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a family of mammals of the order Carnivora, consisting of small pentadactyl, plantigrade animals. They have elongated bodies with thick downy fur, short legs, and a long tail covered with thick hair.
Several species of Procyonidae live in trees. There are seven genera; all are found in the western hemisphere, except for the genus Ailunts, which lives in Asia. This genus has only one species, the lesser panda(A.fulgens). There are two species of raccoons (genus Procyon). The only species of the genus Bassariscus, the cacomistle or ring-tailed cat (B. astutus), inhabits Mexico and the southwestern USA. The sole species of the genus Bassaricyon, the B. gabbii, is found in Central America and northern South America. The genus Potos has a single species, the kinkajou (P. caudivolvulus). The little, or mountain, coati (N. olivacea), the only species of the genus Nasuella, is found throughout the Andes. The genus Nasua also has a single species.
Several species of the family Procyonidae are commercially valuable for their fur. The giant panda, which was once included in the family Procyonidae, is now classified in the family Ursidae (bear family) or is treated as a separate family of animals.