Scientists have spotted an olinguito in the forests of Equador. If you are wondering what an olinguito is, it is a carnivore species found in the Western Hemisphere after a gap of 35 years.
The furry, 2-lb animal looks alike its fellow olingos. The orange-brown olinguito eluded classification by scientists for more than 100 years, although it was observed in the wild. According to a statement from the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History, these species ended up in museum collections and were even exhibited at the Louisville Zoo, the National Zoo and the Bronx Zoo in the 1960s and 1970s.
Researchers, in order to classify the world’s olingos, argue may be one or up to five different species. They noted that some olingo skulls looked odd and the peculiar specimens had teeth and skulls that were much smaller and shaped differently than those of other olingos.
Preserved pelts reveal that olingos with unusual skulls had comparatively small body, with longer and thicker coats. In 1900s, the animals were seen in Columbia, Panama, Costa Rica and Nicaragua at about 3,250 to 5,500 feet above sea level, which is much higher than the olingo’s known range, according to a new study.