- Common Name:
- Scientific Name:
- Arctictis binturong
- Average Life Span In The Wild:
- 18 years
- 2.3 to 2.8 feet
- 24 to 71 pounds
GET A GRIP
Binturongs live in the rainforests of Southeast Asia. They belong to a family of carnivorous mammals that also includes civets. The animals spend most of their time hanging out in the treetops. When they aren’t lounging on branches, they’re looking for yummy snacks such as insects, birds, and fruit.
The animal uses its tail—which is almost as long as its body—like a fifth limb as it climbs through the forest. This tail is prehensile, which means it’s capable of gripping things. The binturong is one of only two carnivores that has a prehensile tail. (The other is the kinkajou.) By grasping onto branches and trunks with the furry extension, the binturong is able to move more easily along the trees.
PASS THE POPCORN
As they travel, binturongs rub a pungent substance produced in their scent glands onto branches and foliage. The animals use the odor to mark territory as well as to attract mates. The substance smells like buttery popcorn. With all its cool qualities, you definitely can't turn your nose up at this odd-smelling animal!