kinkajou kĭng´kəjo͞o˝ [key], nocturnal, arboreal mammal, Potos flavus, found from Mexico to Brazil and related to the raccoon . It has a long, slender body with soft, short, woolly hair of any of various shades of brown or yellow. Its tail is prehensile and is used to grasp branches when the animal climbs. Kinkajous also have a long extrudable tongue, possibly used to reach nectar and honey. The kinkajou spends most of its time in trees. It eats insects, fruits, and honey and is sometimes called honey-bear, a name also applied to a true bear of SE Asia. Kinkajous are classified in the phylum Chordata , subphylum Vertebrata, class Mammalia, order Carnivora, family Procyonidae.
See D. MacClintock and E. Young, Phoebe the Kinkajou, (1985).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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