• IUCN Status
    Least Concern
  • Population
  • Diet
    Omnivore - eating fruit, invertebrates, other small animals and bird eggs.
  • Group
  • Size
    Body length 43-59cm, tail length 42-55cm
  • Continent
    South America
  • Lifespan
    7-8 years in the wild. 15 years in captivity.
  • Weight
  • Habitat
    Forests and Scrublands
  • Scientific Name
    Nasua nasua

Meet the South American Coatimundi


South American coatimundis (commonly known as coatis) are diurnal animals which means they are active in the daytime, and live both on the ground and in trees.

They are omnivorous, primarily eating fruit, invertebrates, other small animals and bird eggs. They search for fruit in trees high in the canopy and use their snouts to poke through crevices to find animal prey on the ground.

They are extremely intelligent like their fellow procyonid, the raccoon. Young coatis are constantly noisy and love to play, chasing one another up and down trees. As is usual among social animals, the coati is very vocal, issuing snorts, grunts, screams, whines, and chatters.

This species has an  excellent sense of smell. Their nose can move in any direction which helps them find food. The tail is very long and is used for balance when climbing and for communicating to other animals.



our cute coatis at Wolds Wildlife Park

Did you know?

Below are some interesting facts about these South American mammals.

Are coatis socialable?up arrow

Yes!  They are very socialable animals that travel in groups called ‘bands’, containing females and younger males.  These younger males leave the band when they reach maturity at around 2 years old and live alone, only re-joining the group to mate.

How many different types of coati are there?down arrow

There are three main species of coati - the white-nosed coati, the South American coati and the Nasuella olivacea.

There are also four subspecies of coati - the mountain coati, the ring-tailed (or banded-tail) coati, the Cozumel Island coati and the white-nosed coati.

Can a coati walk on two legs?down arrow

No! They always walk "quadrupedally" (on all four legs). 

However, they often stand on their two hind legs (bipedally) for short periods, this helps them reach food, or get a better look at something (similar to a meerkat).

What adaptations does a coati have to help it live in its varied habitat?down arrow

Coatis have double-jointed ankles that make them flexible and help them descend trees, they have very long tails that can be longer than their bodies which help them balance whilst climbing.

Coatis have long, strong claws that also help with climbing and are used with their extremely sensitive noses to seek out prey.

In addition to the above these curious critters are very strong swimmers and have webbed toes to help them swim.

Where does a coatimundi get is name from?down arrow

The visually descriptive name is due to the coati’s habit of sticking their noses into their bellies when they sleep. The creature’s scientific name ‘Nasua’ also comes from the Latin word meaning ‘nose’.