Meet the Olinguito

The olinguito hails from the same family as raccoons, coatis, kinkajous and olingos -- but it's been a victim of mistaken identity for more than 100 years, the Smithsonian says.

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The olinguito hails from the same family as raccoons, coatis, kinkajous and olingos -- but it's been a victim of mistaken identity for more than 100 years, the Smithsonian said at a press conference Thursday.
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A team led by Smithsonian scientist Kristofer Helgen spent 10 years examining hundreds of museum specimens and tracking animals in the cloud forests of Ecuador as it worked to discover the new species. (Photo by Mark Gurney, courtesy Smithsonian Institution)
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The olinguito mainly eats fruit, but may also eat some insects and nectar. (Photo by Mark Gurney, courtesy Smithsonian Institution)
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The olinguito (Bassaricyon neblina) came close to being discovered several times during the past century and was even exhibited in zoos. This female olinguito lived in various zoos in the U.S. decades ago. But the animal was misidentified until a team led by Smithsonian scientist Kristofer Helgen resulted in the description of a new species. (Photo by I. Poglayen-Neuwall, courtesy Smithsonian Institution)
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Part of the Smithsonian's exhibit explaining the new species. (Photo by Jay Alvey)
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The olinguito hails from the same family as raccoons, coatis, kinkajous and olingos. (Photo by Jay Alvey)
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Smithsonian staff prepares to announce the new species. This was the first carnivore species to be discovered in the American continents in 35 years, the Smithsonian says.
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