The coati is a mammal with a long snout and a large tail. They inhabit parts of the American Southwest, Mexico, as well as many countries in South America north of Paraguay.

They have a very accurate sense of smell, and use their long snouts to search for food, in addition to eating insects in hard-to-reach places such as in rotten trees and under rocks. Their diet consists not only of insects, but also of birds, small mammals, and fruits. At the zoo where I am working this summer, the coatis love watermelon. It is their favorite food in the whole world.

The behavorial patterns of the coati are quite interesting. The gestation period lasts 74 days, at which point the mothers gives birth to a litter of 2-7 baby coatis. Male coatis spend the majority of their lives completely alone, and only the female and baby coatis remain in groups. When a male coati baby is born, he lives with his mother, siblings, and other females until he is sexually mature after about one year. Once he is sexually active, he leaves home, and never comes back. Male coatis roam around until they find a mate. After copulation, they leave the female and go off to live in solitude again because they do not get along well with other coatis. At the zoo, there was a period of time where a three year-old male coati was living with five or six females. He seemed to be quite upset about his living conditions, and became aggressive after a few months. He severely wounded one of the females before he was placed in his own separate cage, where he remains to this day.

Co*a"ti (? ∨ ), n. [From the native name: cf. F. coati.] Zool.

A mammal of tropical America of the genus Nasua, allied to the raccoon, but with a longer body, tail, and nose.

⇒ The red coati (N. socialis), called also coati mondi, inhabits Mexico and Central America. The brown coati (N. narica) is found in Surinam and Brazil.


© Webster 1913.

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