South American coati
|South American coati|
13, see text
|South American coati range. Note: Also found in west Ecuador, and west and north Colombia, see text.|
Viverra nasua Linnaeus, 1766
The South American coati (can-coon) (Nasua nasua), also known as the ring-tailed coati, is a coati species and a member of the raccoon family (Procyonidae), found in the tropical and subtropical parts of South America. In Brazilian Portuguese, it is known as quati. An adult generally weighs from 2–7.2 kg (4.4–15.9 lb) and is 85–113 cm (33–44 in) long, with half of that being its tail. Its colour is highly variable and the rings on the tail may be only somewhat visible, but its most distinguishing characteristic is that it lacks the largely white snout (or "nose") of its northern relative, the white-nosed coati.
Distribution and habitat
The South American coati is widespread in tropical and subtropical South America. It occurs in the lowland forests east of the Andes as high as 2,500 m (8,200 ft) from Colombia and The Guianas south to Uruguay and northern Argentina.
The only documented records of white-nosed coati in South America are from far northwestern Colombia, in the Gulf of Urabá region, near Colombian border with Panama. The smaller mountain coati lives foremost at altitudes above the South American coati, but there is considerable overlap.
South American coatis are diurnal animals, and live both on the ground and in trees. They are omnivorous, but primarily eat fruit, invertebrates, other small animals and bird eggs. They 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 typically live in large groups, called bands, consisting of 15 to 30 animals. Males 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. Coatis typically sleep in the trees. When an alarm call is sounded, they climb trees, and then drop down to the ground and disperse. 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 and mate with several males. Gestation period is 74 to 77 days. Captive females give birth to 1–7 young at a time. In the wild, they leave the group for giving birth in a nest built in trees, and rejoin the group with their offspring 5–6 weeks later. They usually remain with their natal group. Males generally disperse from their natal group at the age of three years. South American coatis generally live for up to 7 years in the wild, but can live up to 14 years in captivity.
- N. n. nasua (Linnaeus, 1766)
- N. n. spadicea Olfers, 1818
- N. n. solitaria Schinz, 1823
- N. n. vittata Tschudi, 1844
- N. n. montana Tschudi, 1844
- N. n. dorsalis Gray, 1866
- N. n. molaris Merriam, 1902
- N. n. manium Thomas, 1912
- N. n. candace Thomas, 1912
- N. n. quichua Thomas, 1912
- N. n. cinerascens Lönnberg, 1921
- N. n. aricana Vieira, 1945
- N. n. boliviensis Cabrera, 1956
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- "BBC Ring-tailed Coati". Archived from the original on 2009-01-14. Retrieved 2007-07-13.
- "Southern Coati". Archived from the original on 2008-07-09. Retrieved 2007-07-13.
- Linné, C. (1766). "Viverra nasua". Systema naturae : per regna tria natura, secundum classes, ordines, genera, species, cum characteribus, differentiis, synonymis, locis. 1 (12 ed.). Holmiae: L. Salvii.
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