cacomistle

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cacomistle

(kăk`əmĭs'əl), small New World mammal, genus Bassaricus, related to the raccoonraccoon,
nocturnal New World mammal of the genus Procyon. The common raccoon of North America, Procyon lotor, also called coon, is found from S Canada to South America, except in parts of the Rocky Mts. and in deserts.
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. There are two species, one found in Mexico and the SW United States, the other in Central America. The North American cacomistle, B. astutus, also known as ringtail, ring-tailed cat, and coon cat, ranges north to N Colorado and S Oregon and west to E Texas. Its body is slender and squirrellike, its face pointed and foxlike. The head and body are about 15 in. (38 cm) long; the bushy tail is of equal length. The body fur is yellowish-gray, the tail ringed with dark brown and white. The face is marked with dark brown and white, but there is no mask like that of the raccoon. Swift, agile, and able climbers, cacomistles prefer regions with trees, but they live in a variety of habitats. They are nocturnally active and although fairly common are seldom seen. They are sometimes found in pairs and make dens in hollow trees, caves, rock crevices, or abandoned buildings. Cacomistles feed primarily on small animals but also eat some vegetable matter. They are classified in the phylum ChordataChordata
, phylum of animals having a notochord, or dorsal stiffening rod, as the chief internal skeletal support at some stage of their development. Most chordates are vertebrates (animals with backbones), but the phylum also includes some small marine invertebrate animals.
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, subphylum Vertebrata, class Mammalia, order Carnivora, family Procyonidae.

Cacomistle

 

(Bassariscus astutus ), a carnivorous mammal of the family Procyonidae. The body measures up to 38 cm long, the tail being somewhat longer. The animal weighs up to 1.1 kg. The body is slender and elongated, with short legs and a pointedsnout. The upper parts are yellowish brown with a black washand the underparts are lighter. The head has light patches andblack or dark brown rings around the eyes. The tail is bushy, with black and white rings. The cacomistle is distributed inNorth America, from Oregon to New Mexico, primarily inhabit-ing mountainous places. A nocturnal animal, it is a goodclimber. It feeds on small mammals, birds, invertebrates, andplants. Three to four young are born in May-June. Sometimescacomistles are kept as domestic animals to catch harmful ro-dents.

cacomistle

[′kak·ə‚mis·əl]
(vertebrate zoology)
Bassariscus astutus. A raccoonlike mammal that inhabits the southern and southwestern United States; distinguished by a bushy black-and-white ringed tail. Also known as civet cat; ringtail.