Potos flavus

CLASS: Mammalia
ORDER: Carnivora
FAMILY: Procyonidae

32-44 inches in length; 4-10 pounds

Southern Mexico, Central and South America

Tropical forests; treetops

Wild - Plant materials, primarily fruits, nuts and legumes, insects, eggs, sometimes even birds
Zoo - Fruits, vegetables, meat


  • Round head with round, short ears and a blunt snout
  • Protruding eyes with brown irises
  • Long trunk with short limbs
  • Thick, soft gleaming fur that is olive brown; yellow brown or reddish brown on top and yellow-brown on the underside
  • Curved sharp claws
  • Prehensile tail


  • Prehensile tail helps to keep balance and is used to grasp objects
  • Able to run along thin branches in treetops by swinging arms out and forward and setting the hands on the inside of the branch
  • Narrow extendible tongue used to pull out soft meat of fruit and to lick nectar, eat insects and honey
  • Almost entirely arboreal; spends days in hollow tree; forages at night
  • Travels alone or in pairs
  • Also known as "honey bears"
  • Barks loudly when disturbed; also gives a rather shrill, quavering scream (can be heard for nearly a mile) while feeding at night
  • Allergic to strawberries and dairy


  • One, rarely two young are born in a tree hollow at any time during the year
  • Newborn is about 12 inches long and is a silver gray color
  • Tail attains prehensile qualities at 2-3 months and adult coloration at 1 year

"Grzimek's Animal Life Encyclopedia", Vol. 12, Mammals III, Dr. Bernhard Grzimek