The Pizote or white-nose coati (Nasua narica) is a relative of raccoons. It is also known as Coatimundi

How is the word pronounced? Listen below

The Maya name for the pizote is Chi’ik or Ch’we, but the Lacandon Maya call it  Ts’uts’u.

A White-nosed Coati in Costa Rica
Pizote in Costa Rica (Photo by Bruce Harlick)

It can be found in wooded areas all over Central America. It weighs about 4-6 kg and the average length of an adult, from tail to nose, is about 110 cm.

Pizotes are omnivores, that is they eat both meat and plants. They eat small vertebrates, fruits, insects, small snakes, eggs and even carrion.

Although, they are mostly found on the ground foraging, pizotes can easily climb trees where their tail is used for balance very much like squirrels.

While raccoons are active by night (nocturnal), coatis are mostly active by day (diurnal). At night, they retire to a specific tree.

The mischievious coatis move as big families. They all travel together, in bands, through the jungle, protecting each other and foraging for food.

To communicate, they use a variety of chirping, grunting and snorting sounds that express emotions like happiness, victory after a fight, anger, irritation, or claims to food while foraging.

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