Bandit-masked raccoons are a familiar sight everywhere because they will eat just about anything. In the natural world, raccoons snare a lot of their meals in the water. These nocturnal foragers use lightning-quick paws to grab mussels, clams, crayfish, frogs, and other aquatic creatures, nuts, berries, plants, acorns, insects, grubs, dragonfly larvae, snakes, turtles and their eggs, nestlings, fish, voles, squirrels and of course garbage scraps.
Raccoons in Action ~ Eating Alligators:
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More Raccoon Facts:
· Raccoons are often thought to be relatives of the weasels, but are in fact more closely related to pandas.
· Young raccoons are preyed upon by foxes, bobcats, owls, and eagles, but they most commonly die from automobiles.
· The most important sense is that of touch. More of its brain is set aside for the interpretation of touch, more than any other studied animal.
· The bandit mask may enhance its vision at night and is also believed to reduce glare when camouflaging itself from predators.
· The name "raccoon" is derived from the Algonquian Indian word "aroughcoune," which means "he who scratches with his hands.
· Raccoons were hunted aggressively in the early history of the country mostly for their water repellent fur. The coonskin cap was common and made famous by Davy Crockett and Daniel Boone.
· Raccoons are very agile, climbing trees well. They are one of few animals which can descend a tree headfirst. They are fast runners (15 mph) and excellent swimmers. They almost always live around water.
Placed with permission of the Dunn County Facilities Department