Olinguito

Sometimes a brand new species of mammal is hiding right under our noses! Meet the olinguito, a raccoon-like mammal from South America. Part of a larger playlist on mammals, an interesting video discusses how a researcher from The Smithsonian Institute discovered olinguitos tucked away in museum drawers across the country. Topics include why museums collect multiple specimens, how the olinguito was singled out, and olinguito populations in the wild.

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CCSS: Adaptable
Instructional Ideas

  • Use the video to illustrate differences between species of mammals
  • Show the class the olinguito in action with a video from an expedition to Ecuador
Classroom Considerations

  • Explain that museums preserve and keep animal specimens for study if pupils are not familiar with this practice
Pros

  • Explains the process of discovering the new species very well
  • Displayed specimens allow viewers to compare the olinguito to the previously known olingo and make their own observations
Cons

  • None
Common Core