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Kinkajou


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The kinkajou, Potos flavus, is a furry, long-tailed mammal that lives in rainforests of Mexico, Central America, and northern South America. Kinkajous are nocturnal (most active at night); during the day, kinkajous sleep in a hollow tree. They spend most of their lives in the branches of trees, using their prehensile tail to grasp branches.

Communication: A major method of communication between kinkajous is by scent. Kinkajous have scent glands near the mouth, on the throat, and on the belly. Making sounds (grunting and growling) is another way these animals communicate.

Anatomy: Kinkajous are closely related to raccoons. Kinkajous have red-brown to tan fur and a very long, furry, prehensile tail. Kinkajous range from 17 to 22 inches (43-56 cm) long and the tail is 16 to 22 inches (41-56) cm long.

Diet: Kinkajous are omnivores; they will eat almost anything, including honey, fruit, flower nectar, insects (like termites), small mammals, and birds. They use their very long, narrow tongue to get honey from bee hives. Clawed hands help them pluck and eat fruit.

Reproduction: Females give birth to one tiny baby (two babies are less common). At birth, the baby kinkajou is blind, but it can grasp objects with its strong tail.

Predators: Hunters of the kinkajou include the fox, jaguarundi, jaguar, ocelot, margay, tayra, and people.

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