Saturday, September 15, 2007

Coatimundi (Nasua nasua )

(c) 2007, Tom Lera

The Coatimundi (Nasua nasua ) is a member of the raccoon family (Procyonidae); a diurnal mammal native to South, Central and south-western North America.
The Coati is a raccoon-like carnivore but is more slender and possesses a longer snout. It is a nosy, busy little creature with an insatiable appetite. The Coati is gregarious and noisy as it travels about in groups of from 6 to 24, holding its tail almost erect and chattering with others.
This grizzled gray-brown mammal grows 30 to 55 inches long and stands 8 to 12 inches high at the shoulder. It can weigh from 10 to 25 pounds. Males are almost twice as large as females.
The Coati has a long snout that is white near the tip and around the eyes, which often have dark patches above. The Coati has small ears, dark feet and a long, thin tail (as much as 2 feet long) with 6 or 7 dark bands.
Coatis are diurnal, spending most of the day foraging for food, which includes insects, lizards, roots, fruits, nuts and eggs. They are very fond of fruit, especially the manzanita berry and are very easy to see in the jungle foraging for food.
Coatis apparently mate in early spring and deliver a litter of 4 to 6 young after a gestation period of about 11 weeks. The female educates and feeds the young from the den site, usually a rocky niche in a wooded canyon.
Natural enemies include jaguars, hawks, eagles and humans.

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