FICTION

The Search for Olinguito: Discovering a New Species

40p. ebook available. further reading. glossary. index. maps. notes. photos. websites. Millbrook. Jan. 2017. lib. ed. $30.65. ISBN 9781512410150.
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RedReviewStarGr 3–6—"Nothing new under the sun," goes the old saying, but apparently there is. Consider the first "new" carnivore spotted in the Americas in 35 years—the olinguito (Bassaricyon neblina), a small furry member of the raccoon family, hiding in plain sight (though nocturnal in nature) in the Ecuadorian rain forest. Markle, impressed by the announcement of the new species in 2013, set off on her own expedition of research, contacting Kristofer Helgen and assistants Roland Kays and Miguel Pinto to document the discovery. Her lucid, brief text records the 10-plus years from Helgen's first observation of a discrepancy in a preserved specimen at the Chicago Field Museum to the big reveal at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History in Washington, DC, in 2013. With color photos, maps, a raccoon "family album," and some tips on scientific investigation, this is a fascinating glimpse into the long process in the lab and in the field to document the search for actual proof of a new species.
VERDICT This quick but wondrous look at the scientific search for the olinguito is an excellent addition to science collections.—Patricia Manning, formerly at Eastchester Public Library, NY

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