Also called “Coon,” this mammal is mostly marked with a black “mask” over its eyes, and its ringed tail is heavily furred. One of the reasons for its dark fur is to keep itself protected from the nocturnal animal’s night vision. Five to eight dark rings are on its tail. The reason why raccoons look hunched when they walk or run is because of its hind legs being longer than the front legs. The five toes on a raccoon’s front paws function essentially as five little fingers which allow it to grasp and consume the food it finds. A raccoon’s most heightened sense is its sense of touch. Its front paws are the most sensitive and rapidly increases underwater. A raccoon examines objects underwater when it can. They are known to be about 2 to 3 feet long in average and weighs about 10 to 30 pounds in average.
Life span of a raccoon
In the wild a raccoon is expected to have a lifespan of 2 to 3 years or a bit more, however, in captivity, a raccoon can live up to 20 years.
The raccoon is known to be an omnivorous as well as an opportunistic eater, along with its diet determined heavily by its environment. Some of the common foods that they consume are fruits, plants, nuts, berries, insects, rodents, frogs, eggs, and crayfish. However, in urban environments, they seem to look for food through garbage. The majority of its diet consists of invertebrates, plants, and fruits.
Originally raccoons use to live in the tropics along the riverbanks, but over time they moved to the north up the continent, while successfully adapting to new territories and expanding their diets as well. They live in tree cavities or burrows and emerge at dusk to hunt for frogs and crustaceans, but they seem to keep a keen eye out for those predators such as coyotes and foxes. Several barns have aided their northern migration, which offers refuge from the cold northern winters, now raccoons have been found as far north of Alaska. Its impressive ability to adapt has enabled the animal to move into a wide range of habitats from mountain terrains to large cities as well. The first sighting was in Cincinnati.
Breeding and Structure socially
This mammal is nocturnal and mostly foraging and feeding at night. Mating season for raccoons falls anytime between January and March. A little over two months after mating, the females give birth to a litter of between four to six young ones. Along with that, most females begins to reproduce around the age of one. The female raccoons have a 63 days gestation period. The mother keeps herself away from other raccoons so she can raise her young ones alone and safely. However, the male raccoon is not interested in raising the kits. The black furry mask is visible on newly-born litters. These kits stay in their den or any other sorts of the shelter with their mother until they are amid 8 to 10 weeks old, and then stay with their mother until they reach 13 to 14 months of age. The young litter usually opens its eyes for the first time at about 3 weeks of age. The babies can stand when they are four to six weeks old. They are weaned at 70days and start to hunt when they are amid 9 to 12 weeks old. However, when they first make their way out of the den, the mother carries them by holding them around their neck, similar to a cat carrying its kittens. Then the mother teaches how to hunt for food and climb trees. She is very protective over her young ones and tends to attack any predators who try to cause any harm. Young raccoons are known to have darker furry coats than the matured ones.
Risks that Raccoon’s face
Raccoons have few predators to protect itself from. However, Raccoons are mostly known to be attacked by Cougars, Bobcats, and Coyotes. Generally some other primary risks that raccoons face are diseases, infections, and running into cars. Some diseases are roundworms, trichinosis, and rabies which may also put other people and pets at risk.
In the winter the raccoon may sleep in its den for a few weeks, but this is not hibernating. The raccoons usually walk, but they can also run at the speed of 15miles an hour and are also great swimmers as they often hunt for food underwater. Raccoons make a variety of vocalizations which includes hisses, whistles, screams growls as well as snares.
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