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South American Coati

The South American Coati, or Ring-tailed Coati (Nasua nasua), is a species of coati from South America. It is native to Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Surinam, Uruguay and Venezuela.


South American Coatis are diurnal animals, and they live both on the ground and in trees. They typically live in the forest. They are omnivorous and primarily eat fruit, invertebrates, other small animals and bird's eggs. Coatis search for fruit in trees high in the canopy, and use their snouts to poke through crevices to find animal prey on the ground. They also search for animal prey by turning over rocks on the ground or ripping open logs with their claws.

Females generally live in large groups, called bands, consisting of 15 to 30 animals. Males, on the other hand, are usually solitary. Solitary males were originally considered a separate species due to the different social habits and were called "coatimundis", a term still sometimes used today. Neither bands of females nor solitary males defend a unique territory, and territories therefore overlap.

Group members produce soft whining sounds, but alarm calls are different, consisting of loud woofs and clicks. When an alarm call is sounded, the coatis typically climb trees, and then drop down to the ground and disperse. Coatis typically sleep in the trees. Predators of the South American Coati include foxes, jaguars, jaguarundis, domestic dogs, and people.


All females in a group come into heat simultaneously when fruit is in season. Females mate with multiple males. Gestation period is 77 days. Females give birth to 2-4 young at a time, which are raised in a nest in the trees for 4-6 weeks. Females leave the group during this time. Females tend to remain with the group they were born in but males generally disperse from their mothers' group after 3 years.


South American Coatis generally live for up to 7 years in the wild, but can live up to 14 years in captivity.


The South American Coati has 13 receognized subspecies:

Nasua nasua nasua

Nasua nasua aricana

Nasua nasua boliviensis

Nasua nasua candace

Nasua nasua cinerascens

Nasua nasua dorsalis

Nasua nasua manium

Nasua nasua molaris

Nasua nasua montana

Nasua nasua quichua

Nasua nasua solitaria

Nasua nasua spadicea

Nasua nasua vittata

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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article South American Coati

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