The coati, also known as the coatimundi, is a member of the raccoon family in the genera Nasua and Nasuella. It is a diurnal mammal native to South America, Central America, and southwestern North America. The name is purportedly derived from the Tupian languages of Brazil.
Adult coatis measure 33 to 69 cm (13 to 27 in) from head to the base of the tail, which can be as long as their bodies. Coatis are about 30 cm (12 in) tall at the shoulder and weigh between 2 and 8 kg (4.4 and 17.6 lb), about the size of a large house cat. Males can become almost twice as large as females and have large, sharp canine teeth. The above measurements are for the white-nosed and South America coatis. The two mountain coatis are smaller.
All coatis share a slender head with an elongated, flexible, slightly upward-turned nose, small ears, dark feet, and a long, non-prehensile tail used for balance and signaling.
Coatis are omnivores; their diet consists mainly of ground litter, invertebrates, such as tarantula, and fruit. They also eat small vertebrate prey, such as lizards, rodents, small birds, birds' eggs, and crocodile eggs. The snout, with an acute sense of smell, assists the paws in a hog-like manner to unearth invertebrates.