Fun Coati Facts For Kids

Anusuya Mukherjee
Jan 02, 2023 By Anusuya Mukherjee
Originally Published on Aug 05, 2021
Edited by Monisha Kochhar
Fact-checked by Smriti Chaudhary
Interesting Coati facts include that this animal is often seen in the Southwestern United States.

South American Coatis, also commonly known by the name Coatimundi, are raccoon-like, diurnal animals, and they can live both on trees and on the ground. Their natural habitat is among various forests and can be spotted even in the United States' southern states.

They typically prefer higher elevations up to 9,850 ft as they are great climbers because of their strong claws.

For the same reason, their unique anatomy makes them powerful swimmers. Depending on where they live, these animals come in different colors such as brown, whitish, red, and gray and they have a ringed tail.

Derived from Brazil's Tupian languages, the name is pronounced as 'Co-what-i'. The word Coati or Kua'ti is a combination of 'Cua' and 'Tim', meaning 'belt' and 'nose', alluding to how they sleep with their noses tucked into their bellies.

If you plan to get a Coati as a pet, they can cost you around $500-$1,500 if you buy from a reputable breeder. These pet Coatis are born in captivity and will need similar vaccines given to pet dogs and cats. Read on to learn interesting facts about Coati.

If you enjoy reading white-nosed Coati facts, then check out stoat and raccoon dog facts for more such interesting content.

Coati Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Coati?

White-nosed Coati, often known by the name Coatimundi or Coatimondi, is from the class Mammalia, order Carnivora, family Procyonidae, genus Nasua and Nasuella. Though they look like a combination of a raccoon, lemur, monkeys, Coatis are part of the raccoon family officially, along with olingos and red pandas.

What class of animal does a Coati belong to?

Coatis are diurnal mammals in the genera Nasua and Nasuella. The Coati has four subspecies – the Cozumel Island Coati, the Ring-tailed Coati or banded tail Coati, the mountain Coati, and the white-nosed Coati.

How many Coatis are there in the world?

It is not clear in terms of numbers how many Coatis are in the world at this time. However, they are classified as having a decreasing population in the Least Concern species.

Where does a Coati live?

They are furry animals native to South America. They are also commonly seen in Central America, southwestern United States, but can also be found in New Mexico and Arizona.

What is a Coati's habitat?

Depending on the species, the Mountain Coati (Nasua nasua) can be found in diverse regions including dense forests, tropical rainforests, mountains, deserts, or grasslands. They sleep in higher, elevated places.

Who do Coatis live with?

Coatis are a highly social species; they live in groups called bands. These bands usually consist of 12-20 Coatis and are rarely seen in bands of 30.

The majority of these bands are occupied by females and their young ones, while adult males are solitary unless it is breeding season. The entire group will leap into trees when surprised emitting 'woofs' and clicks.

How long does a Coati live?

Ring-tailed Coatis can survive up to seven to eight years in the wild. Under human care, their lifespan extends to 14 years.

How do they reproduce?

The Nasua narica or white-nosed Coatis' breeding season starts with the rainy season when food is plentiful. Females reach sexual maturity at the age of two, while adult males reach one year later.

During this mating season, male Coatis joins the band to mate with all receptive females.

Once the female is pregnant, it leaves the band and builds a sturdy nest on top of tall trees or a rocky ledge. The gestation period is about three months, and she gives birth to three to seven babies at once.

The female spends bonding alone with the newborns for the next six weeks and later joins the band with the younger ones.

The females are mainly responsible for taking care of the kittens by providing food and the males keep a watch on the potential predators that may attack the band. As they are very social, it is not just the mother's responsibility but other females also lend a hand in taking care of the young within the bands.

What is their conservation status?

The population of Coatimundi is not studied well. Still, there is an assumption that their numbers have been declining relatively because they fall prey to many natural predators and also face threats from humans from hunting, deforestation, and degeneration.

In some parts, humans feed on Coatis and catch them for their skin, which is also a potential reason for their decline.

These animals have populations varying from region to region, with the most significant number of members in a band were identified as 150 so far. They are not threatened or called endangered species and are listed as Least Concern by the IUCN.

Coati Fun Facts

What do Coatis look like?

White-nosed Coatis or Coatimundi species face has gray and black marking with a white spot around their eyes, cheek, and at the end of their muzzle. Dark and light rings are seen on the tail of most Coati species.

They have thick fur that is reddish to light brown and lighter in color on the body's bottom side with black color on the back. Coatis have a long, highly sensitive pig-like snout that can rotate in all directions for about 60 degrees.

They use this snout to forage for food and to push objects around.

Their ankles are extremely flexible and double-jointed, enabling them to descend trees with headfirst posture. They also have strong jaws and claws helpful for eating and digging with a tail almost as long as the body that provides balance on the trees.

