IUCN threat status:

Least Concern (LC)

Brief Summary

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Description

"Raccoons are among the most adaptable of the Carnivora, able to live comfortably in cities and suburbs as well as rural and wilderness areas. They use small home ranges, as small as 1—3 square km, and show flexibility in selecting denning sites, from tree hollows to chimneys to sewers. A varied diet is at the root of their adaptability. Raccoons eat just about anything, finding food on the ground, in trees, streams, ponds, and other wet environments, and from unsecured trash cans, which they open adroitly by hand. They can live anywhere water is available, from the deep tropics well into southern Canada. Even in the suburbs, Raccoons can occur at densities of almost 70 per square km. Females can breed when they are not yet a year old, and typically have litters of four young, which they raise themselves. The female nurses her cubs for about 70 days. The cubs' eyes open at 18—24 days and they begin exploring the world outside the den when they are 9—10 weeks old. By 20 weeks of age they can forage on their own."

Adaptation: As an adaptation to an omnivorous diet, the molars of the Northern Raccoon, Procyon lotor, have lost their flesh-eating crests and have evolved a blunt-cusped crow, which is more efficient in crushing and grinding tough foodstuffs.

Links:
Mammal Species of the World
Click here for The American Society of Mammalogists species account

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© Smithsonian Institution

Source: Smithsonian's North American Mammals

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