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A Coati moment, or two

An excellent working weekend in Tucson had an unexpected furry, long-tailed highlight: on a hike up Sabino Canyon with Kate McKinnon and the other participants of her metal clay workshop, we ran into a pair of Coatis!coatitude I’d forgotten my camera, but fortunately others had theirs, and the younger coati obliged us by being visible for a few minutes, nosing around for goodies among the grit and rocks in the hill above the stream-bed, so that everyone in the group got to see it.

(Photo right by Kate McKinnon)

If you’re not familiar with the White-nosed coati (Nasua narica) — nicknamed Chulo — it’s a Sonoran desert native with a long, flexible snout, beguiling spectacle-markings, bear-like ears, a long prehensile tail, and clever grippy hands. They are related to raccoons and another snouty-taily mammal the Ringtail, all in the Procyonid family.  They are at home in arid oak-sycamore woodlands and rocky desert canyons in the American southwest and regions south, all the way to Central and South America.  Coatis are not uncommon in their range, but like owls, even though they’re there, you don’t often see them, even though they’re out and about during the early and late daylight hours.

A bit of luck for me, seeing these, because I’m working on a coati bowl right now for upcoming holiday shows, so the furry, fossicking inspiration was welcome.

Posted by Allison on Nov 18th 2009 11:48 am | 2 Comments
| View field trips,furbearers,natural history category

2 Responses to “A Coati moment, or two”

  1. Allisonon 20 Nov 2009 at 9:07 am link comment

    I finally realized why the Coati were hanging out on the creek bed: the water wasn’t flowing, but was present as isolated pool filled with small stranded fish — Gila chub — like popcorn in a bowl on a bar!

  2. More coati momentson 23 Nov 2009 at 7:47 pm link comment

    […] coatis in Sabino Canyon was an excellent stroke of luck in many ways.  Not only is it always good to see a coati, but […]

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