writes: The Olinguito, a newly discovered mammal carnivore, is the smallest member of the animal family that includes racoons. This is the first new mammal carnivore species to be identified on the American continent for more than three decades. Specimens were found in the National Museum of Natural History in Washington DC, but were mislabeled. It is believed that a live Olinguito was actually exhibited in several zoos in the US between 1967 and 1976 but was misidentified as an Olinga, a close relative.
Scientists have catalogued only a fraction of the planet's lifeforms. New species of insects, parasitic worms, bacteria and viruses are discovered on a regular basis, but new mammals are rare.
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This reminds us that the world is not yet explored and the age of discovery is far from over. The Olinguito makes us think — what else is out there? says Dr Helgen.