Kinkajous are found in forests throughout the neotropics from Southern Mexico to Central Brazil.
Kinkajous inhabit forests and are almost entirely arboreal. It spends its days hidden in a hollow tree, sometimes emerging on hot, humid days to lie out a tree limb or tangle of vines.
Evolutionarily, kinkajous are related to meat-eating ancestors, however, they are primarily frugivorous (fruit eating). Their frugivorous diet is supplemented with flowers, honey, insects, bird’s eggs, and leaves.
Male kinkajous reach sexual maturity at 1.5 years, females in 2.25 years. The gestation period is 98-120 days. Births usually take place from April to December. Generally a single offspring is born after a 98-120 day gestation period, but twins do occasionally happen. Juveniles increase their mass by 12 times in the first six months following birth.
Kinkajous are strictly nocturnal and solitary (except for mothers and juveniles). Unlike their close relative the raccoon (which forage on the ground), kinkajous are arboreal, climbing through the trees searching for fruit, flowers, and honey. They have a long and powerful prehensile tail that facilitates their arboreal life style.
Predators include diurnal birds of prey, which take sleeping kinkajous from treetops.
In captivity kinkajous can live into their twenties and one individual at the Bronx Zoo lived to be 32 years of age.
In many places kinkajous are hunted for their dense fur. The meat of the animal may also be eaten.
Weinstein, B. 1999. “Potos flavus” (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed December 10, 2006 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Potos_flavus.html.
Nowak, R.M. 1999. Walker’s Mammals of the World. Baltimore and London, Johns Hopkins University Press.