So, here are the rules: To answer, follow us on Twitter and tweet at us with the hashtag #mysteryanimal. For example:
Hey @PopSci, is the #mysteryanimal a baboon?
And then I might say “if you think that’s a baboon, perhaps you are the baboon!” But probably not, because this is a positive environment and all guesses are welcome and also this is not a very common animal so guess whatever you want!
The first person to get it right wins! We’ll retweet the answer from @PopSci, and also update this post so your amazing animal knowledge will be permanently etched onto the internet. Show your kids! Your dumb kids who thought that was a baboon!
Update: And the winner is…@TaraBethIdaho, who correctly guessed that this creature is a cuscus! Cuscuses are marsupials native to the far northeastern corner of Australia, as well as New Guinea and a few other islands, stretching as far as Sulawesi. Cuscus is the word applied to a few species of possum in this area, as opposed to the more common possums native to the rest of Australasia, like the brushtail possum.
This one in particular is a common spotted cuscus, which is found throughout that small cuscus range. (Other cuscuses, like the Sulawesi bear cuscus, are limited to particular islands.) It’s about the size of a big housecat and lives in the dense foliage of trees, from rainforests to hardwood forests to eucalyptus forests. It has an opposable thumb and a prehensile tail, making it a very good climber, but it moves pretty slowly, so it’s often confused for a sloth or a loris. It is very fluffy! Hi cuscus!