White-nosed Coati

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The White-nosed Coati (Nasua narica), also known as the Pizote or Antoon, is a species of coati and a member of the Procyonidae (raccoon family). In Mexico, it is often referred to as Tejón, which otherwise means badger.

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Habitat and range

White-nosed Coatis inhabit wooded areas (dry and moist forests) of the Americas. They are found at any altitude from sea level to 3,500 m (11,500 ft), and from as far north as southeastern Arizona and New Mexico to as far south as Ecuador.

Feeding habits

They are omnivores, preferring small vertebrates, fruits, carrion, insects, and eggs. They can climb trees easily, where the tail is used for balance, but they are most often on the ground foraging. Their predators include boas, raptors, hunting cats, and Tayras (Eira barbara). They readily adapt to human presence; like Raccoons, they will raid campsites and trash receptacles. They can be domesticated easily, and have been verified experimentally to be quite intelligent.

Behavior

They are primarily diurnal, retiring during the night to a specific tree and descending at dawn to begin their daily search for food. However, their habits are adjustable, and in areas where they are hunted by humans for food, or where they raid human settlements for their own food, they become more nocturnal. Adult males are solitary, but females and sexually immature males form social groups. They use many vocal signals to communicate with one another, and also spend time grooming themselves and each other with their teeth and claws. During foraging times, the young cubs are left with a pair of babysitters, similar to Meerkats. The young males and even some females tend to play-fight. Many of the Coatis will have short fights over food.

Gallery

White-nosed Coati at Irazú Volcano, Costa Rica

White-nosed Coati on Mt. Hopkins near Madera Canyon, Arizona

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