Dr. Lara Durgavich Profile picture
Mar 15, 2018 14 tweets 7 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
Categorized as 'Least Concern' by @IUCNRedList, the S. American coati ranges broadly in forested habitats throughout....you guessed it: S. America. On the slopes of the Andes it can live at altitudes of up to 2500m (~8000ft), but is more commonly found in lowlands. #2018MMM
The coati's great adaptations include the long, flexible nose & strong claws it uses to forage on the forest floor, & the ringed tail it uses for balance when arboreal. The tail = about half its overall length of ~100cm (39.5in, or roughly 3 stoats). #stoatsasmeasurement #2018MMM
The coati's competitor tonight, the aye-aye, is......unusual looking. Due to its squirrel-like tail and continuously growing incisors, it was initially classified by naturalists as a rodent. #2018MMM
We now know that the aye-aye is a lemur, a type of primate endemic to Madagascar. Though lemurs are a diverse group, the aye-aye is the only living member of its genus. #2018MMM
Once referred to as "one of the world's strangest animals" by @AMNH, the aye-aye's greatest adaptations - its large ears & specialized fingers - relate to feeding. #2018MMM
The aye-aye uses its large ears & specialized fingers for "percussive foraging". It taps on trees to listen for cavities containing insect larva, then uses its long middle finger - equipped with a ball & socket joint for extra flexibility - to extract its insect prey! #2018MMM
This makes the aye-aye the only primate to forage using echolocation! Here's a video. I'll wait. #2018MMM
In tonight's battle, coati has homecourt advantage, but the Brazilian rainforest is at a similar latitude as Madagascar & shares similarities with aye-aye's typical habitat. #2018MMM
The sun is setting. Coati, having finished foraging for the day, heads up into the tree canopy to build its night nest. (The name 'coati' derives from Tupi words for 'belt' and 'nose' due to its habit of tucking its nose to its belly to sleep) #2018MMM
The nocturnal aye-aye, on the other hand, has just begun to stir. Aye-aye hungers for something slimy, yet satisfying. #2018MMM
Coati hears an odd tapping noise & looks over to see a....strange creature moving along a branch. Detecting danger, coati "woofs and clicks" (@PerthZoo) at the intruder. #2018MMM
Aye-aye looks up from its tapping. Although its opponent is larger (4.5kg vs 2.6kg), aye-aye is not overly alarmed- that creature is no fossa! Aye-aye continues wiggling its fingers in service of finding food. #2018MMM
Coati pauses, unsure what to make of those strange digits. Coati errs on the side of caution, & takes advantage of its ability to rotate its ankle joint 180 degrees to descend from the tree headfirst. #2018MMM

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