Raccoon is a medium-sized carnivore with the long tail. It is a native mammal of North America. It is also known as the North American Raccoon. Of all the members of procyonid, raccoon is the largest species. Its body is covered with a thick greyish coat that prevents it from intense cold. Raccoon is the perhaps one of the most intelligent animals on earth. It can remember any task you teach them for about three years or so.
- Raccoons are recognized by their long banded tails and short snouts along with the rounded ears and head.
- Their limbs consist of five digits. They have short recurved claws.
- The mass of raccoons is 2 lbs (1 kg) to 40 lbs (18 kg). Males are heavier than females. As is evident from the difference in mass, raccoons are one of the most varied mammals on earth.
- The average length (excluding tail) measures around 25 cm (10 in).
- They have a shoulder height of 23 – 30 cm (9 – 12 in).
- The tail length is 0.8 – 2.0 feet.
- Northern Raccoons are slightly larger than those living in Southern part. The smallest species was found in the Southern region.
- The largest raccoon ever recorded was 140 cm (55 in) long and weighed 28.4 kg (62.6 lb).
- Raccoons are very good swimmers. They are able to swim at 5 km/h (3m/h). They can also attain a speed of 16 – 24 km/h (10 – 15 m/h) on land.
- They are almost color blind.
Read More: Do Raccoons Hibernate?
Raccoons occur in much of North America, covering the northern half of South America. They are also found across Central America.
Raccoons are able to adapt themselves in all habitats with the exception of desertic habitats. Most species find them home in tropical forests except for the northern raccoon that live in the mixed forests, urban areas, and farmlands throughout the Canada and United States.
They are most likely to sleep in wooded areas.
Feeding Ecology and Diet
Raccoons are omnivorous. They rely on animal and plants matter for consumption. This indeed depends on the season and the availability of food.
Check out: What Do Raccoons Eat?
- Most species breed in spring whereas those living in southern latitudes are known to breed all year round.
- Females litter only once a year. Gestation period lasts from 60 – 118 days.
- Females solely guard the young.
Read More: Are Raccoons Rodents?