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White-nosed Coati

White-nosed Coati
Nasua narica

Family:

Procyonidae, coatis and raccoon family

Conservation Status:

Least concern, IUCN

Distribution:

Southeastern Arizona and southwestern New Mexico through Panama

Habitat:

Tropical lowlands to dry, high-altitude forests.

Factoid:

The tail is only used for balance while climbing about in trees. They cannot hang by it.

Looks like a raccoon with a long tail held up high, and a nose stretched into a long tapering snout. Coat is grizzled brownish, tail has black rings, facemask is white (raccoon’s is black) with a white band around the muzzle. Males are larger than females.

Omnivorous, they feed on a variety of vegetables and animal matter, small rodents, snakes, lizards, insects, grubs, scorpions and fruits.  Adult males live apart from the group and must hunt on their own. Powerful shoulders, strong, blunt claws, and long flexible snouts enable them to root around in the earth, turning over rocks and logs to find food.  By feeding in a group, they effectively flush out food for one another. Adults’ long canine teeth are formidable defensive weapons against predators. Dexterous fore paws; long and sharp claws used for digging and climbing. Unlike other animals Coatis can rotate their ankles 180 degree allowing them to climb down trees head first.

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