Raccoons, Procyon Lotor, belongs to the class of mammals and order Carnivora. Raccoons are a member of procyonid family and are the largest among them. They are grey with a dense layer of fur to protect them from the cold temperature. A distinct feature they have is the very characteristic face mask and unique paws. They also have a black hair surrounding their eyes and that is a very specific feature raccoons own. Young
Young raccoons are known as kits. In total, there are 22 known subspecies of raccoons.
Raccoons possess a great night vision. They are intelligent organisms who learn tasks quickly and owns a skill of incredible touch sense.
Studies suggest that raccoons are color blind and find it difficult to distinguish between various colors. But they can detect green color at any time.
They are nocturnal beings. Therefore they hunt during the night hours mostly. Sometimes they hunt during the day time as well, in cases if they find the food sources.
What Do Raccoons Eat?
Raccoons are omnivorous creatures and thus can eat both vegetarian diet and meat. Their diet chart is as shown:
- 40% – Invertebrates
- 33% – Plants
- 37% – Vertebrates
Diet in Spring and Summer
Raccoons prefer worms, insects, fruits and nuts during the spring season and early summers.
In the late summer season, they prefer eating a diet rich in fat to have a sound insulation.
This little animal eats mammals and birds as well. They eat fish, bird eggs and creatures that are easier to hunt and catch.
Lifestyle of Raccoons in Winter Season
Raccoons decrease their activities a lot in the winters and prefer resting most of the time. They use their paws to check the available food in surrounding areas.
This animal shows a characteristic behavior of dousing. They are seen dousing their food, most probably inspected as the washing of food before consuming it. Research studies indicate that the touch sensation of their front paws gets initiated when immersed in water.
Diet of Wild Raccoons
They consume rats, squirrels, fish, chicken, frog, molluscs, snakes, acorns, berries, fruits, etc.
Diet of a City Raccoon
City raccoons seek for food in the garbage dumps. They may find squirrels, rats and birds eggs as well.
In the city, they may get killed on the roads while hunting for food. They are not good predators, but can survive by preying on small organisms.
Unknown Realities About This Species in 21st Century
Raccoons are getting killed on the roads and due to hunting. Their total count is decreasing day by day; they have become endangered species and are now closer to the verge of extinction.
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Hunting animals is a crime. Earth requires diversity in flora and fauna and a sound harmony to remain pleasant and beautiful. We should not harm animals and protect the integrity of food chain and thus nature, and its rhythm.
We can make a change by creating awareness and participating in various programs that promote animal safety.
To keep our planet healthy, a diverse and green environment is required. We can make our planet better.