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New mammal species discovered by Smithsonian researchers

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New mammal species discovered by Smithsonian researchers

Smithsonian researchers announced on Thursday that a new species of mammal has been found. The Huffington Post reported that the name of the racoon-sized critter that lives in the mountains of Ecuador and Columbia is the olinguito.

Kristofer Helgen, a researcher at the Smithsonian has been tracking the olinguito species (pronounced oh-lihn-GEE’-toe) for the last 10 years, but in reality, the mammal has literally been hiding in plain sight. An olignuito resided for a year at the National Zoo in Washington D.C., but zookeepers mistakenly thought it was an olingo, a sister species of the olignuito. In an attempt to breed with other olingos, Ringerl the olinguito was shipped from zoo to zoo from 1967 to 1976, including the National Zoo. Ringerl would never breed with other olingos and it turns it was because she wasn’t an olingo after all.

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