Mana Pottery coatimundi design from a six inch tile. Dec 2022.

The Coatimundi is a member of the raccoon family primarily found in the mountain regions in Central and South America. They also enjoy Arizona’s Aravaipa Canyon and in the 1980’s they were frequently seen here at the Peyote Way Church.

The name is believed to stem from the Tupian language of South American indigenous tribes “Kuati,” a word that describes the way they sleep with their nose tucked under their belly. Coati’s give birth in the trees, live in groups, and babysit each other’s young.

They use their long snout to help them forage for insects like grubs, beetles, and termites, plus the occasional frog, lizard, or mouse and enjoy fruit. Studies on coatis’ role in the ecosystem have shown that they are vital in controlling insect populations and help disperse seeds while consuming fruit, which is important for the survival of certain plant species.

While coatis are foraging, they are also using their long noses to move dirt around, essentially aerating it. The increased circulation allows the soil to better absorb water and nutrients. Unfortunately, because of deforestation and habitat conversion the Coatimundi is an endangered species.

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