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Meet the World’s Latest Animal Discovery

Anthony Armentano, exculsive to Global Animal

The olinguito is just the most recent mammal species to be discovered, Helgen suggests new mammals will always be there to be discovered. Photo Credit: Mark Gurney, Getty Images

The olinguito is the world’s most recently discovered mammal species. Photo Credit: Mark Gurney, Getty Images

The animal kingdom got a lot cuter this week, and that’s all due to researchers at the Smithsonian. On Thursday, the Museum of Natural History announced a new species of mammal, the olinguito. A member of the raccoon family, the animal was discovered in the treetops of South America’s Andes mountain range.

Just one day after the museum’s announcement, Dr. Kristofer Helgen, the curator of mammals at the Smithsonian, participated in an Ask Me Anything (AMA) on the social news website, Reddit. An AMA is more or less the online version of an interview, where anyone with an Internet connection can submit questions to the interviewee.

Dr. Helgen fielded a range of questions from curious Redditors on Friday afternoon, spending three hours on the site answering them. A number of the questions focused on the olinguito itself, but the Smithsonian curator also got a chance to discuss the likelihood of future mammal discoveries.

“There is no doubt that there are many hundreds of unknown living mammal species out there that still have not been ‘discovered’ or given scientific names,” Helgen told Redditor Spacely21.

Helgen also delved into the naming and discovery process of new species, and revealed the verification process for the olinguito discovery took the researchers ten years.

Kirstofer Helgen professed his favorite animal to be the long-beaked echidna of New Guinea. Here he is pictured with one. Photo Credit: Tim Laman, National Geographic

Dr. Kirstofer Helgen professed his favorite animal was the long-beaked echidna of New Guinea. Here he is pictured with one. Photo Credit: Tim Laman, National Geographic

If curiosity is gnawing at you incessantly, take a look at the AMA for yourself, and get a glimpse into the mind of one of the world’s experienced researchers. Even if science isn’t exactly your thing, hop on over to the Reddit page anyway, and learn even more about the newest addition to the animal kingdom.

More Amazing Animal Discoveries:

Satan Shark Discovery Shocks Scientists

New Species Discovered In Antarctica

New Owl Species Identified In Indonesia

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One Response to Meet the World’s Latest Animal Discovery

  1. Al Ain Zoo August 21, 2013 at 4:47 am #

    Meet the World’s Latest Animal Discovery!