Last week I gave you this specimen to identify, with a clue about the tail being distinctive:
There were lots of correct answers – the first coming from palfreyman1414 who nailed it with this great cryptic clue relating to its scientific name:
Trump assortment pack
It is indeed Potus flavus (Schreber, 1774) or as Allen Hazen and jennifermacaire hinted at with kinky clues, a Kinkajou. They’re also known as Sun Bears, Lirón (which is also the Spanish name for the Dormouse) or Micoleón (lion monkeys).
As the name Micoleón suggests, these South American floofsters are what happens when a carnivore tries to be a monkey. They have dexterous digits for climbing and handling the fruit that makes up the bulk of their diet and they are one of only two carnivores with a prehensile tail (the other is the Binturong) – hence that tail clue.
This tail acts like a fifth limb that helps the Kinkajou climb and in particular it allows the animal to hang down in order to reach fruit at the ends of slender branches:
Unlike monkeys, the Kinkajou is nocturnal, relying on its sense of smell and touch more than its eyesight to work out which fruit is ripe. It uses its very long tongue to scoop out fruit pulp and sometimes to feed on nectar from flowers.
All in all it’s a very curious little carnivore that looks more like a lemur than it does its closest cousin, the Coatimundis.