It is not common in this day and age to find new species of animals. Usually when a scientist does, it’s a small and easily overlooked creature like frogs or insects. But in 2013 it was announced that Kristofer Helgen, the curator of mammals at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, had found a “new” small mammal, the olinguito, pronounced oh-lin-GHEE-to

I was very excited to get in Sandra Markle’s book, The Search For Olinguito: discovering a new species. I think it’s important that children know about conservation but I also want them to know that there are still frontiers and new discoveries awaiting them in this world.

Helgen did not set out to find a new species, but through diligent scientific research he did just that. I’m pretty sure kids are taught the scientific method and that’s exactly what Helgen had to do to prove the Olinguito was not an olingo as originally thought.

The olinguito and the olingo are both related to raccoons and kinkajous. They inhabit the cloud forests in South America and the foggy misty forest provides them the perfect protection from prying eyes.

Markle’s book is not the only one out about olinguitos:

I don’t own these yet, but I’d like to get more information on these adorable animals. And to make you smile, check out a baby olinguito:

No wonder they are nicknamed kitty bears!


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