The olinguito (Bassaricyon neblina) is the first new mammal species of the order Carnivora to be discovered in the Western Hemisphere in over three decades. Our own Dr. Roland Kays played a key role in the international effort to confirm that this relative of raccoons, kinkajous, coatis, and olingos is, indeed, a new species. The story of its discovery begins in museum collections and leads to the cloud forests of South America.
Roland sat down for a short interview with our resident science comedian Brian Malow to tell us about the 10-year project led by Kris Helgen of the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History.
Dr. Roland Kays is the director of the Biodiversity Lab at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences and a research professor at NC State University where he teaches mammalogy. This interview was recorded Friday, August 16, 2013, in the Daily Planet Theater at the Nature Research Center of the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences in Raleigh.
For more information, see our August 15, 2013 press conference: http://livestre.am/4zYOT
The paper describing the new species, published in ZooKeys: Helgen, K. M., M. Pinto, R. Kays, L. Helgen, M. Tsuchiya, A. Quinn, D. Wilson, and J. Maldonado. 2013. Taxonomic revision of the olingos (Bassaricyon), with description of a new species, the Olinguito. ZooKeys 324:1--83.
And the olinguito already has its own Wikipedia page! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Olinguito