Last modified on 22 June 2009, at 18:47

Field Guide/Animal Tracks/Raccoon

Raccoon (Procyon lotor)
Order: Carnivora
Where found: Raccoons are found in urban areas as we as in the wilderness. Tracks are often found on stream banks, or around garbage cans and on automobiles.
Description: A raccoon is a nocturnal mammal in the genus Procyon of the Procyonidae family. Raccoons are unusual for their thumbs, which – though not opposable – enable them to open many closed containers such as garbage cans and doors. They are intelligent omnivores with a reputation for being clever and mischievous. Raccoons range from 50 to 100 cm in length (including the tail) and weigh between 4.5 and 16 kg. The raccoon's tail ranges from 20 to 40 cm in length. Male raccoons are generally larger than females. The hind foot prints are deeper than the front because it carries most of the raccoon's weight. The hind foot has an elongated heel, while the heel of the front foot does not generally print at all. The "palm" of the front foot may be shaped like the letter "C", while the print of the hind foot looks somewhat like a human baby's hand print. The left front foot prints next to the right hind foot and vice versa.