South American Coati or Ring-tailed Coati (Nasua nasua)
Coati species belong to the same family as the raccoons; they are procyonids (Procyonidae). South American Coatis or Ring-tailed Coatis are distributed throughout the South American continent except Chile. They can weigh as much as 7 kg when they are adults and reach a total length of 113 cm, with the tail taking up to half of this length. The tail is an instrument for them to keep the balance. They can live up to 14 years, although in the wild their lifespan is shorter (7 years on average). They are diurnal and omnivorous. This means they are active during the day and are able to eat a big variety of foods such as fruits, vegetables, insects, small animals and bird eggs. They are good climbers so they make use not only of the ground but also the trees, where they normally sleep. Their nose and developed sense of smell allow them to find food under the ground and rocks. Females live in groups while males are solitary. The reproduction period starts during the spring and last until the end of the summer. Females normally give birth to 3 – 4 young that open their eyes for the first time after 10 days. It takes them more than 3 weeks to learn to walk and climb. South American felines are the main wild predators of coatis but humans and dogs are also a threat for them.