This is a Coatimundi

 

The common names for the Coatimundi are:

bullet Coatimundi
bullet Red Tailed Coatimundi
bullet Ring Tailed Coatimundi
bullet White Nosed Coatimundi
bullet Coati
bullet Quash

 

Jose'

CLASSIFICATION:

Coatis are in the raccoon family.   Procyonidae, means "before the dog" (pro [Greek] = before; cyon [Greek] = dog). The reference is actually to the star (Procyon) that rises before the dog star (Sirius), but indicates, also, that the raccoon is related to the dog.

Found from the southwestern United States to northern Argentina, they are quite adaptable, and have moved into many habitat types. Most coatis live in moist forests of Central and South America.

Jose'

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION:

bullet Body Length: 13-27 inches
bullet Tail:  13-27 inches, carried vertically
bullet Weight: 7-15 lbs.
bullet Nose: highly flexible, extending 1 - 3 inches in front of the incisor row.
bullet Ears: small, round, mostly hidden in the fur
bullet Feet: generally like a raccoon, with bare soles, and powerful, long front claws.

Coloration: Quite variable, from cinnamon-buff to black, with an individual changing with successive molts, and family groups showing a wide range. The "normal" coloration is a grizzled light and dark brown, with a distinctive mask defined by white marks above, below and behind the eye and white hair on the snout behind the black nose. The tail is more or less ringed like a raccoon and there is varying amounts of silver or yellowish on the legs and undersides.

Jose'

DIET:

Coatimundis will eat lizards and small mammals.  They will occasionally eat birds and their eggs. Coatis also like soft fruits.

ADAPTATIONS:

The stout claws and long snout work together for food gathering. They have an excellent sense of smell and Coatis will be seen sniffing along the ground. They stop and dig when they smell prey species under ground. Then, they will make a ditch with their claws and stick their snout in the dirt for another sniff.  Finally, the coati continues digging until he digs up his the prey. Like pigs, Coatimundis can also push dirt with their snouts rooting like their swine friends.

BEHAVIOR:

Although Coatimundis are excellent climbers they spend most of their time on the ground hunting. This animal spends his day hunting and even playing.  As night arrives, the Coati may be found sleeping, balanced in the fork of a tree.

Coatis are more diurnal (active during the day) than any of their kin. They are very active hunters. They are not always accepted by farmers however, because of their propensity for uprooting things while hunting.  

Coatis are the most social of Procyonids. Part of their daily routine is often spent in social grooming. Procyonids, (raccoon types)  like others of Carnivora, will use their incisors to comb hair and pull ticks and burrs.

BREEDING & GROWTH:

Coatis are the most social of Procyonids, and large bands of females and their young range over a considerable territory, moving with ripening fruit and changing insect populations. Males are usually solitary, but may hang out in small bands during parts of the year.  Individual territories can over-lap several bands.

Males will join female bands during breeding season and fend off challenging males. The canines of the males are quite impressive and are used as warning signals. The dominant male will rear up, puff up and bare his teeth, with snout turned upwards to accentuate the grimace. If the challenging male ignores the scent marks (made by anal glands and urine), and the grimacing, serious fights may ensue with injury to both combatants.

The female will leave her band to have her pups in a nest constructed in a tree hollow or crude stick nest. Two to six pups are born after a 2 1/2 month gestation period.

Newborn coatimundis' ears will open at 4 days and their eyes will open at about 11 days. The pups leave the nest within four weeks.  The mother and pups rejoin the band at 5 to 6 weeks. The coati pups will suckle for four months and stay with their mother until she leaves the band on her next pregnancy. Young coatis are full sized at one year, and mature at two years of age. Coatimundis can live up to 14 years.

STATUS: not endangered

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