Monday, November 28, 2005

Animal of the Week November 28, 2005 -- Baby Luv

Ahhh, Paris, Miss Hilton, isn't she lovely? The shiny, fragrant, and spookily expressionless Paris Hilton has worked tirelessly over the past few years to raise awareness of off-the-wall animal companions. From Tinkerbell the chihauha that seems to have more eyes than it has room for them, to Cinderella the ferret adopted after filming an advert with it, to that weird pig thing, Nicole Ritchie. Paris' latest pet, Baby Luv, has inspired this week's animal of the week Potos flavus (kinkajou).

Baby Luv made headlines recently as he set about Paris' face during a shopping trip to Agent Provocateur; fortunately for the hospitality millionairess, no major harm was done and Miss Hilton went on to spend $4000 on underwear and a bull whip. In many reports Baby Luv has been described as a monkey, but that's because celebrity columnists don't give a fig about zoological accuracy. Kinkajous are actually procyonids, the family that contains racoons (OK), coatis (yeah?), cacomistles (really!), olingoes (they do exist), and (in some classifications) pandas, not monkeys at all. Maybe their prehensile tails, a similarity shared with new-world primates, has led to this confusion, but the tail is convergent evolution not a trait shared due to common ancestry. Primarily frugivorous (fruit eating), kinkajous also like honey and for this and their light golden pelage they are known as honey bears.

Paris Hilton is not the first person to own a kinkajou, they are quite popular exotic pets, but if you are thinking about getting one of your own you will need a large cage (the size of a bathroom) be prepared to spend quality time with them, clean their housing once a day, feed them loads of fruit and occasional yogurts, and put up with their nocturnal lifestyle. To help you converse about kinkajous with people all over the world, below is a list of other nationalities' words for kinkajou.

As these animals are Central and South American in origin, it's no surprise that there are six Mexican words for kinkajou, what I do find odd is that there are four Norwegian words for kinkajou—any suggestions as to why this might be would be gratefully received.

Mandarin Chinese: mi xiong
Polish: Kinkażu, wikławiec, chwytacz
Czech: kynkażu
Hungarian: kinkaju
Dutch: Rolstaartbeer, Kinkajoe
German: Wickelbär
Danish: snøhalebjørn, honnigbjørn
Norwegian: viklebjørn, honningbjørn, gripehalebjørn, snohalebjørn
Swedish: veckelbjörn, kinkaju, gripsvansbjörn
Finnish: kierteishäntäkarhu
Portugeuse: kinkajú, jupará, macaco-de-noite
Esperanto: kinkajuo, rul-vosta urso
Italian: cercoletto giallo
Spanish: mico leon, mico de noche, martucha
Mexico: marta, martucha, tancho, oso mielero, godoy, mico de noche
Honduras: micoleón, guatuza
Belize: nightwalker, martilla
Nicaragua: mico de noche, cuyusa, cuyu[s] (Matagalpa region)
Costa Rica: martilla
Panama: cusumbi, mico de noche, gato del noche, guiso
French Guiana: singe de nuit
Suriname: meti-keskesi
Venezuela: cuchicuchi, pui-pui, mono de noche
Colombia: perro de monte, oso mielero, micoleón, leoncillo, leoncito, cuchicuchi
Ecuador: martica, tutamono, chuche, cuchicuchi, cusumbo
Bolivia: mono michi
Peru: chosna, martucha, chuchumli
Brazil: jupará, macaco-de-noite
Chile: kinkqeos
Miskito: uyuk
Warao: simo anahorotu, simo anajorotu
Maya: akabmaax


At 9:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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