Like many carnivores, the white-nosed coati is social, living in groups called “bands”. These bands (consisting mostly of related females and their young) forage, play and sleep together. It can be easy to lose each other in the dense forests they call home, though. To keep in touch with each other, they communicate using a host of chirps, grunts, and squeals. Some of these calls can even be heard in the ultrasound range! Bands are pretty tight knit; one researcher described what looked like altruistic behavior as several coatis tried to fight off a boa constrictor that had captured one of their band-mates! Get yourself a band-mate that cares for you like the coatis do!
Painting by Emily Grout. Emily studies the coordination of communication in social carnivores. You can read more about the project here, and you can read about Emily’s latest field season with the coatis here.
Facts by Alexander Vining and Emily Grout
Source: Janzen, D. H. (1970). Altruism by coatis in the face of predation by Boa constrictor. Journal of Mammalogy, 51(2), 387-389.