Interesting facts about raccoons

Posted on Mar 11, 2022      85

Perpetually restless, curious and hyperactive raccoons are creatures beloved by many. They are even kept as pets, although it must be admitted that this is not a simple task. There are no places in the house where a bored raccoon can’t get, and it is not only useless to lock all the drawers and doors, but even cruel - because of the impossibility to get where they want, the raccoons become hysterical, sometimes turning into depression. So it is better to think twice before getting such an animal in your house.

Facts about raccoons

  • These animals are not afraid of people, and often climb into homes to steal there something to eat.
  • Initially raccoons were found only in the New World, but in Europe the raccoon-crawler was brought by explorers. This species has perfectly acclimated to the expanses of Eurasia.
  • In terms of zoology, raccoons are distant relatives of bears.
  • After the birth of cubs, the female feeds them with milk several times an hour, up to 20-25 times a day, with abrupt breaks for sleep.
  • The cubs are born deaf and blind. They do not develop these senses until about the third week of life.
  • Raccoons have extremely sensitive receptors on their paws that can provide the animal with complete information about the object they are touching, even if they do not look at it. Therefore raccoons are so fond of touching and twisting everything they can get their hands on.
  • Their hind legs are incredibly flexible, with joints that can bend 180 degrees.
  • Unlike most other mammals, the raccoon, having climbed a tree, can fearlessly go down head over heels.

  • Female raccoons always have reserve burrows, where she can urgently move her cubs in case of danger. Sometimes they have ten or even more such backup holes.
  • Raccoons often live in tree hollows or between their roots. They don’t dig holes, but willingly occupy empty ones, dug by someone else.
  • Because of their sensitive whiskers capable of sensing the slightest whiff of wind and excellent night vision, raccoons can run at top speed even in complete darkness without fear of crashing into something and getting hurt.
  • When in a desperate situation, a raccoon will often pretend to be dead, hoping that a predator will be spared carrion.
  • Like cats, raccoons can jump from great heights and land softly. Reliably documented cases where they jumped from a height of over 10 meters without harm to themselves.
  • In captivity, they can live over 20 years, but in the wild, their average life span is usually half that.
  • Surviving in the winter is difficult, and raccoons stockpile food and huddle together in groups for warmth. Sometimes, up to a dozen individuals can winter in a single burrow.
  • Raccoons inhabiting warm areas don’t hibernate, but those living in the north usually sleep all winter. To tell the truth, their sleep is extremely sensitive and they wake up at the slightest signs, ready to defend or flee.
  • These animals are very intelligent. Those of them that live at home, for example, usually quickly learn how the water taps, and easily open them when they want water.
  • The Latin name of the star Procyon means “raccoon” in this ancient language.
  • The raccoons’ front paws closely resemble human hands.

  • These animals are lucky with their immunity - they are not afraid of most diseases. However, at the same time, they can still carry them.
  • In their taste preferences, raccoons are not too picky. Small rodents, birds and their eggs, fruits, berries, scraps of human meals - they willingly eat everything.
  • An adult raccoon can reach a weight of 10-12 kg, which is comparable to the weight of the Maine Coon, the largest breed of cat.
  • After the discovery of raccoons expedition of Christopher Columbus, scientists long could not decide what genus they belong to - bears, cats, dogs or badgers. A couple of centuries later, they were finally identified as a separate genus.
  • Before hibernation, raccoons fatten up to accumulate fat reserves and gain up to 50-70 percent of their usual weight. They become obese indeed.
  • Raccoons fight only as a last resort when there is no other way out. They prefer to flee, and if that doesn’t help, they play dead. If this does not fool the enemy, they defend themselves, and do so unusually fiercely.
  • These animals seldom go far from home or change their habitat. Once they have found a place, they usually limit their walks to the nearest surroundings.
  • Raccoons of the same species that live in the north usually have more cubs in their offspring than their counterparts from the south. They usually have two to five cubs.
  • Just like humans, raccoons grow their milk teeth first, and then their molars.
  • Raccoons rarely settle far from bodies of water because they almost always wash their food before eating it.

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