The raccoon ,sometimes spelled as racoon, also known as the common raccoon, North American raccoon, northern raccoon and colloquially as coon, is a medium-sized mammal native to North America. It is the largest of the procyonid family. Two of its most distinctive features are its extremely dexterous front paws and its facial mask, which are themes in the mythology of several Native American tribes. Raccoons are noted for their intelligence, with studies showing that they are able to remember the solution to tasks up to three years later.
Ten Facts about Common Raccoon
- They having a body length of 40 to 70 cm (16 to 28 in).
- Weight is about body weight of 3.5 to 9 kg (8 to 20 lb).
- The raccoon is usually nocturnal and is omnivorous, with a diet consisting of about 40% invertebrates, 33% plant foods, and 27% vertebrates.
- Home range sizes vary anywhere from 3 hectares for females in cities to 50 km2 for males in prairies (7 acres to 20 sq mi).
- After a gestation period of about 65 days, two to five young (known as a "kit", plural "kits") are born in spring. The kits are subsequently raised by their mother until dispersion in late fall.
- Although captive raccoons have been known to live over 20 years, their average life expectancy in the wild is only 1.8 to 3.1 years.
- Head to hindquarters, raccoons measure between 40 and 70 cm (16 and 28 in), not including the bushy tail which can measure between 20 and 40 cm (8 and 16 in), but is usually not much longer than 25 cm (10 in). The shoulder height is between 23 and 30 cm (9 and 12 in).
- Males are usually 15 to 20% heavier than females.
- The most characteristic physical feature of the raccoon is the area of black fur around the eyes which contrasts sharply with the surrounding white face coloring
- The most important sense for the raccoon is its sense of touch. The "hyper sensitive" front paws are protected by a thin horny layer which becomes pliable when wet.