The kinkajou (Potos flavus)is a distant member of the Raccoon (Procyonidae) family. They are the only member of the genus potos .They have large powerful canines yet primarily feed on ripe fruits and nectar from flowers of trees such as balsa. These incredible mammals even have a prehensile tail to help them as they clumsily climb throughout the nighttime canopy of the rainforest.
Studies have shown that the kinkajous play important roles in the makeup of forests by dispersing seeds through their feces and pollinating trees as they bury their noses deep in the flowers to suckle nectar with their long tongue. The pollen sticks to their faces as they go tree to tree, sipping nectar and swapping pollen.
I often ponder if kinkajous cared much for parakeets? Parakeets will drain the flowers by biting at the base and drinking whatever nectar falls. Being a kinkajou and finding all my flowers had been destroyed by parakeets would make my scent glands steam! (Scent glands located on face,neck and belly)It would probably give me a good reason to use my canines…..eating parakeets.
These photos were taken with some very happy clients just last week less than thirty yards from the lodge. The picture is of what I believe to be a juvenile and the presumed mother is further in the back of the Pacay tree Inga macrophylla they have been gorging on the fruits for the past couple weeks. All night long we could hear the fruits falling in the water as they jumped branch to branch discarding what they have already eaten.