Can you name this creature?

Week 2nd to 8th September 2013

A few people got this week’s Mystery Creature right, how did you do? It is the olinguito (Bassaricyon neblina).

photo credit: 禁书网中国禁闻 via photopin cc

This cute little creature is the first carnivorous mammal to be discovered in the Western Hemisphere in the last 35 years.  However they have not been hiding out on us, they have been on display in museums and some zoos for the decades.  The problem is that they were simply mislabeled, thought to be Olingos (a cousin that although similar is larger, with a shorter tail, bigger ears and a longer snout).

Residing in the cloud forests of the Andes this mammal is the smallest member of the racoon family. This arboreal, nocturnal creature is referred to as a carnivore, although fruit makes up most of it’s diet.

The scientific name given to this mammal is “Bassaricyon neblina” where nebulina means cloud and refers to the cloud forests where the olinguito (little Olingo) live. 


Science blogger and writer; Owner of Dr. How's Science Wows; Mother of three junior scientists who have taught me that to be a great scientist you need to look at life through the eyes of a child!

2 thoughts on “Can you name this creature?

  • September 2, 2013 at 8:57 pm

    Read about this new discovery a few weeks ago. It’s the Olinguito which was discovered in South America.

    • September 3, 2013 at 6:19 am

      That’s right Mary, well done… it is unusual for a new mammal to be discovered in the Western Hemisphere… hasn’t happened in 35 years! I will post some more facts on this interesting animal here on Sunday!

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