out a lot due to their strict nocturnal behavior. In fact, most members of Procyonidae are nocturnal for the most part, as well as climb trees, both traits helping them to avoid predators.
Including their tail, they are about 32 to 52 inches long, with their tail making up about half of that length at 15-22 inches long. They weigh about 3-10 pounds, with short rounded ears, and a long extruding tongue. Their coat coloration can range from a wood brown to a yellow or greenish tawny depending on the time of year and their location.
While categorized as a carnivore, the kinkajou is actually an opportunistic omnivore in their diet. 90% of their diet consists of fruit (mainly figs) with much of the other 90% consisting of leaves, flowers, and other plant materials.
Fun Fact: The kinkajou's long tongue allows them to lick nectar from the insides of flowers. This actually makes them a minor pollinator, one of the only mammals to get that classification. They also adore honey, which is why they are often referred to as the "honey bear."
Habitat and Location
Despite barely being seen by locals, this animal is not known to be endangered. They mainly are not seen by humans due to their nocturnal lifestyle.
They can be found from the southern part of Mexico, all the way through Central America and into much of South America, including Bolivia and Brazil. Kinkajou prefer forests but are not picky about which forests they will inhabit. These can range from tropical rainforests to dry forests.
To learn more about this small mammal, check out the video below: