Raccoon ~ Yippee!

Kimberly Chadwick

Marana, United States

Artist's Description

Taken at Arizona-Sonoran Desert Museum using a Canon Powershot SX10IS

Raccoon
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The raccoon (Procyon lotor), sometimes spelled as racoon,2 also known as the common raccoon,3 North American raccoon,4 northern raccoon5 and colloquially as coon,6 is a medium-sized mammal native to North America. As a result of escapes and deliberate introductions in the mid-20th century, raccoons are now also distributed across the European mainland, the Caucasus region and Japan. Their original habitats are deciduous and mixed forests, but due to their adaptability they have extended their range to mountainous areas, coastal marshes, and even urban areas, where some homeowners consider them pests.

With a body length of 41 to 72 cm (16.1–28.0 in) and a weight of 3.6 to 9.0 kg (7.9–19.8 lb), the raccoon is the largest procyonid. The dense underfur, which insulates against cold weather, accounts for almost 90% of the raccoon’s grayish coat. Two of its most distinctive features are its extremely dexterous front paws and its facial mask, which are also themes in the mythology of several Native American tribes. Raccoons are also noted for their intelligence; studies have shown that they are able to remember the solution to tasks up to three years later. Raccoons are omnivorous and usually nocturnal; their diet consists of about 40% invertebrates, 33% plant foods, and 27% vertebrates. Captive raccoons sometimes douse their food before eating it, which is most likely a vacuum activity imitating foraging at shores.

Though previously thought to be solitary, there is now evidence that raccoons engage in gender-specific social behaviors. Related females often share a common area, while unrelated males live together in groups of up to four animals to maintain their positions against foreign males during the mating season and other potential invaders. Home range sizes vary anywhere from 0.03 km2 (0.01 sq mi or 7.4 acres) for females in cities to 49.5 km2 (19.1 sq mi) for males in prairies. After a gestation period of about 65 days, two to five young 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. Hunting and traffic accidents are the two most common causes of death in many areas.

He is pulling himself up by the tail in this capture…lol

Artwork Comments

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