The coati is a medium sized mammal with a grizzled-brown color; its semi-prehensile tail is long with indistinct bands. They have a long pointed snout and a flexible nose with a tough nose pad. They have white spots above and below their eyes. Their ears are small. They have 5 toes on each foot and walk flat-footed (like a human). coatis live in mountain forests or occasionally in rocky wooded canyons and usually near water in the South Eastern part of California.
Their cheek teeth are blunt, not sharp, which is an adaptation to a varied diet. They eat invertebrates (including scorpions and tarantulas), lizards, fruit, berries, nuts, and bird and reptile eggs. They use their nose to root through leaf litter or in the ground for grubs and tubers. They will pull apart rotting logs to eat the insects inside.
Coatis are more diurnal and social than their relatives, the racoon and ringtail. They will spend their day foraging for food and in mutual grooming.
The females will live in groups of 10 to 30, and the males will only join them to mate, leaving them to have 4-6 young born in a maternity den.