Image description: Scientists from the Smithsonian Institute discovered a new species of mammal — the olinguito — the first carnivore species to be discovered in either North America or South America in 35 years.
According to the Smithsonian:
The olinguito is the smallest member of the raccoon family. It has thick, woolly fur that is denser and more colorful (orange or reddish brown) than its closest relatives, the olingos. Its head and body length is 14 inches long (355 mm), plus a tail 13-17 inches in length (335-425 mm), and it weighs 2 pounds (900 grams). Males and females are similar in size.
DIET: The olinguito mainly eats fruit, but may also eat some insects and nectar.
BEHAVIOR: These solitary animals live in trees and are mostly nocturnal. It is an adept jumper that can leap from tree to tree in the forest canopy. Mothers raise a single baby at a time.
HABITAT: The olinguito is found only in cloud forests of the northern Andes Mountains
RANGE: Ecuador and Colombia, at high elevations (5,000 to 9,000 feet above sea level).
Image description: The first tubeworms found in the Atlantic Ocean were discovered in August by researchers with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration using remotely operated submarines.
Tubeworms are unlike most other forms of life on Earth, which rely on energy from the sun. Instead, these creatures are chemosynthetic, getting their energy from chemicals that rise in the hot water of hydrothermal vents in the ocean.
Photo by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration