By Marla Lise
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.
Blue and Gold Macaw
Grey Winged Trumpeter
Asian black bear
Black-and-white ruffed lemur
Black-faced spider monkey
Brown capuchin monkey
Capybara [2nd profile]
Eastern Long Beaked Echidna
Malagasy Giant Jumping Rat
Plains Zebra not a rainforest species
South American tapir
South American coatimundi
Leatherback Sea Turtle not a rainforest species
Pygmy stump-tailed chameleon
Giant Chinese Salamander
Gladiator Tree Frog
Green Poison Arrow Frog
Indian Purple Frog
All about Rainforests
May I use graphics from mongabay.com for my projects?
Yes, you may provided that you don't remove the mongabay label from the images. You may use information from the site for class projects and can cite kids.mongabay.com as the source.
Can I interview the founder of mongabay.com for my school project?
Unfortunately due to the large number of requests and the need to work on the main mongabay.com site, Rhett (the person who runs mongabay.com) is not available for interviews. However he has answered some common questions on the Rainforest Interview page.
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Currently there are a few on the resources page. There may be more in the future.
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Take a look at the Interviews with rainforest experts page.
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Some ideas are listed on the Rainforest Solutions page.
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There is a wealth of information at the main rainforest site
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