Monday, May 07, 2012

Wild Things: Raccoon

"The one who takes everything into its hands" is of course, the raccoon!..  Large bands on their bushy tails and streaks on their face make this forest creature easy to spot.  Raccoons are known for their intelligence - and studies have shown them to remember a 'solution' to a simple task for up to three years later.

The collective noun for a group of raccoon is a 'gaze' and baby coons are called 'kits'   Raccoons are typically about 20lbs. but there can be a huge difference in weight  depending on the habitat:  from a tiny 4lbs. up to 62lbs. (largest ever recorded). 

Here's a fun fact about raccoons: they are able to climb down a tree head first!  They turn their hind legs around for grip.  Very unusual for a mammal of this size.

Touchy! Well, we know the tendancy for this creature to handle everything with their paws - turns out there's a good reason for it.  Two-thirds of a raccoon's brain is dedicated to touch (more than any other studied animal).  They can actually identify an object BEFORE touching it, thanks to tiny special whiskers near their claws.

WILD THINGS is a series of articles on Edge of the Wildwood about small forest creatures. 
Our next profile will be:    RABBIT!

handpainted rock by WILDWOOD

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