Raccoons are small creatures that look a bit like the fusion of cats and foxes. These creatures are very cute and adorable, and at the same time, they are intelligent and unpredictable. Raccoons are always onto something mischievous, and they’re mostly nocturnal animals.
However, these are more or less the known facts about raccoons. There are a lot of things about these small and cute creatures that we don’t even know. In this article, we’ll talk about the facts that you surely don’t know about Raccoons.
Facts About Raccoons
1. Raccoons Are Great At Problem Solving
Raccoons are highly intelligent animals, and they have a good memory too. This is what makes them great problem solvers. Give a raccoon a problem, and it will try its best to solve it. The best thing about this is that it’s not a rare incident, nor is it limited to a certain species of Raccoons. They have proved their intelligence in homes, campsites, and even labs where they were tested rigorously.
Once they were tested with a food puzzle, where 13 locking mechanisms were put between the Raccoons and their food. In this test, they managed to open 11 out of 13 locks, which is impressive.
Then again, the famous experiment of Aesop’s tales, where the crow had to put rocks in a cylinder to raise the height of the water. The Raccoons were tested with this, where two out of eight raccoons threw stones into the cylinder, and another one completely toppled the cylinder.
Due to their high intelligence, a lot of people who pet raccoons leave them with food puzzles. These puzzles keep the raccoons entertained while their owners are away.
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2. Raccoons Have Hands That Can See
Imagine yourself in a dark room that’s full of objects. How will you locate the objects around you when you can’t see them? You’ll use your hands of course! Raccoons do the same thing! Along with their vision, they use their paws to detect objects around them.
Raccoons have dexterous front paws. Their front paws have much more sensors than their back paws, and the ratio of this is 4:1, the same as that of humans.
This is why they can detect objects only by touching them. As you know, raccoons are nocturnal animals. This is where this talent comes in. During the night, they can detect what’s in front of them only through touch, and that’s part of the 6 Facts About Raccoons.
3. City Raccoons Are Cleverer
Most of the animal species that live in the wild are found to be smarter and cleverer than those that live in the city. City animals are usually accepted with love and affection, while the wild ones have to fight for their survival.
However, this is completely the opposite in the case of raccoons. The city raccoons are far more intelligent than their wild brothers. After this discovery, researchers started looking for the reason behind this. They found that the city raccoons are constantly outsmarting human-made obstacles. Plus, the food here isn’t as abundant as that of the wild.
This is why the city raccoons are generally smarter than their wild counterparts, and its intelligence is one of the 6 Facts About Raccoons.
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4. Raccoons Are Mostly Invasive
Raccoons weren’t found in every corner of the globe. They were indigenous species of North America only. However, the export of Raccoon began soon after the 1920s. They were first exported to Europe, where they were being used in fur farms.
However, the problem started due to an accidental bombing, where the fur farm was destroyed and lots of raccoons survived the accident. These raccoons weren’t caught afterward, so they were made into the wild. Raccoons can breed very fast, so they managed to maintain a steady chain of offspring. This is how the population of raccoons boomed in Europe, where they’re considered an invasive species.
They also made it to Japan, and the story behind that is very interesting too. In the late 70s, the anime cartoon Rascal the Raccoon gained immense popularity. Due to this, the kids started demanding raccoons as their pets.
To meet this huge demand, Japan was forced to import approximately 1500 raccoons a month, most of which had been taken as pets.
However, once these raccoons grew in age and size, the families failed to bear them anymore, and they were released into the wilderness. As a result, they became invasive species to many regions of Japan too.
5. Humans Benefit Raccoons
While most other animals are harmed due to the overpopulation of humans, raccoons are smart animals who have turned this to their advantage. Yes, human overpopulation has damaged some of their homes and native locations. Even then, the population of Raccoons has increased by a great degree.
This is because raccoons have a great quality of adaptation. No matter what you put them through, they’ll find a way out. Due to rapid urbanization, raccoons have resorted to stealing food from humans. They also find shelter in abandoned buildings or construction sites. They can survive eating the insects and fruits in the wild as well.
So, the population of raccoons is only going to increase.
6. Their Masks Are Useful
Have you noticed the black stripes under the eyes of the raccoons? These marks aren’t beauty spots only you know. These black markings help the raccoons by absorbing any light coming to their eyes. As a portion of the light is absorbed, they face lesser glare.
Have you ever seen sportsmen marking the lower portion of their eyelids black? They do so for the same reason. As raccoons are mostly nocturnal, even a single source of light can affect them greatly. This is where their masks come in. Due to their masks, they can see everything.
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6 Facts About Raccoons, Raccoons are intelligent and mysterious animals, but they’re great as pets too. Did you know that even the White House housed a pet raccoon once upon a time? If you’re looking forward to having a raccoon as a pet, you’ll have a great time with it.