Home > Mammals > Carnivores

Kinkajou Range Map (S Mexico to S America)
Kinkajou Range Map (S Mexico to S America)

Latin Name Potos flavus
Conservation Status Least Concern
Location S Mexico to S America
Colour Gold/Grey
Length 39 - 76 cms (15.5 - 30 inches)
Tail 39 - 57 cms (15.5 - 22.5 inches)
Weight 1.5 - 4.5 Kgs (3.25 - 10 lbs)
Life Expectancy

24 Yrs

Main Characteristics

Kinkajous have a body length between 39 and 76 cms (15.5 - 30 inches), a tail length between 39 and 57 cms (15.5 - 22.5 inches) and they weigh between 1.5 and 4.5 kgs (3.25 - 10 lbs).

Their coat is wooly in texture and gold/grey in colour. They have a strongly prehensile tail and powerful, grasping, backward turning feet to give them great agility in the trees. They have a long tongue that can be up to 13 cms (5 inches) in length and they use this to drink nectar from flowers.

They communicate using a variety of whistles, squeaks, grunts, barks and moans. They have excellent senses of touch and smell but their vision is not as developed.


Kinkajous can be found in tropical rainforests from southern Mexico to South America. They are solitary animals and are active during the night. By day they hide away in tree hollows to avoid the sun light. They are arboreal, mainly staying in the tree canopy and rarely venturing to the ground.


Kinkajous mainly feed on fruit such as melons, apples, bananas, grapes, figs and mangos. They also feed on nectar, berries, bark, leaves, insects, frogs, honey, birds and eggs.

They obtain most of the moisture they require from their food but they will drink water that has collected on leaves or in the nooks of trees.


Kinkajous breed throughout the year and after a gestation period between 98 and 120 days 1, rarely 2, young are born in a tree nest. When the youngster is between 2 and 6 weeks old its eyes will open and at 3 - 6 weeks its tail becomes prehensile.

Mothers are very protective of their young and she will carry the youngster everywhere on her belly. The young Kinkajou will be weaned at 3 - 5 months old. Males reach sexual maturity at 18 months old and females between 2 and 3 years of age.


Predators of Kinkajous include jaguars, ocelots, foxes and tayras.


There are 14 subspecies of Kinkajou:

Potos flavus arborensis - Costa Rica

Potos flavus aztecus - Veracruz, Mexico

Potos flavus boothi - N Chiapas, Mexico

Potos flavus campechensis -Yucatan, Mexico, Nicaragua

Potos flavus chapadensis -Mato Grosso, Brazil

Potus flavus chiriquensis - Panama, Belize, Costa Rica

Potos flavus dugesii - S Oaxaca, S Chiapas, Mexico

Potos flavus flavus - Guyana, Amazonas, Brazil, Venezuela

Potos flavus guerrerensis - SE Guerrero, SW Oaxaca

Potos flavus isthmicus - Canal Zone, Panama

Potus flavus megalotus - Ecuador, Colombia, Panama

Potos flavus meridensis - Venezuela

Potos flavus modestus - SW Ecuador, NW Peru

Potos flavus nocturna

Interesting Facts

Kinkajous are also known as:
Honey Bear
Sugar Bear
La llorona (the crying woman)
Mico de noche

Kinkajous are sometimes kept as pets.

Kinkajous are important pollinators in the rainforest. When they reach into flowers to drink nectar, their face gets covered in pollen and they then spread this to other plants.

Kinkajous are one of only two carnivores that have a prehensile tail, the other is the binturong.

Similar Animals

Bushy-Tailed Olingo
Harris's Olingo
Beddard's Olingo
Allen's Olingo
Chiriqui Olingo


Contact         About         Glossary         Site Map         Privacy Policy

CC 2006 - 2014 theanimalfiles.com