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cacomistle

[kak-uh-mis-uh l] /ˈkæk əˌmɪs əl/
noun
1.
Also, cacomixle
[kak-uh-mis-uh l, -mik-suh l] /ˈkæk əˌmɪs əl, -ˌmɪk səl/ (Show IPA)
. Also called bassarisk, ringtail, coon cat. a carnivorous animal, Bassariscus astutus, of Mexico and the southwestern U.S., related to the raccoon but smaller, with a sharper snout and longer tail.
2.
Origin
1865-1870
1865-70, Americanism; < Mexican Spanish cacomiztle, cacomixtle < Nahuatl tlahcomiztli, equivalent to tlahco- half, middle + miztli cougar
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for cacomistle

cacomistle

/ˈkækəˌmɪsəl/
noun
1.
a catlike omnivorous mammal, Bassariscus astutus, of S North America, related to but smaller than the raccoons: family Procyonidae, order Carnivora (carnivores). It has yellowish-grey fur and a long bushy tail banded in black and white
2.
a related smaller animal, Jentinkia (or Bassariscus) sumichrasti, of Central America
Word Origin
C19: from Mexican Spanish, from Nahuatl tlacomiztli, from tlaco half + miztli cougar
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Encyclopedia Article for cacomistle

(Bassariscus), either of two species of large-eyed, long-tailed carnivores related to the raccoon (family Procyonidae). Cacomistles are grayish brown with lighter underparts and white patches over their eyes. The total length is about 60-100 cm (24-40 inches), about half of which is the bushy, black-and-white-ringed tail. The animals weigh about 1 kg (2.2 pounds) and have small faces with long ears and pointed snouts. They are arboreal and nocturnal and feed on a variety of small animals, fruit, and vegetation. The gestation period is about 51-54 days, and litters contain from one to five (usually three or four) young

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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