Other namesPhotos: North American raccoon
Latin name: Procyon lotor
size: about 60cm
mass: 4 - 8kg
Older: 8 - 10 years
Appearance: black-white-brown coat
Sexual dimorphism: Yes
Nutrition type: Omnivore (omnivor)
food: Insects, amphibians, worms, nuts, bird eggs
distribution: North America, Central Europe, Japan
original origin: North America
Sleep-wake rhythm: nocturnal
natural enemies: /
sexual maturity: with the second year of life
mating season: February March
gestation: 65 days
litter size: 2 - 5 cubs
social behavior: Loners
Threatened with extinction: No
Further profiles of animals can be found in the Encyclopaedia.
Interesting about the raccoon
- Raccoons describe their own species within the smallbears and are originally from America.
- They are closely related to the pandas and the coatis.
- Within this genus there are a total of three species of raccoons. The North American raccoon today not only lives in the region between Panama and Canada, but also in Europe. In South America, the crab-raccoon is native, only in Mexico is the Cozumel raccoon to be found. In addition, several subspecies are distinguished whose names derive from the islands on which they live.
- The individual species differ only slightly in their appearance. All raccoons share the medium-brown fur, the striped tail and the striking eye mask with the black drawing. They reach with the tail body lengths of a maximum of ninety centimeters and weigh between eight and eleven kilograms. The males are usually slightly larger than the females.
- In the thirties of the last century, two pairs of North American raccoons were released into freedom in Germany, which rapidly increased in rapid succession. Over the decades, they spread throughout Europe. Today alone in Germany live an estimated half million raccoons in the woods.
- Raccoons are nocturnal and predatory omnivores that feed mainly on small vertebrates, but also invertebrates, lizards, rodents, bird eggs and plants. Their name is due to their peculiarity to catch a large part of their prey animals such as small fish, frogs or crabs with their paws from rivers and streams, which gives the impression as if they wash them.
- They like to stay near human settlements and go in garbage cans and green areas in search of food.
- Raccoons prefer to live in the forest and like to stick to trees as excellent climbers.
- As very social creatures, female raccoons like to join in groups, males live in their own territories, but they share with other male conspecifics, without causing disputes.
- During the day, the little bears retire and sleep in hiding places found mainly in tree hollows.
- The raccoons are increasingly plagued in Central Europe as they invade gardens and devastate beds and terraces. Many raccoons also find their way into houses through open doors or cat flaps, where they prefer to use attics as sleeping and throwing hiding places and contaminate them with their excrement.
- In the wild raccoons have an average life expectancy of ten years, but can be twice as old in captivity.
- The greatest danger is not from their only predator, the eagle owl, but from the traffic, because many raccoons are run over by cars at night.