Raccoons (Procyon lotor) Splashes in Water. By Geoffrey Kuchera | Shutterstock.com
Raccoons (Procyon lotor) Splashes in Water. By Geoffrey Kuchera | Shutterstock.com

About common raccoons.

The word “raccoon” comes from the Algonquin Indian word “aroughcoune”, which means “he who scratches with his hands”.

Raccoons do not hibernate, but they can sleep in their dens for weeks.

They are excellent swimmers and they can stay in the water for hours.

Did you know that raccoons seem to “wash” their food in water before they eat it? If they don’t have a body of water, they rub it with their paws.

These animals live for 2-3 years in the wild, but in captivity the lifespan of a raccoon can reach up to 20 years.

They are very agile and fast. They can reach a speed of up to 24 km/h (15 mph) and climb trees without much effort.

Raccoons can rotate their hind feet 180 degrees, which is very helpful for climbing trees. They have sensitive dexterous front paws that they use to hold objects and perform other actions, similar to how we use our hands.

Raccoons exhibit a complex vocalization system and communication. They can emit more than 50 different sounds, which include purring, growling, squealing and whistling or hissing.

Studies have shown that they are quite intelligent and can remember solutions to tasks for up to 3 years.

There are three raccoon species: common raccoon from North America; tropical “crab eating” raccoon, which ranges from Costa Rica through South America; and the Cozumel raccoon. There are 22 subspecies, but they are classified under the common raccoon.

A raccoon can fall from a height of 12 m and remain unharmed.

There is a theory that says the black mask of the raccoons reduces the glare and helps them see better at night, as they are nocturnal animals.

Raccoon portrait. By Miroslav Hlavko | Shutterstock.com
Raccoon portrait. By Miroslav Hlavko | Shutterstock.com
Common raccoonLeast concern
Procyon lotor60-95 cm (23-37 in)
Procyonidae1,8-10,4 kg (4-23 lb)
Carnivora2-3 years in the wild
Mammalia65 days
This species is commonFruits, vegetables, nuts, berries, insects, rodents, frogs, eggs and crayfish, or whatever they find raiding garbage cans in urban areas.
Its original habitats are mixed and deciduous forests, near water, but it has adapted very well to urban areas.Originally from North America, it can be found all over the United States except the Rocky mountains, Nevada, Utah and Arizona. Also in parts of Canada and Mexico. During the 20th century, the species was introduced in Europe and it can be found in several countries like Germany, Russia and Japan.

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