White-nosed coati

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White-nosed coati[1]
Nasua narica -Costa Rica-8.jpg
In Costa Rica
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Family: Procyonidae
Genus: Nasua
Species: N. narica
Binomial name
Nasua narica
(Linnaeus, 1766)
Subspecies[1]
  • N. n. narica (Linnaeus, 1766)
  • N. n. molaris Merriam, 1902
  • N. n. nelsoni Merriam, 1901
  • N. n. yucatanica J. A. Allen, 1904
White-nosed Coati area.png
White-nosed coati range. Note: Its Colombian range is more restricted, see text

The white-nosed coati (Nasua narica), also known as coatimundi /kˌɑːtɨˈmʌndi/, [3] [4] is a species of coati and a member of the family Procyonidae (raccoons and relatives). Local names include pizote, antoon, and tejón. The last, which mainly is used in Mexico, means badger. It weighs about 4–6 kg (8.8–13.2 lb).[5] However, males are much larger than females, and small females weigh as little as 2.5 kg (5.5 lb) and large males as much as 12.2 kg (27 lb).[6][7] On average, the total length is about 110 cm (43 in), about half of that being the tail length.

Habitat and range[edit]

Coati Nasua narica Side 2212px.jpg

White-nosed coatis inhabit wooded areas (dry and moist forests) of the Americas. They are found at any altitude from sea level to 3,000 m (9,800 ft),[8] and from as far north as southeastern Arizona and New Mexico, through Mexico and Central America, to far northwestern Colombia (Gulf of Urabá region, near Colombian border with Panama).[9][10] There has been considerable confusion over its southern range limit,[11] but specimen records from most of Colombia (only exception is far northwest) and Ecuador are all South American coatis.[9][10]

Coatis from Cozumel Island have been treated as a separate species, the Cozumel Island coati, but the vast majority of recent authorities treat it as a subspecies, N. narica nelsoni, of the white-nosed coati.[1][2][8][12] They are smaller than white-nosed coatis from the adjacent mainland (N. n. yucatanica), but when compared more widely to white-nosed coatis the difference in size is not as clear.[9] The level of other differences also support its status as a subspecies rather than separate species.[9]

White-nosed coatis have also been found in the US state of Florida, where they are an introduced species. It is unknown precisely when introduction occurred; an early specimen in the Florida Museum of Natural History, labeled an "escaped captive", dates to 1928. There are several later documented cases of coatis escaping captivity, and since the 1970s there have been a number of sightings, and several live and dead specimens of various ages have been found. These reports have occurred over a wide area of southern Florida, and there is probable evidence of breeding, indicating that the population is well established.[13]

Feeding habits[edit]

They are omnivores, preferring small vertebrates, fruits, carrion, insects, and eggs. They can climb trees easily, where the tail is used for balance, but they are most often on the ground foraging. Their predators include boas, raptors, hunting cats, and Tayras (Eira barbara). They readily adapt to human presence; like raccoons, they will raid campsites and trash receptacles. They can be domesticated easily, and have been verified experimentally to be quite intelligent.

Behavior[edit]

White-nosed Coati at Arenal, Costa Rica

While the raccoon and ringtail are nocturnal, coatis are active by day, retiring during the night to a specific tree and descending at dawn to begin their daily search for food. However, their habits are adjustable, and in areas where they are hunted by humans for food, or where they raid human settlements for their own food, they might become more nocturnal. Adult males are solitary, but females and sexually immature males form social groups. They use many vocal signals to communicate with one another, and also spend time grooming themselves and each other with their teeth and claws. During foraging times, the young cubs are left with a pair of babysitters, similar to meerkats. The young males and even some females tend to play-fight. Many of the coatis will have short fights over food.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Wilson, D. E.; Reeder, D. M., eds. (2005). Mammal Species of the World (3rd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0. OCLC 62265494. 
  2. ^ a b Samudio, R., Kays, R., Cuarón, A.D., Pino, J.L. & Helgen, K. (2008). Nasua narica. In: IUCN 2008. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Retrieved 26 January 2009.
  3. ^ Nasua narica (Coatimundi, White-nosed Coati) at International Union for Conservation of Nature
  4. ^ Animal Diversity Web at University of Michigan. "Coatis are also referred to in some texts as coatimundis. The name coati or coatimundi is Tupian Indian in origin."
  5. ^ David J. Schmidly; William B. Davis (1 August 2004). The mammals of Texas. University of Texas Press. pp. 167–. ISBN 978-0-292-70241-7. Retrieved 15 September 2011. 
  6. ^ North American Mammals: Nasua narica. Mnh.si.edu. Retrieved on 2011-09-15.
  7. ^ Coati (Nasua narica). Wc.pima.edu. Retrieved on 2011-09-15.
  8. ^ a b Reid, Fiona A. (1997). A Field Guide to the Mammals of Central America and Southeast Mexico. pp. 259–260. ISBN 0-19-506400-3. OCLC 34633350. 
  9. ^ a b c d Decker, D. M. (1991). Systematics Of The Coatis, Genus Nasua (Mammalia, Procyonidae). Proceedings of The Biological Society of Washington 104: 370–386
  10. ^ a b Guzman-Lenis, A. R. (2004). Preliminary Review of the Procyonidae in Colombia. Acta Biológica Colombiana 9(1): 69–76
  11. ^ Eisenberg, J., and K. H. Redford (1999). Mammals of the Neotropcs: The Central Neotropics. Vol. 3, p. 288. ISBN 0-226-19541-4
  12. ^ Kays, R. (2009). White-nosed Coati (Nasua narica), pp. 527–528 in: Wilson, D. E., and R. A. Mittermeier, eds. (2009). Handbook of the Mammals of the World. Vol. 1, Carnivores. ISBN 978-84-96553-49-1
  13. ^ Simberloff, Daniel; Don C. Schmitz; Tom C. Brown (1997). Strangers in Paradise: Impact and Management of Nonindigenous Species in Florida. Island Press. p. 170. ISBN 1-55963-430-8. Retrieved 29 March 2011. 

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