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Extant raccoons have a stout body, short legs, long digits with non-retractile claws, a black mask on the face that goes across the eyes, a pointed muzzle, and they have a bushy tail with black rings.

language family.) It was recorded on Captain John Smith's list of Powhatan words as aroughcun, and on that of William Strachey as arathkone.


While the crab-eating raccoon is found in a diversity of habitats, including forest, it particularly is common around areas with bodies of waters, such as swamps, lakes, and lagoons; where its range overlaps with P.

The raccoon's tail ranges from 8 to 16 inches (20 to 41 cm) in length Male raccoons are generally larger than females. The common raccoon has a natural range from southern Canada to Panama, and has been introduced to continental Europe. Some raccoons once considered separate species are now thought to be the same as or subspecies of the common raccoon, including the Barbados raccoon (P. Carl Linnaeus, the father of modern taxonomy, placed the raccoon in the genus Ursus, first as Ursus cauda elongata ("long-tailed bear") in the second edition of his Systema Naturae, then as Ursus lotor ("washer bear") in the tenth edition.

It has been know to live in the city in addition to the wild. cancrivorus, the tropical "crab-eating raccoon," ranges from Costa Rica through most areas of South America east of the Andes down to northern Argentina and Uruguay. pygmaeus, the "Cozumel Island raccoon," is a much rarer species than the other two. Unlike other procyonids, such as the crab-eating raccoon (Procyon cancrivorus), the ancestors of the common raccoon left tropical and subtropical areas and migrated farther north about 4 million years ago, in a migration that has been confirmed by the discovery in the Great Plains of fossils dating back to the middle of the Pliocene.

Young are born with their eyes closed and without teeth; eyes open after about three weeks and they become independent at about 8 months.

Merriam first described the Cozumel raccoon as morphologically distinctive from its mainland relative, the common raccoon subspecies Procyon lotor hernandezii, in 1901.

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