How cute are they?

These small mammals are raccoon-like, friendly, and gentle most of the time. The Coatimundi is cute when it approaches humans and gathers in mobs for food. This scenario is commonly seen in Mexico.

How do they communicate?

The South American Coati is highly communicative; it uses chirping sounds to express appeasement after fights, joy during social grooming, or to convey anger or irritation. Depending on their moods and intentions, they also use grunting or snorting sounds while digging, searching for food, or territorial claims during foraging.

The Coatimundi can use body postures to convey simple messages through moves; for example, an aggressive disposition is portrayed by jumping at an enemy or baring teeth.

If they want to signal submission, they hide their nose between the front paws. From one Coati to another, they recognize each other by voices, looks, or smells.

How big is a Coati?

One of the peculiar physical characteristics of a white-nosed Coati is that its tail and body are close to the same size. They measure roughly about 26 in (66 cm) in length.

The Coati's semi-prehensile tail is used for balance and is often held erect above the body while moving on the trees or swimming. They can get longer than raccoons, although are not as husky.

How fast can a Coati move?

The Coatimundi are pretty fast in their movements and are good at jumping from tree to tree. They can travel at a speed of about 15 mph.

How much does a Coati weigh?

White-nosed Coatis weigh around 6-18 lb (3-8 kg), with males slightly bigger than females.

What are their male and female names of the species?

There are no specific names for males and females in the Coati species. Both of them are called Coatis.

What would you call a baby Coati?

Baby Coatis are called kittens. These kittens keep their eyes closed for about ten days. They start walking by the time they are 6-10 weeks of age.

What do they eat?

Coatimundis look for food by climbing trees for fruits, and on the ground too. They enjoy snacking during the day, spending time probing between the rocks and under the piles of leaves with their long, flexible nose. They eat fruits, invertebrates, lizards, small mammals, frogs, birds, and their eggs as they are omnivorous.

Are they dangerous?

Coatis can get aggressive when provoked. In defense, they are fierce fighters using their sharp teeth, strong jaws, and claws to their advantage, making it difficult for predators to get hold of these species.

In the past, Coatis may have attacked humans but the motive is unclear. On the other hand, they can be defenseless and fall prey to more giant wild animals in the forest.

Would they make a good pet?

Predominantly, the South American and white-nosed Coatis are commonly kept as pets or in captivity around Central, North, and South America. Mountain Coatis are extremely rare to be in captivity. As these species' natural habitat is among forests, the idea of keeping them as pets may not be a good one.

Did you know...

Among the Coati animal facts are that Coatis have a critical role to play in the ecological system; they help in controlling pests because of their foraging behavior.

They are likely to play a significant role in dispersing seeds around and providing food to their natural predators who are animals such as maned wolves, boa constrictors, anacondas, mountain lions, tayras, jaguars, foxes, and ocelots.

Do people keep Coatis as pets?

A white-nosed Coati is friendly and fun but also challenging to train, and we cannot control their radical behavior as compared to a pet dog. These animals generally prefer spacious climate-controlled outdoor spaces and need careful watching.

Although some people have Coatimundi kept as pets, these high-energy mammals do not do very well in small cages or a zoo; hence, it is not widely practiced.

Comparisons with rodents and raccoons

These animals belong to a raccoon family with the scientific name Nasua nasua, which may also look very similar to a monkey. With their long snout, they look more like raccoons, not rodents. They are a member of the family Procyonidae, along with the cacomistle, the kinkajou, and the olingos.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other mammals including anteater, or bharal.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our Coati coloring pages.

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Written by Anusuya Mukherjee

Bachelor of Arts and Law specializing in Political Science and Intellectual Property Rights

Anusuya Mukherjee picture

Anusuya MukherjeeBachelor of Arts and Law specializing in Political Science and Intellectual Property Rights

With a wealth of international experience spanning Europe, Africa, North America, and the Middle East, Anusuya brings a unique perspective to her work as a Content Assistant and Content Updating Coordinator. She holds a law degree from India and has practiced law in India and Kuwait. Anusuya is a fan of rap music and enjoys a good cup of coffee in her free time. Currently, she is working on her novel, "Mr. Ivory Merchant".

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Fact-checked by Smriti Chaudhary

Bachelor of Technology specializing in Information Technology

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Smriti ChaudharyBachelor of Technology specializing in Information Technology

Smriti, a student data scientist, and coder, is pursuing her Bachelor of Technology at K.J. Somaiya College of Engineering. She has achieved top rankings in the International English Olympiad, National Spelling Bee, and PSAT/SAT English Section. She is experienced in content creation and editing for various academic institutions.

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