One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A nocturnal raccoon-like animal with a dark-ringed tail, found in North and Central America.
Genus Bassariscus, family Procyonidae: two species, in particular B. sumichrasti of Central America. See also ring-tailed cat
- ‘The cacomistle of Costa Rica is similar to the ring-tailed cat of North America, having a very bushy white tail with black rings and white spectacles around the eyes.’
- ‘For the most part, cacomistles are solitary.’
- ‘Like their cousins the cacomistles and ringtailed cats, Kinkajous can turn their hind feet backwards, so that the clawed toes can be used when descending head-first.’
- ‘Humans will hunt the cacomistle for its fur and meat, and will kill it when it preys on poultry.’
- ‘In this terrain the cacomistle, a catlike raccoon, lives in rock crevices.’
- ‘In Utah I associate the cacomistle with the sandstone desert of the Colorado Plateau.’
Mid 19th century: from Latin American Spanish cacomixtle, from Nahuatl tlacomiztli.
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