The raccoon is a mammal species, which is native to North America. The population of raccoons is now distributed across the European mainland, the Caucasus region and Japan. Though the original habitat of these mammals comprised of deciduous and mixed forests, their range has now been extended to include mountainous areas, coastal marshes, and even urban areas, where they are considered to be pests. Raccoons are also known as common raccoon, North American raccoon, and northern raccoon. They are the largest procyonid, with a body length of 41 to 72 cm. Read on to know some more interesting facts and amazing information about raccoons.
Facts About Raccoon
Species: P. lotor
Height: 41 to 72 cm (excluding tail)
Weight: Up to 46lb
Lifespan: 10 years on average in wild
Diet: Fruits, nuts, insects, reptiles, garbage, crops
Habitat: Wilderness and populated areas
Age of Sexual Maturity: Males- 2 years, females- 1 year
Gestation Period: 60-73 days
Number of Offspring: 3-4 on average
Interesting & Amazing Information On Raccoons
- The physical description of raccoon entails their striped face and ringed nail. They have a dense underfur, which protects them against cold and accounts for about 90% of the grayish coat sported by them. The most characteristic features of raccoons are their nimble front paws and facial mask, which are also found as themes in the mythology of many Native American tribes.
- The studies conducted on raccoons have established them as very intelligent creatures. They remember how to solve tasks for up to a period of 3 years.
- Raccoons are associated with traits like curiosity, cleverness and sharpness. They are solitary creatures, who can live in a variety of habitats and have a flexible diet, mainly consisting of about 40% invertebrates, 33% plant foods and 27% vertebrates.
- The female raccoons mate with only one male in one season and generally tend to avoid other males in that season. Usually, mating begins in the winter months and may continue till June.
- The young raccoons are born in born in a nest of leaves, in a hollow tree or log, made by the female. They grow quickly, but are blind in the first 3 weeks. They receive exclusive care from their mother, who teaches them to hunt and climb trees.
- The raccoons hunt while swimming, catching fish, crayfish, frogs, turtles, and turtle eggs to feed themselves. They catch mice and muskrats along the banks of streams and rivers and search the woodlands for insects, nuts, fruits, young birds and bird eggs.
- The raccoon is considered to be a pest in some areas, where it raids the poultry and eats corns and other crops. It is also found in more populated areas, where it scavenges for food.
- Raccoons have been hunted for their furred skin since long. Some time back, their skin was considered so valuable in U.S that it could even be exchanged as currency. They are also killed as they damage crops and poultry. Raccoons have also been introduced in other countries, like Europe and Russia, for their fur.