raccoon


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Related to raccoon: raccoon dog

raccoon,

nocturnal New World mammal of the genus Procyon. The common raccoon of North America, Procyon lotor, also called coon, is found from S Canada to South America, except in parts of the Rocky Mts. and in deserts. It has a stocky, heavily furred body, a pointed face, handlike forepaws, and a bushy tail. It is 1 1-2 to 2 1-2 ft (46–76 cm) long, excluding the 8 to 12 in. (20–30 cm) tail, with mixed gray, brown, and black hair, a black face mask, and black rings on the tail. It lives mostly in wooded areas and usually feeds along lakes and streams. A good climber, it often nests in a hollow tree or climbs aloft for refuge. It has a highly omnivorous diet, including nuts, seeds, fruits, eggs, insects, frogs, and crayfish. When water is available it may dip its food before eating; this so-called washing is associated with behaviors used for location and capture of aquatic prey, such as crayfish and frogs. Raccoons do not hibernate but sleep through cold spells in their dens. Their metabolism is normal during these periods and they wake easily. Adult males are usually solitary; females and young live in family groups. Raccoons have proved highly adaptable to civilization and are found even in large cities, where they feed on garbage. They are a minor nuisance in fields and gardens, but are valuable as destroyers of insects; their durable fur is used for coats and trimmings. The crab-eating raccoon, P. cancrivorus, is a semiaquatic, reddish-colored South American species. Other species are found on Caribbean islands. The raccoon family also includes the New World coatimundicoatimundi
or coati
, omnivore of North and South America related to the raccoon. The coatimundi has a long snout, an elongated body, and a long bushy tail banded with dark rings. The coat color varies from yellowish brown or reddish brown to black.
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, cacomistlecacomistle
, small New World mammal, genus Bassaricus, related to the raccoon. There are two species, one found in Mexico and the SW United States, the other in Central America. The North American cacomistle, B.
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 (ring-tailed cat), and kinkajoukinkajou
, nocturnal, arboreal mammal, Potos flavus, found from Mexico to Brazil and related to the raccoon. It has a long, slender body with soft, short, woolly hair of any of various shades of brown or yellow.
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. Raccoons are classified in the phylum ChordataChordata
, phylum of animals having a notochord, or dorsal stiffening rod, as the chief internal skeletal support at some stage of their development. Most chordates are vertebrates (animals with backbones), but the phylum also includes some small marine invertebrate animals.
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, subphylum Vertebrata, class Mammalia, order Carnivora, family Procyonidae.

raccoon

[ra′kün]
(vertebrate zoology)
Any of 16 species of carnivorous nocturnal mammals belonging to the family Procyonidae; all are arboreal or semiarboreal and have a bushy, long ringed tail.

raccoon

, racoon
1. any omnivorous mammal of the genus Procyon, esp P. lotor (North American raccoon), inhabiting forests of North and Central America and the Caribbean: family Procyonidae, order Carnivora (carnivores). Raccoons have a pointed muzzle, long tail, and greyish-black fur with black bands around the tail and across the face
2. the fur of the North American raccoon
References in periodicals archive ?
A teesside woman who knows her raccoons from her red-herrings has won a dream trip to Canada after entering an internet competition.
A friend came by one evening and asked had I seen the article in the newspaper about a raccoon that had been found," said Diana.
Before Old Raccoon could answer, Chipmunk made an announcement.
River otter pelts are generally picked up by Chinese furriers; grey fox by Germans and raccoons by Greeks, but from there they usually go to Russian manufacturers.
I also found this raccoon nematode larvae to be a major cause of woodrat decline in New York when there are dense raccoon populations in the woodrat habitat.
This label puzzled me, but I went ahead and bought the trap figuring that after I'd captured the raccoon I could keep it in the garage in case the yard was suddenly overrun with Shih Tzus.
We examine raccoon road-kill data from area roads during the same years to evaluate whether a raccoon migration to the high-density of nests is indicated.
Finally, after this group of four finds out what they have in common, they raise their hands and join another group of four, for a total of eight, now standing inside one of the Raccoon Circles spread around on the floor.
No sooner had the specialist fastened a name tag to an American elm and headed to the next tree than a raccoon appeared from a hole about 30 feet up, inspected the sign, and demolished it.
in Gamagori, Aichi Prefecture, after the train hit what was thought to be a raccoon dog, JR Tokai officials said.
Yet the program did not change overall growth trends in the raccoon population.
The TVA boat ramp and the adjacent parking area on Raccoon Mountain road will also be closed to the public.