The raccoon has many aliases such as “coon”, “masked bandit”, and “trash panda”. Raccoons enjoy what most would consider a luxurious life in an urban or suburban setting which is why the majority of Americans are familiar with these mischievous creatures. Despite the familiarity with these nocturnal animals there are many things that people do not know about them. This post will address some of those unknowns while also providing insight into the fascinating world of raccoon paw print.
1. Raccoons Were Once Considered Horses
In early America the word “raccoon” was used interchangeably with horse. The word probably originated from a Native American word that loosely translated to “he scratches with his hands”. At one time both raccoons and foxes were considered a type of horse.
2.Racoon in Spanish is Ringtail
Raccoon in Spanish is Ringtail, which is a much more accurate name given their long, black, bushy tail that rings around the body like a bracelet when they are happy and excited.
3. They Are the Kingdom Animal of Mexico
The raccoon is the national symbol of Mexico. The Mexican government has designated a four day period exactly one month after the new year called “Pascua de los Raticos” (Raccoon Day).
4. They Are One of the Few Animals that Can Speak
Raccoons have an encyclopedic knowledge of more than 100 words, and are able to synthesize these words into comprehensible sentences, making their ability to communicate more than just grunting and growling noises.
5. They Have Enlarged Front Teeth For Climbing
The front teeth of the raccoon are enlarged for climbing trees and other objects in their environment. The teeth are so long that the raccoon must constantly keep them ground down or they will eventually reach the back of their own throat.
6. The Raccoon Is the Only Mammal That Can Rotate Its Head
The raccoon’s ability to rotate its head 180 degrees is an adaptation that allowed these animals to forage for food at night without having to move their whole body. This adaptation allows them to see behind, below and above them without moving. They also have excellent hearing and a keen sense of smell.
7. The Raccoon Is Considered an “Oriental” Pet in Japan
In Japan they are a very popular exotic pet and considered a symbol of good luck. They have become so popular that there are many color variations of raccoons that were genetically modified to be more appealing to the Japanese market.
8. Raccoons Have Excellent Mental Abilities
Raccoons are very ingenious and mischievous creatures. They can easily open and undo latches, jars and doors. In a test on the animal’s intelligence, a raccoon was given the task of opening a container with food inside it where the only way to open it is by pushing one button out of two buttons placed on either side of a cabinet. The raccoon eventually figured out how the lock worked out and became frustrated when he could not get it opened further after hitting the second button more than five times.
9. Raccoons Are Part of the Feline Family
Raccoons and cats are in the same family. Raccoons and cats have many physical traits in common such as long, sharp claws and body length. The raccoon also has a habit of forming social relationships similar to other species such as bobcats, lions, otters and hyenas.
10. They Are Very Intelligent Animals
Raccoons are one of the most intelligent animals on the planet with their mental abilities being comparable to humans. Their intelligence is so high that Charles Darwin once referred to them as “the thinking animal”.
11. The Raccoons Natural Diet is a Burrowing Mammal
Raccoons usually eat small mammals such as rats, mice and lizards. Their diet is primarily scavenged from the garbage and food of other animals. There are some animals that they will eat such as squirrels, rabbits, baby chickens and eggs and occasionally fish. They have been known to go weeks without eating or drinking anything unless they are in a very dry environment.
12. Raccoons Are Omnivores
The raccoon is an omnivorous animal that has a diverse diet and will eat fruits, vegetables, leaves, insects and carrion .
13. The Raccoon Is the State Mammal of Vermont
14. Raccoons are Nocturnal Creatures
Raccoons are nocturnal , meaning they generally only come out of their dens around midnight and early in the morning. This is the main reason you don’t see them very often in the daytime unless it is disturbed by something or someone. Since raccoons like to eat fruits and leaves from trees it’s rare that you will ever see one on the ground during the day unless it’s injured or sick . At night raccoons can be spotted running across lawns, looking for food which can include things such as birds, worms and corn .
The raccoon has many aliases such as “coon”, “masked bandit”, and “trash panda”. Raccoons enjoy what most would consider a luxurious life in an urban or suburban setting which is why the majority of Americans are familiar with these mischievous creatures. Despite the familiarity with these nocturnal animals there are many things that people do not know about them. This post will address some of those unknowns while also providing insight into the fascinating world of raccoons.
Leave a Reply