Kinkajou, this funny tree mammal, the hero of the movie Vivo

Opossum? Little monkey? Giant rat? No, kinkajou. This is a funny animal that plays the main role in the animated film. live produced by Sony studios and available from August 6 on the Netflix platform. The feature film tells about the adventures of a small singing and music lover mammal, who got it into his head to convey a song to the one that his late owner and friend never stopped loving.

If this musical has something to entertain young and old, it also illuminates a little-known and yet charming sight: hence the famous kinkajou, better known in science under the name Pothos flavus. Here are five things to know about this strange animal that is unlike any other.

American native

Kinkajou is native to Central and South America. Found from Mexico to Brazil through Colombia, Panama or Ecuador. An arboreal mammal develops in the canopy of tropical or mountain forests, usually at an altitude of less than 2500 meters above sea level. Today there are eight subspecies.

Appearance of a fake monkey

The appearance of the kinkajou has long baffled scientists, and it is not for nothing that it is quite unusual in the animal kingdom. This mammal has two large round eyes, small round ears, a short and pointed muzzle, reduced limbs and a long prehensile tail. A portrait that might resemble a portrait of a monkey or a primate in general. Except that kinkajou doesn’t belong to the same group at all. It is a procyonid, a family that includes carnivorous mammals such as the raccoon or coati. Along with the binturong, it is the only predatory animal with a prehensile tail. With the ability to reach over 50 centimeters, this allows it to easily move between trees, hang from branches, or serve as a blanket when it sleeps in a canopy.

Disperses seeds and pollinates

Although classified as a carnivore (because of its teeth), the kinkajou’s diet is omnivorous. It feeds mainly on fruits, but also on leaves, flowers, and even nectar. This allows it to play an important role in seed dispersal and pollination of plant species surrounding it. The nocturnal animal from time to time goes hunting to feed on insects or small mammals, which they catch with their sharp claws and powerful paws. Finally, it is known to attack honeycombs, from which it licks honey with its long tongue. A behavior that earned him the nickname “honey bear”. In addition to his thick fur, reminiscent of that of a small bear, which also protects him from bee stings.

very loud animal

At the risk of disappointing some, the kinkajou does not push the ditty as much as Vivo, the hero of the animated film. But this species is known to be especially vocal. Through the canopy, one can easily hear it making various shrill cries, kinds of barks, or even threatening whistles in case of an intruder. A habit that gave him another nickname in Spanish: “la llorona”, French for “weeper”.

Sometimes turns into pets

Although the species is wild, kinkajou are sometimes made into exotic pets. Their cute appearance and relatively calm nature make them popular companions in some countries. However, these animals do not like noise, do not like to be disturbed in their sleep, and are frightened by sudden movements. They can also be very agitated, destructive, or even aggressive. They can then inflict deep scratches and painful bites. variety Pothos yellow not currently considered threatened. But the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) believes the population is declining. It is threatened by deforestation and hunting aimed at extracting its meat, fur and securing the pet trade.

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