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Family of South American Coatis (Nasua nasua) crossing the Transpantaneira in the Pantanal, Brazil.

South American Coati

(Nasua nasua)

These are some of the cutest critters you are likely to run into in the tropical forests of Central and South America: the Coatis. The South American Coati is one of three coati species.

They make look like a cross between a ringtailed lemur and an anteater, but they are actually members of the same family as the raccoon, the Procyonids! See how they’re related in the OneZoom interactive tree of life:

Coatis have an unusual social structure. Females form large bands with their young offspring, while adult males are solitary!

I saw this large band of females and their young crossing the Transpantaneira highway in the Pantanal wetlands of Brazil.