Adorable new mammal species found 'in plain sight'

Adorable new mammal species found 'in plain sight'

Credit: Smithsonian/Mark Gurney

A team, led by Smithsonian scientist Kristofer Helgen, spent 10 years examining hundreds of museum specimens and tracking animals in the wild in the cloud forests of Ecuador. The result―the newest species of mammal known to science, the olinguito (Bassaricyon neblina) (Photo by Mark Gurney)

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by Associated Press

kgw.com

Posted on August 15, 2013 at 10:37 AM

Updated Thursday, Aug 15 at 1:00 PM

WASHINGTON — Researchers are announcing the rare discovery of a new species of mammal.

It's a raccoon-sized creature with a teddy bear face called the olinguito.

A Smithsonian researcher says it lives in the mountainous forests of Ecuador and Columbia where it leaps through the trees at night. It eats fruit and weighs about 2 pounds.

One of them also once lived at the National Zoo in Washington where it was mistaken for a similar animal.

The discovery was announced Thursday.

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