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Kinkajou

By Marla Lise




Kinkajou

Scientific Name: Potos flavus

Kinkajous are also known as honey bears – sharing their name with the sun bear. They are often mistaken for ferrets or monkeys, and have the same bare hands and feet and prehensile tails that monkeys do – but these little honey-colored, honey-loving critters are actually related to red pandas and raccoons.

Kinkajous are found in most rainforest areas of South America. They are nocturnal and arboreal, meaning that they come out at night and spend most of their waking hours up in trees.

They are omnivores, meaning that they eat both meat and plant material. They feed on fruit, flowers, leaves and sometimes eggs and small mammals as well. Kinkajous have a special characteristic that helps them to get termites from termite mounds, honey from hives and nectar from flowers. Can you guess what this is?

It’s their long tongue! A kinkajou’s tongue can grow up to 5 inches long.

These small creatures are difficult to see in the wild because they live in the forest canopy. They only grow to about 60cm, with their tail being almost the same length as their body. They are usually heard screeching and barking high up in the treetops.

Kinkajous are still listed as ‘least concern’ under the IUCN threatened animals list, however, their numbers are decreasing. They face threats such as habitat destruction through deforestation and human disturbance. They are also highly sought after as pets and for their fur and meat.

Animal profiles

Birds
Bare-Faced Ibis
Blue and Gold Macaw
Common Potoo
Green Honeycreeper
Grey Winged Trumpeter
Harpy Eagle
Hoatzin
Horned Screamer
Jabiru Stork
Malachite Kingfisher
Mealy Parrot
Northern Cassowary
Savanna hawk
Scale-crested pygmy-tyrant
Rhinoceros Hornbill
Scarlet Ibis
Wattled Jacana

Mammals
Asian black bear
Black-and-white ruffed lemur
Black-faced spider monkey
Bornean Rhino
Brown capuchin monkey
Capybara [2nd profile]
Coquerel's Sifaka
Crowned Lemur
Eastern Long Beaked Echidna
Howler Monkey
Kinkajou
Malagasy Giant Jumping Rat
Malayan Tapir
Margay
Mountain Gorilla
Plains Zebra not a rainforest species
Puma
South American tapir
South American coatimundi
Spectral Tarsier
Spider Monkey
Squirrel Monkeys
White-lipped peccary
Woolly Monkey


Reptiles
Green Basilisk
Leatherback Sea Turtle not a rainforest species
Pygmy stump-tailed chameleon
Spectacled Caiman


Amphibians
Giant Chinese Salamander
Gladiator Tree Frog
Green Poison Arrow Frog
Indian Purple Frog
Monkey Frog
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