Coatis are these long animals with a long snout. They look nothing like raccoons, yet they are family. They range from the southwestern United States in Arizona to Argentina and Uruguay. In Costa Rica you can see them in the river woodlands of Tortuguero. Join me to discover some secrets about them:
1. Coatis are carnivores that feed on a variety of invertebrates such as beetles, grubs, ants, termites, spiders, scorpions, and land crabs, and some other animals like lizards, frogs, small rodents, and some fruit. They will also feed on reptile eggs.
2. The males are significantly larger than the females and may be more than 1.27 m long and may weigh up to 25 pounds.
3. In the wild they live about 9 years and nearly 20 years in captivity.
4. Male coatis are typically solitary except during breeding season and are active during the night, but females and their young usually form small groups called bands of 4 to 20 individuals.
5. The breeding season is in February and March. During this time the male is subservient to the female. The closest dominant males to a given band join temporarily. The dominant male breeds with all the females in season from the band. Soon after mating, the male is expelled from the band. Then females construct nests of sticks and leaves in a secluded area, usually in a tree.
6. Their ankles are double jointed and extremely flexible, enabling the animal to descend trees headfirst.
7. Coatis are not endangered, but their numbers are reducing fast. They are hunted by humans for food and for damaging crops.
8. They live in a wide variety of terrain, such as the lowland rainforests, bushy and rocky terrain, though they are usually found in heavily forested areas.