This is probably one of my favorite species.
No, it’s not a brontosaurus, although it looks like something taken out of Jurassic
Park. It’s just a video of coatis walking in reverse! I am your host, Romi Castagnino, and I’m a conservation scientist, writer and photographer!
Every week, we’ll be introducing you to new animals caught on camera traps around the
world. South American coatis are members of the raccoon
family and are widely distributed in tropical and subtropical regions of South
America. They can even be found in high altitudes of
up to 2 500m above sea level. Its scientific name, Nasua, comes from the Latin word for ‘nose’, referring to its long snout. The other characteristic that makes this animal
unique is its long tail which is black- brown and has yellow rings. The tail is roughly
the same length as the coati’s combined head and body length, and is often held erect
in the air. Coatis use their tails not only for balance, but to communicate with each other. This species is active during the day and
spends most of its time foraging on the forest floor. They use their long snout to search for food inside crevices and under leaves.
Although coatis are mostly terrestrial, they do sleep, mate, and give birth in trees. They
are also able to walk straight down trees – head first – because their ankles can
turn 180 degrees. Males are largely solitary, while females and juveniles live in troops of about 15 to 30 individuals. Coatis are omnivores. Their diet consists mainly of fruit and insects, although they
occasionally eat small birds, reptiles and mammals. Their predators include cats such as jaguars, pumas, ocelots and jaguarundis, together
with boas and large birds of prey. Coatis emit different sounds. For example,
while foraging they use a soft whining sound that helps keep the group together. However,
when danger is detected, they woof and click to alert other members.
Next week we’ll be meeting the largest of the small species of cats. Tell us in the
comments if you know what animal it is! See you next week!