A fuzzy fog-dweller with a face like a teddy bear is the first carnivore found in the Western Hemisphere in more than three decades, a new study says.
The 2-pound (0.9-kilogram) creature, called an olinguito, didn't make itself easy to find. The orange-brown mammal lives out a solitary existence in the dense, hard-to-study cloud forests of Colombia and Ecuador, which inspired part of its Latin name Bassaricyon neblina: Neblina is Spanish for "fog."
What's more, the large-eyed critter—now the smallest known member of the raccoon family—is active only at night, when it hunts for fruit in its Andean habitat. Like other carnivores such as the giant panda, olinguitos seem to eat mostly plants, but are nevertheless part of the taxonomic order Carnivora. (Also see "Pictures: 14 Rarest and Weirdest Mammal Species Named.")