Coati

(Nasua nasua)

Coati are dark brown, grey, or brightly rust colored on top and white or yellow/light brown underneath. The head is narrow with the nose slightly turned upward and elongated, and is very flexible. The muzzle is brown with pale spots above, below, and behind the eye. The ears are small and fringed with white on the inside rims. Their long tails are black to brown with yellow rings. They have strong claws and forelimbs to climb and dig out food from under rotted logs and can reverse the joints of the anklebone to descend trees headfirst.

They live primarily in forest habitats, including deciduous forest, evergreen forest, gallery forest, cerrado and dry scrub forest from Columbia & Venezuela to Uruguay & Northern Argentina. Wherever they live, coatis play an important mid-level role in food chains. They consume a wide range of insects, invertebrates, and plant matter (fruit, nuts, roots, leaves), and small vertebrates. They are prey for wildlife like jaguars, ocelots, jaguarundis, foxes, boas, birds of prey, and even humans.

Coatis are diurnal and maintain territories. Females stay active in their band looking after youngsters, finding food, and socializing. There appears to be a dominance hierarchy within the group; grooming helps establish bonds. Adult males are solitary most of the year and do not help raise young, so their “to-do list” is much shorter. Finding enough to eat is always a top priority. Females are far more social than males year round, but males need to make their needs known in a short period of time for breeding purposes. Coatis have a broad range of communications, including chirping, grunting, and snorting. When startled, they have been observed to leap into a tree, making clicking and woofing noises.

Information collected from https://www.altinawildlife.com/south-american-coati/ and https://animals.sandiegozoo.org/animals/coati