Pizote

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Pizote
Image:Coati-thumbnail.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum:Chordata
Class:Mammalia
Order:Carnivora
Family:Procyonidae
Genus:Nasua
Species:narica
Binomial name
Nasua narica
(Linnaeus, 1766)

The pizote, also known as the white-nosed coati (Nasua narica) or antoon is a member of the raccoon family. It has a long shovel shaped snout that extends beyond its lower jaw, and a 20-25 inch long erect tail with 6-7 light bands on it. It has crushing molars and large canine teeth.

Pizotes inhabit wooded areas (dry forests, rain forests, cloud forests) of the Americas. Pizotes are found at any altitude from sea level to 3500 meters (11,500 feet), and from as far north as southeastern Arizona and New Mexico to as far south as Panama.

Pizotes are generally dark brown, reddish, or yellow. Their eyes are masked while their muzzles, chins, and throats are light gray. Their tails have six or seven dark bands. Their bodies range around 110 to 120 centimeters (43 to 47 inches) long, of which 50 to 65 centimeters (20-26 inches) is tail. Their normally weigh between five and nine kilograms (11-20 pounds).

They are omnivores, preferring small vertebrates, fruits, carrion, insects, and eggs. They may easily climb trees, where the tail is used for balance, but they are most often on the ground foraging. Their predators include boas, raptors, hunting cats, and tayras (tolomucos). They readily adapt to human presence; like raccoons, they will raid campsites and trash recepticles. They domesticate easily, and have been verified experimentally to be quite intelligent.

They are primarily diurnal, retiring during the night to a specific tree and descending at dawn to begin their daily search for food. However, their habits are adjustable, and in areas where they are hunted by humans for food, or where they raid human settlements for their own food,they become more nocturnal. Males are solitary, but females and young, sexually immature males form social groups. They use many vocal signals to communicate with one another, and also spend time grooming themselves and each other with their teeth and claws.

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