Coatis are the members of the raccoon family, Procyonidae. All are arboreal. Most are
mammals living in the lower elevations of temperate
and tropical regions, in areas rich in water
Procyonids are omnivores, eating insects, crayfish,
crabs, fishes, amphibians, reptiles, birds,
small mammals, nuts, fruits, roots, and young
plants. Procyonids eat what is available, including
carrion, depending on season, locale, and availability.
Red pandas eat bamboo, honey, grass,
vines, other plants, and some meat.
Coatimundis inhabit South American lowland forests and grasslands, and dry, high-altitude forests. They have long, furry, ringed tails, are fine climbers, and live in trees and on the ground. Unlike most Procyonidae, they are diumal. Their bodies look like those of other raccoons, and their front limbs have long claws. Males grow to 4 feet long and weigh fourteen pounds, while females are 3.5 feet long and weigh ten pounds. They are a yellow-red color on their bodies, while their faces are black, with white spots around each eye and on each cheek. Their throats and bellies are also white. Coatis eat insects and other arthropods, crabs, frogs, lizards, mice, and reptile eggs. Adult males are solitary but females and young live in bands of up to twelve members. Mating occurs in February or March, when a visiting male impregnates each adult female in a band. Gestation is 2.5 months, and about a month before birthing, each female leaves the band and builds a tree nest. There, she gives birth to up to five babies, each weighing six ounces. Babies are nestbound for six weeks. Then mother and young rejoin the band. Life spans of coatis are seven to nine years in the wild and up to fourteen years in captivity.
Genus and species: Nasua nasua (ringtailed coatimundi), N. narica (white-nosed coati), N. nelsoni (island coati); Nasuella olivacea (mountain coati)
Geographical location: Central and South America
Habitat: Mostly lower elevations of temperate and tropical regions, in areas well supplied with water and trees
Gestational period: 2.5 months
Life span: Ten to thirty years, depending on species
Special anatomy: Dexterous five-toed front paws; sixth, thumblike toe; prehensile tail
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