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13 of the cutest tree-dwelling animals in the world

By: Bryan Nelson on June 3, 2013, 5:34 p.m.
Kinkajou hiding in the trees

Photo: Kevin Wells Photography/Shutterstock

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This ridiculously adorable critter might look like a type of ferret or, perhaps, a primate, but it is actually neither. In fact, kinkajous are related to raccoons. Found in Central and South America, these little-known animals have several unusual traits, including a prehensile tail (which means it can grasp things with its tail) and feet that can turn around to run as easily backward as forward! Of course, all of these traits make them especially adept for life in the trees.

Though they are technically classified as carnivores due to their sharp teeth, 90 percent of the kinkajou diet is actually fruit. They're also relatively long-lived, capable of living 40-plus years.