Coatis known as coatimundis, are members of the family in the genera Nasua and Nasuella. They are diurnal mammals native to South America, Central America and the southwestern United States; the name coatimundi is purportedly derived from the Tupian languages of Brazil. The coati is known in English as the hog-nosed coon. Adult coatis measure 33 to 69 cm from head to the base of the tail, which can be as long as their bodies. Coatis are about 30 cm tall at the shoulder and weigh between 2 and 8 kg, about the size of a large house cat. Males can become twice as large as females and have large, sharp canine teeth; the above measurements are for the South America coatis. The two mountain coatis are smaller. All coatis share a slender head with an elongated, flexible upward-turned nose, small ears, dark feet, a long, non-prehensile tail used for balance and signaling. Ring-tailed coatis have either a light brown or black coat, with a lighter under-part and a white-ringed tail in most cases. Coatis have a long brown tail with rings on it which are anywhere from starkly defined like a raccoon's to faint.
Like raccoons and unlike ring-tailed cats and cacomistles, the rings go around the tail. Coatis hold the tail erect; the tip of the tail can be moved on its own, as is the case with cats, but it is not prehensile as is that of the kinkajou, another procyonid. Coatis have bear- and raccoon-like paws, walk plantigrade, like raccoons and bears. Coatis have nonretractable claws. Coatis are, in common with raccoons and other procyonids, double-jointed and their ankles can rotate beyond 180°. Other animals living in forests have acquired some or all of these properties through convergent evolution, including members of the mongoose, weasel and bear families; some of these animals walk on the toes of the front soles of the back paws. The coati snout is long and somewhat pig-like – part of the reason for its nickname'the hog-nosed raccoon', it is extremely flexible – it can be rotated up to 60° in any direction. They use their noses to push objects and rub parts of their body; the facial markings include white markings on the ears and snout.
Coatis have strong limbs to climb and dig and have a reputation for intelligence, like their fellow procyonid, the raccoon. They prefer to sleep or rest in elevated places and niches, like the rainforest canopy, in crudely built sleeping nests. Coatis are active night. Overall, coatis are widespread, occupying habitats ranging from hot and arid areas to humid Amazonian rainforests or cold Andean mountain slopes, including grasslands and bushy areas, their geographical range extends from the southwestern U. S. through northern Uruguay. Around ten coatis are thought to have formed a breeding population in Cumbria, UK; the following species are recognized: Genus Nasua Nasua narica – white-nosed coati Nasua nasua – South American coati Genus Nasuella Nasuella meridensis – eastern mountain coati Nasuella olivacea – western mountain coati The Cozumel Island coati was recognized as a species, but the vast majority of recent authorities treat it as a subspecies, N. narica nelsoni, of the white-nosed coati.
Genetic evidence has suggested that the genus Nasuella should be merged into Nasua, as the latter is otherwise paraphyletic. Other genetic studies have shown. In the wild, coatis live for about seven years, while in captivity they can live for up to 15 or 16 years. Coatis are omnivores, they eat small vertebrate prey, such as lizards, small birds, birds' eggs, crocodile eggs. The snout, with an acute sense of smell, assists the paws in a hog-like manner to unearth invertebrates. Little is known about the behavior of the mountain coatis, the following is entirely about the coatis of the genus Nasua. Unlike most members of the raccoon family, coatis are diurnal. Nasua coati females and young males up to two years of age are gregarious and travel through their territories in noisy, loosely organized bands made up of four to 25 individuals, foraging with their offspring on the ground or in the forest canopy. Males over two years become solitary due to behavioural disposition and collective aggression from the females and will join the female groups only during the breeding season.
When provoked, or for defense, coatis can be fierce fighters. Coatis communicate their moods with chirping, snorting, or grunting sounds. Different chirping sounds are used to express joy during social grooming, appeasement after fights, or to convey irritation or anger. Snorting while digging, along with an erect tail, states territorial or food claims during foraging. Coatis additionally use special postures or
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