Hi guys its Issue #7 of Impurest Cheese’s Guide to Animals. Last week the Blanket Octopus drew in the crowds like no creature before it ever has. This week’s animal was requested by @laflux. Hope you guys enjoy.
Issue #7 – Ring Tailed Coati
Kingdom – Animalia
Phylum – Chordata
Class – Mammalia
Order – Carnivoria
Family – Procyonidae
Genus – Nassu
Species – nassu
Related Species - There are four species of coati found across the genus Nassu (the lowland coatis) and the sister taxon Nassuella (the mountain coatis) (1)
Coatis are medium sized mammals which grow up to 110cm long (although a good portion of that is tail) and weighs on average 2kg. The species is mostly arboreal but is adaptive enough to live in other environments when forced to leave their forest home. One of the most distinctive features of all Coati species is the pig like nose that’s houses an acute sense of smell that earned it the alternative name of the Hog Nosed Racoon.
Female Coatis live and hunt in groups with the males living solitary lives often on the edge of the foraging territory of a ‘band’ of females. While classified in the Order Carnivoria, Coatis much like their relatives the Raccoons, Dogs and Bears, are omnivorous with fruit making up a large part of their diet. While fairly aggressive in defence of their families Coati are prey themselves to predators such as Jaguars (Panthera onca) and Harpy Eagles (Harpia harpyja). In addition juveniles are sometimes taken by White Headed Capuchin Monkeys (Cebus capuchinus) as well (2)
When ready to mate all the females of a Coati band will come into heat all at once. Those which become impregnated will then leave the group for a period of time, create a breeding nest in a tree cavity and return once the pups are six weeks old and mobile enough to keep up with the band. Coatis are house trainable and the ones in captivity can be sustained on fruit and insects alone. While feeding is easy the species needs to be kept busy and requires regular vaccinations for both cat and dog diseases making it a costly pet to keep. In addition current UK legislation makes owning the species within the nation and her territories illegal. (3)
Five Fun Coati Facts
The name Coati comes from the Tupi words Cua (Belt) and tim (Nose). This name probably came from the animals habit of sleeping with its nose resting on the white band on its belly
Coatis (and a few of their relatives) are double jointed and have the ability to turn their ankles more than 180 degrees around. This comes in handy when descending down trees head first.
The resin from the Trattinickia tree is highly sought out by Coatis from Panama. They rub the material over their fur although so far the purpose of this behavior is currently unknown.
Recently a wild population of Coatis has been seen far outside their natural range in Cumbria, England. It’s assumed the animals were escaped pets that were abandoned after new legislation made their private ownership illegal (4)
While Coatis are not endangered the population of the Cozumel Island sub-species is considered 'in danger of extinction' due to human activity encroaching on their island homes.
(1) – www.arkive.org
(2) - Perry S., Rose L. (1994). "Begging and transfer of coati meat by white-faced capuchin monkeys, Cebus capucinus". Primates35 (4): 409–415.
(3) - Woolas. P (2007). The Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976 (Modification) (No.2) Order 2007. Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
(4) - http://www.thewestmorlandgazette.co.uk/news/8244839.Coati_numbers_on_the_increase_in_South_Lakeland/
 - http://img3.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20130505081536/animalofthewould/images/0/0c/South_American_Coati.jpg
 - http://ichef.bbci.co.uk/naturelibrary/images/ic/464x261/s/so/south_american_coati/south_american_coati_map.gif
 - http://cdn2.arkive.org/media/91/91B87AC8-AC4D-4213-ADFE-A7CA18BE9469/Presentation.Large/South-American-coati-young-.jpg
 - http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-sWx6C1w3uzU/UkhCIZUo3DI/AAAAAAAADNc/DoRh613I7mo/s400/IMG_8584.JPG
Hope you guys enjoyed the insight into this crafty creature. Drop me a comment with an animal you want explored in the next issue