Animal Facts: Kinkajous
These creatures can be found in the tropical forests of Central and South America, where they spend most of their time in the trees. Kinkajous are able to turn their feet backward to run easily in either direction along branches or up and down trunks. They also have a prehensile (gripping) tail that they use much like another arm. Although the kinkajou has sharp teeth, its omnivorous diet consists mainly of fruit, particularly figs. In fact, studies have shown that 90% of their diet consists of ripe fruit. Many believe that these mammals are related to the primate family, but believe it or not, they are actually apart of the raccoon family. The kinkajou’s peak activity is usually between about 7:00 PM and midnight, and again an hour before dawn which makes it a nocturnal animal. During daylight hours, kinkajous sleep in tree hollows or in shaded tangles of leaves, avoiding direct sunlight.