Turns out finding the olinguito was not the Smithsonian research team’s original goal. Instead it was meant to be the first comprehensive study of tree-living carnivores called olingos. While the team studied more than 95 percent of the world’s olingo specimens in museums, they discovered that some specimens looked different from the others. These different looking carnivores turned out to be olinguitos.
The new mammal looks similar to an olingo, shown in this photo, but has smaller, differently shaped teeth and skull.