In South America, ancient Tupi language-speakers are responsible for naming the coati. The name comes from the words cua for cincture, a bottom- and top-ringed column, and tim for nose. A ringed tail and a tapered snout distinguish the cat-sized, ferret-faced member of the raccoon family of mammals.
There are three kinds of coati:
• brown-nosed (Nasua nasua);
• mountain (Nasuella meridensis, N. olivacea);
• white-nosed (Nasua narica).
All coatis choose to spend most of their seven-plus-year lifespans in the treetops. They descend to the ground for exercise, predation, and socialization.
S.D. Schindler fictionalizes a coatimundi, Tupi for solitary adult male coati, relishing a foray and a picnic.