Image by @joelsartore | This #pollinatormonday showcases a curious kinkajou from the New York State Zoo. This furry pollinator is native to Central and South America, and is a member of the Procyonidae family, making it a distant cousin of the Raccoon. The kinkajou has ankles that can rotate 180 degrees which allows it to run very quickly down trees to evade predators like the harpy eagle. The kinkajou is often known as the “honey bear” due to its habit of raiding beehives for their honey, much to the dismay of the bees. Its short, coarse fur is natural protection against angry bee stings. When not raiding hives, its five-inch tongue allows it to easily dip into the flowers of fruit-bearing trees in the rain forest. This long tongue coupled with an insatiable sweet tooth makes the kinkajou a valuable pollinator for many fruits and flowers in the rain forest. Though classified basically as a carnivore, the kinkajou will go from flower to flower, drinking nectar, and spreading the pollen on its fur to the next tasty snack. Now that’s a handy sweet tooth!
To see another image of this kinkajou check out @joelsartore!
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