KINKAJOUS
 
Honey Honey Bear
Kokopelli
Kokopelli
Poto Poto
 

Misc: Potos flavus roughly translates from Latin as "golden drinker.” No one is sure whether the kinkajou was given this name because of its golden fur and its fondness for sweet nectar, or if the name come about because of the animal's physical resemblance to the African potto (Perodicticus potto).

Appearance: The kinkajou is a small animal with short, soft honey gold or brown fur. It has a round head with small round ears, a cat like face and very prominent eyes. It's long stretchable tongue is used for getting nectar. The kinkajou has a fully prehensile tail that is used as support when climbing or resting. To aid in climbing, they can rotate their feet backwards so that they can hang from tree branches. The toes are joined by a membrane that extends a third of the way down each toe. It has scent glands on the face, throat and belly.

Habitat: They are found in a variety of habitats, from mature tropical forests to heavily disturbed and secondary forests. Kinkajous are elusive animals, sleeping by day inside tree holes, active at night in the forest canopy high above ground.

Distribution: Southern Mexico to Southern Brazil.

Reproduction: Male kinkajous reach sexual maturity at 1.5 years, females in 2.25 years. The gestation period is 98-120 days. Births may take place from April to December. Generally a single offspring is produced, but twins do occasionally happen. Juveniles increase their mass by 12 times in the first six months following birth. The cub is born in a dark den with their eyes and ears closed. Their eyes open within 2 to 6 weeks, and in another 3 to 6 weeks their tails become prehensile. The Kinkajou mother is very protective of her cub. During times of danger she will carry the infant upside down just below her chest. The mother carries the young for almost 4 months, at which time the young are almost independent.

Social System: Always believed to be strictly solitary, a recent study showed that a female, two males, a subadult, and a juvenile typically make up a family, sleeping together and grooming one another but usually foraging separately. Unlike most mammals, it's the female that leaves home when sexually mature, at about two and a half years. The turf passes from father to sons, and males develop stronger bonds than females. Unlike their close relatives, racoons (which forage on the ground), kinkajous are arboreal. Their predators include diurnal birds of prey, which take sleeping kinkajous from tree tops, and foxes, tayras, jaguars, and ocelots.

Diet: Even though they are classified as a carnivore, they feed mainly on fruit and supplement with honey, leaves and insects. In the dry season of Belize, they often eat flowers for their nectar. It turns upside down, on its side or on its back so it will not lose any of the fruit juice. They have also have been known to eat small animals such as tree-living frogs, nesting birds and their eggs. One important role they play in the rain forests is that they are a pollinator. When the Kinkajou reaches for nectar with its tongue, which can extend up to 5 inches long, its face gets covered with pollen which is then spread to other plants.

Communication: The Kinkajou uses a small peep for close communication and a shrill scream for far away communication.