Animal Facts

White-Nosed Coati

Scientific Name: Nasua narica

Fast Fact:

In order to find hard-to-reach food, the white-nosed coati’s forepaws are strong and mobile; excellent tools for climbing.

White-Nosed Coati

This long-nosed animal is also known as the “coatimundi,” which means “lone coati” in Guarani. The name is due to the solitary nature of the male, who prefers to travel alone for most of his life.

STATUS: These furry animals are not listed as endangered or vulnerable. Widespread throughout Central America, they are also found in bordering areas of North and South America.

HABITAT: White-nosed coatis aren’t picky about their homes. They’ll live in many different environments, from tropical lowlands to dry, high-altitude forests to grasslands. You can find them in the southern parts of Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas, large portions of Central America, and Western Columbia and Ecuador.

DIET: As omnivores, white-nosed coatis are most fond of insects, although they will also eat fruit and even small vertebrates such as mice, frogs, and lizards. When foraging, coatis keep their large muzzle close to the ground, hoping to catch a whiff of spiders, ants, beetles, centipedes, grubs, or anything else tasty.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS: The white-nosed coati is similar in appearance to the common raccoon, except for one key feature – its long, slender, protruding snout. Their fur is usually light red to dark brown, and somewhat lighter on the underbelly and on parts of the tail. This coati has characteristic white rings around the eyes as well as a white patch at the end of its nose. Its body is around 2 feet long, and the tail adds another 1 to 2 feet. Females weigh 10 to 20 pounds, while males are slightly larger.

Hit the Road, Jack

While females live in cooperative, social bands of up to forty members, male white-nosed coatis are always solitary—and they are subordinate to females. Males will live within a specific range, and will usually mate with the same band of females—whichever group happens to overlap with their territory. During breeding season, the male’s presence is tolerated by the females; he will move and forage with them, participate in grooming and sunning, and mate with them. Once the breeding season ends, however, the male had better watch out: females will chase him away and will no longer allow him near the group. The band is also hostile to any unfamiliar male at all times of the year.

Coatis are diurnal, meaning that they are active during the day. Lifespan in the wild is typically around 14 years.
Rocket Fuel