Kinkajou - Greensboro Science Center
Order: Carnivora | Family: Procyonidae | Genus/Species: Potos flavus
Kinkajous are sometimes referred to as
"Honey Bears". They have long, extendible
tongues and fully prehensile tails. This means
that Kinkajou tails are capable of grasping
branches, which aids them immensely in
terms of traveling through the wooded places
Kinkajous range from Southern Mexico through most of Brazil. They generally inhabit forest environments,
including lowland rainforest, montane, dry, gallery, and secondary forests.
Primarily frugivorous, but opportunistic: figs make up a large part of their diet, but they forage for ripe fruit,
insects, nectar, and flowers. They also eat bird eggs and small vertebrates occasionally.
Previously thought to be solitary; but recent studies show that they live in social groups usually consisting
of one female, two males, and several juveniles. The dominant male generally monopolizes mating rights
to the female, but the subordinate male will mate with her sometimes. The dominant male will also mate
with any females living on the periphery of his home range. Therefore, Kinkajous are considered
polygynandrous. Breeding can take place year round. Females usually give birth to one offspring, but two
are possible. Females provide most of the parental care, but males have been observed sharing fruit trees
and playing with offspring. Gestation period is 14-17 weeks.
Size and Lifespan
They typically weigh between 3-7 pounds. Not including tail length, bodies are around 17-22 inches long.
Tails alone can be 16-22 inches in length! In the wild, Kinkajous live 20-30 years but have been known to
live as long as 40 years in captivity.
Kinkajous are considered to be of "Least Concern" by the IUCN; this means they are at a relatively low
extinction risk. However, they are threatened to some degree due to the fact that they are hunted for
meat, fur, and the pet trade. Additionally, habitat destruction has reduced their range and population size.
Kinkajous are an important species for many reasons and play crucial roles as seed dispersers and