The raccoon is a medium-sized mammal native to North America. It is usually nocturnal and omnivorous, eating about 40% invertebrates, 33% plants, and 27% vertebrates. The word raccoon was adopted into English from the native Powhatan term meaning “animal that scratches with its hands” The colloquial abbreviation coon is used in words like coonskin for fur clothing and in phrases like old coon.
About Raccoon in brief
The raccoon is a medium-sized mammal native to North America. It is usually nocturnal and omnivorous, eating about 40% invertebrates, 33% plants, and 27% vertebrates. The original habitats of the raccoon are deciduous and mixed forests, but due to their adaptability they have extended their range to mountainous areas, coastal marshes, and urban areas. The word raccoon was adopted into English from the native Powhatan term meaning “animal that scratches with its hands”, as used in the Colony of Virginia. Its Latin name means “before-dog washer”. The colloquial abbreviation coon is used in words like coonskin for fur clothing and in phrases like old coon as a self-designation of trappers. Dogs bred to hunt raccoons are called “coonhound’s” or ‘coon dog’. In 1780, Christian Gottlieb Storr placed raccoon in its own genus, Procyon Lotor, which can be translated as either “dog or cat’ or “raccoon’” The word is sometimes spelled as racoon, and is used as a pejoratively derogatory term for African-Americans in the U.S. in the 1800s. The term is still considered offensive in some parts of the world, and the term coon was used by the Whig Party to refer to African-American trappers in the United States in the 1830s. It was first recorded by the members of Christopher Columbus, who was the first Europeans to leave a raccoon on a hunt in the Americas.
The first record of the species was written about in 1780 by the taxonomists Conrad Storr and Carl Linnaeus, who placed it in the genus Ursus cauda in the second edition of his Systema Naturae. The raccoon can be found in the National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. and the Museum of Comparative Zoology in New York City. It can be seen in the museum’s collection of photographs, which includes a large collection of raccoon-related items, such as its front paws, its facial mask, and its ringed tail. It has a body length of 40 to 70 cm, and a body weight of 5 to 26 kg. It is noted for its intelligence, as studies show that it is able to remember the solution to tasks for at least three years. Although captive rac coons have been known to live over 20 years, their life expectancy in the wild is only 1.8 to 3. 1 years. After a gestation period of about 65 days, two to five young, known as ‘kits’ are born in spring. The kits are subsequently raised by their mother until dispersal in late fall. In many languages, the raccoon is named for its characteristic dousing behavior in conjunction with that language’s term for bear, for example Waschbär in German, Huan Xiong in Chinese, orsetto lavatore in Italian, and araiguma ‘washing-bear’) in Japanese.