Can Dentistry Help in the Discovery of the First Carnivorous Mammal in 35 Years?

OlingosWith all the geo-political problems in the world today, you may have missed a monumental historically rare discovery that was revealed on August 15th, 2012. The Smithsonian Natural History Museum made the announcement. It was discovered that a new species of carnivore was found to inhabit the Western Hemisphere. It was the first discovery of such in the last 35 years. The new species was found, misclassified, in various museums, including one in Chicago.

Dr. Marks states that the museum described the newly discovered animal as a cross between a teddy bear and a house cat. It lives in the Ecuadorian and Columbian jungles, and Andes Mountains tree tops.

Zoologists have ignored this species until now. The Smithsonian explained why it took so long to make this discovery. This animal usually comes out at night, in the Rain Forest, where it is wet and dark, a little away from normal tourist traps.

Discovering new mammals is very rare, but in this case, the animal was hiding in our plain sight. The animal specimens in museums were misclassified as belonging to a similar, but different species. This mysterious creature was a victim of mistaken ID for over 100 yrs.

Who and what is this new strange species?  It is a raccoon like animal, related to a similar, but different species called Olingos. This big eyed, rusty colored, fur ball like creature is the Olinguito. It is only two lbs, is a meat-eater, but loves insects, fruit, and plant nectar.

BUT HOW DID DENTISTRY SOLVE THIS MYSTERY? Carnivores have teeth and jaws to eat meat. But this animal’s teeth and jaws are uniquely shaped, different, and smaller than its cousin species, the Olingo.

Dr. Marks suggests that there may be exciting discoveries to come. The inhabitants of our world are not all revealed yet, and that dentistry can play a roll in finding these exciting new inhabitants of Earth.

So, if you have any questions about your teeth or jaws, or would like to know if you are a member of an undiscovered species, please contact us.