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Kinkajou (Potos flavus) Fact Sheet: Reproduction & Development

Courtship and Mating


  • Males copulate with multiple females (Kays and Gittleman 2001)

Copulation (from Kays and Gittleman 2001 unless otherwise noted)

  • Non-ritualized (AZA Small Carnivore TAG 2010)
    • A male will follow a potential mate for up to several hours
      • Zig-zags while traveling; may cover over 0.02-0.05 km2 (0.01-0.02 mi2)
      • Duration: 4-150 minutes
    • Partners may be interrupted by other interested (male) suitors, though non-confrontational interactions between rival males are also reported


Year round reproduction

  • Pregnant females present in all seasons (Figueroa and Arita 2013)

Gestation and Birth


  • Duration
    • 98-120 days (Figueroa and Arita 2013; Zeveloff 2002)
  • Managed care records
    • 115 days (Poglayen-Neuwall 1962)


  • Location of birth
    • Deliver within a hollow trunk (Figueroa and Arita 2013)
  • Brood characteristics
    • 1 infant most typically; rarely 2 (Figueroa and Arita 2013; Zeveloff 2002)
  • Infant characteristics
    • Furry (Hayssen et al. 1993)
    • Eyes closed (Figueroa and Arita 2013)
  • Weight at birth
    • 150-200 g (0.33-0.44 lb) (Figueroa and Arita 2013; Poglayen-Neuwall 1962)

Interbirth interval (time between consecutive births)

  • c. 1 year (Ford and Hoffmann 1988; Kays and Gittleman 2001)

Life Stages

Infants (from Ford and Hoffmann 1988 unless otherwise noted)

  • Care
    • Mothers provide all direct care (Kays and Gittleman 2001)
      • Nurse, groom, and carry infants
        • Young dangles from mother’s mouths while she climbs
        • Mother holds infant to her chest when at rest
  • Development
    • Eyes open at c. 7-10 days (Figueroa and Arita 2013; Pernalete 1997)
    • Consume solid food c. 8 weeks of age (Figueroa and Arita 2013; Ford and Hoffmann 1988)
    • Hang from tails by c. 8 weeks of age (Figueroa and Arita 2013)
    • Fully mobile by c. 3 months
    • Weaned at c. 4 months (AZA Small Carnivore TAG 2010)
    • Body growth during first 6 months of age
      • Body mass and length increases 12 times

Adults (from Figueroa and Arita 2013)

  • Sexually mature c. 1.5-2.2 years of age
    • Males and females reach sexual maturity at similar ages


In managed care

  • Oldest individuals
    • > 30 years of age (Weigl 2005)


Few predators

  • Kinkajou size and behavior preclude most predators (from Kays 2009)
    • Few arboreal predators within the kinkajou's distribution

Year Round Reproduction


Males and females reach sexual maturity at the same age. Reproductive activity begins between the ages of 1 and 2. Partners do not form lasting pair bonds, as a single male will copulate with multiple partners. Females may reproduce each year, and no particular seasonal patterns have been observed.

Image credit: © San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance. All rights reserved.

Page Citations

AZA Small Carnivore TAG (2010)
Figuerosa et al. (2013)
Ford and Hoffman (1988)
Hayssen et al. (1993)
Kays (2009)
Kays and Gittleman (2001)
Pernalete (1997)
Poglayen-Neuwall (1962)
Weigl (2005)
Zeveloff (2002)

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