You can describe raccoons in many ways – clever, strong-willed, aggressive, nature’s picpockets, and endearing. On top of that, they surprise us with their impressive intelligence and their high adaptability.
Here are some interesting facts about these furry creatures!
1. Raccoons Have Unique Hands
Raccoon have five toes on each of their paws that function in the same manner as human hands. With their unique paws, they are able to easily grasp things, scavenge for food, and handle objects effectively. The name racoon comes from the Powhatan word aroughcun, which means “animal that scratches with its hands.” Their hands are also incredibly sensitive, allowing them to navigate underwater and examine objects.
2. Their IQs Are Considerable Large
When it comes to IQ levels, raccoons rank quite close to humans. Although they come next to great apes and monkeys which are directly below humans in intelligence, they are pretty smart. It has been found that raccoons are able to exhibit critical and problem solving skills when difficulty arises and learn from past experiences.
3. Raccoons Are Nocturnal Animals
Raccoons are nocturnal animals by nature, meaning they are most active at night. They sleep during the day but they may come out once in a while if they are hungry or have found a food source. They might also come out if they are frightened out of their sleeping spots.
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4. They Can Make Over 50 Different Noises
From purring, growling, chittering, snarling, to whimpering, these animals can make over 51 different sounds that mean different things! Baby raccoons may whine, cry or mew.
5. Raccoons Are Very Fast
Because raccoons are constantly on the move in search of food, they’re well adapted to not only run but run fast as well. They can run at speeds of 15 miles per hour both on solid ground and while climbing trees. They are also excellent swimmers and can often escape from predators and catch preys.
6. Male Raccoons Are Polygamous
Male raccoons never stay with one partner. They often mate with multiple females season after season unlike female raccoons who are monogamous and mate with only one male. The male raccoons also have nothing to do with raising their offsprings as this responsibility falls solely on the females.
7. Raccoons Populations Are Very High
Unlike most animals, raccoons have benefited from the spread of humans around the world. Despite the destruction of much their natural environments, they have succeeded in thriving in different kinds of environments including rural, urban, and suburban. In the forests, raccoons hunt for prey such as birds, and insects, fruits, nuts while those in the cities, scavenge for food leftovers and pet food.
8. They Were Once Candidates For Lab Testings
In the past, they were once candidates for lab testing alongside rats and monkeys but they were later discarded because they proved too stubborn, smart, and adative. These days, the animals commonly used in the lab include rats, guinea pigs, rabbits, and hamsters.