Adorable new mammal species found 'in plain sight'

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This undated photo provided by the Smithsonian Institution shows an olinguito. The Smithsonian announced Thursday, Aug. 15, 2013 that they have discovered that the mammal, which they had previously mistaken for an olingo, is actually a distinct species. The olinguito belongs to the grouping of large creatures that include dogs, cats and bears. The raccoon-sized critters leap through the trees of the cloud forests of Ecuador and Colombia at night, according to a Smithsonian researcher who has spent the past decade tracking them. (AP Photo/Smithsonian Institution, Mark Gurney)

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WASHINGTON (AP) — 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 (oh-lihn-GEE'-toe).

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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