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Binturong (Arctictis binturong)

Posted on Mar 31, 2008 by in Carnivores | 4 comments

Get ready for the second-ever Daily Mammal 24-Hour Mammal Marathon!

Arctictis binturong

Number 0136

Ivan T. Sanderson calls this guy “one of the most astonishing and paradoxical animals known” in Living Mammals. I had never heard of them until Claire e-mailed me to request one, and I’m so glad she did. They’re related to sloths and to civets, and like sloths, they seem to grow algae on their fur that can give them a greenish hue. They’re nocturnal, eat bamboo, other shoots, fruit, tree frogs, and insects, and they live in Asia. Excitingly, Walker’s Mammals of the World says that binturongs make good pets—they’re very affectionate and follow their owners around like dogs! They are also known as bearcats and they have prehensile tails. Please, let’s get one! Or maybe not:

“Snarling porch sitter thought to be a binturong” from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette


  1. Jennifer: You sure made this guy look relaxed. It has to be a guy because the gals can’t relax like he is.

  2. i really enjoy the challenge you’ve set for yourself – good luck with that, and keep it up!

  3. Binturongs are not related to sloths. They are in a different superorder of mammals. In fact, binturongs are more closely related to humans than they are to sloths! Also, I have never seen a reference saying that binturongs grow algae in their fur, so you might want to double-check that. Very nice drawing though!

    • Amber, you are right on all counts. Since this drawing is more than two years old, I don’t remember what my original sources were, but I would guess that I was relying too heavily on Ivan T. Sanderson’s Living Mammals of the World at that point! Thanks for the corrections!

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