Store Curiosity - September 2021
Five facts you didn't know about raccoons
Raccoons are medium-sized mammals native to North American with an adorable outlaw look, they are the biggest representative of the procynoid family and live in stable populations. On average they can range 16-28 inches (40-70cm) in length, weight between 7-33 pounds (3-15kg), and live in groups. In the most populated areas, they are used to human presence of people and for this reason the internet is full of videos and photographs of raccoons doing funny things.
Raccoons are predominantly nocturnal, being active mostly during the nighttime. They are clever creatures with the unusual habit of “washing” their food. It is largely believed that they do it because of a chronic dry mouth or a shortage of salivary glands, but this, besides being disproved by more recent studies, is also debunked by the various internet videos or photos that portray raccoons drooling waiting for food.
These lovely little critters are among the cutest and most loved animals and they captivate many people, probably because of their long bushy ringtails, floppy ears, distinctive bandit face, and fluffy chubby shape. Raccoons are omnivores and can survive on a variety of foods. They are considered to be one of the most adaptable carnivores, capable of eating almost anything (even your shoes).
In urban areas, raccoons can be a real nuisance. They destroy gardens, trashcans, parks, and residential neighborhoods, and for that reason, it is suggested to keep trashcans covered and out of sight to prevent raccoons from getting into homes. Despite everything, these amazing creatures always manage to sneak into the most unthinkable places.
1 - City life makes them smarter
A study by York University (Toronto) has shown that raccoons living close to the city are smarter than those in the countryside are. This is probably because interaction with humans forces them to face more complicated challenges and solve trickier puzzles to gather food.
2 - They have been "discovered" together with America
The first manuscript in which raccoons are mentioned was written by Christopher Columbus and the name raccoon comes from the Powhatan word “aroughcun” or “arathkone” which means “animal that scratches with its hands”.
3 - They don't wash the food because they dropped it
They wet the food to "taste" it. When raccoons' paws are wet, they become even more sensitive. That's why raccoons wash their food, so they can start "tasting it” as soon as they touch it.