January 3, 2024
An Unexpected Find
- as seen by -Eric Januszkiewicz
While attending a research conference just outside of the Chiricahua Mountains in the American Southwest, my colleagues and I decided to explore the area in search of the local herpetofauna in between sessions. After an afternoon of hiking, we were headed back to the museum where the conference was being held when we noticed some movement just off the road. To our surprise, it was a band of white-nosed coati.
Coati (Nasua narica) are unique and fascinating little mammals. They live in groups called bands that can number up to 30 individuals. Interestingly, these bands are comprised mainly of females and their young, as the adult males are pushed away when it is outside of mating season. The band we saw was much a smaller one, but it was still a surprise to me. I had previously only seen coati in Costa Rica and had no idea at the time that their range extended all the way up into Arizona, so you can imagine my reaction when we saw them; I was ecstatic. We may not have found very many snakes, but spotting some coati certainly made for a successful and exciting outing.