Sunday, January 20, 2013

White-nosed Coati

Occasionally I come across animals other than birds.  The White-nosed Coati is one of those animals.  You may have seen one in a zoo or, if traveling, in Central or South America.  I saw this one in the Santa Rita Mountains in Arizona.  Southwestern United States forms the northern border for the coati. The coati is a member of the raccoon family.    

Raccoons are common in Wisconsin and so is the coati in his homeland.     
A big male coati could weigh eighteen pounds and by guessing, this one looks to be that size.  Males are solitary and I will leave it up to you to guess the gender of this one.  It was alone.

Due to the solitary life style of the males, they were singularly called ‘coatimundis’ and once thought a separate species. 

Contrarily, the females lead a highly social life of up to twenty-five individuals apart from the males, except during breeding season.

The coati has a thick skin and non-retractable claws and claimed to be a formidable fighter against predators such as the jaguar. 

He can climb a tree if an escape is prudent and returns to the ground headfirst with flexible wrists that rotate backwards. 

His nose isn’t deformed it’s pliable. He searches the leaf litter for invertebrates and seeds, but eats a wide variety of foods.  His tail is long, but useless for gripping.  It's used more for balance or signaling others, ‘This is my food and you stay away’.    

Happy to be foraging in the daylight, this one wasn’t shy and stayed around for a while.  He was quite entertaining and made a different sort of Feather Tailed Story for me.