Name: coatis – also known as coatimundis – are a group of medium-sized mammals similar to racoons. There are four species including the white-nosed coati (Nasua narica), South American coati (Nasua nasua), eastern mountain coati (Nasuella meridensis), and western mountain coati (Nasuella olivacea).
Appearance: coatis have slender heads, with distinctive pointed snouts, and long tails.
Size: they measure around 30 to 70 cm and weigh between 2 to 8 kg – although the mountain species are often smaller.
Diet: coatis are omnivores, eating a wide range of foods including tarantulas, fruit, lizards, rodents, and birds eggs. They use their excellent sense of smell and strong paws to dig through the undergrowth for food.
Did you know: coatis have long tails which often have distinctive markings. They hold their tails up above their heads which means they keep track of each other when they move through the vegetation. They are also able to rotate their ankles more than 180 degrees! This allows them to climb up and down trees headfirst.
Location: coatis live in a range of habitats from hot and arid areas to humid Amazonian rainforests and even cold mountain slopes. Their range stretches from the southwestern US down to Uruguay.
Where to see coatis
According to reports submitted to WildSide, you can see coatis in the following places:
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Photo credit: JosephJR under a Creative Commons licence from Pixabay