10 Interesting Facts About Raccoons

by | Feb 12, 2017 | Raccoon Removal


Raccoons Have High IQ Levels

When considering the mammal IQ scale, raccoons rank closer to humans than most people would normally think. In general, monkeys are ranked right below humans and great apes, and with raccoons scoring average IQ levels below monkeys, they are considerably close to human IQ levels as well. In addition to their high IQ scores, raccoons are known to have evolving intelligence and methods of thinking. They are able to learn from past experiences and engage in critical and problem-solving thinking when obstacles arise. Moreover, as a result of their notable intelligence, raccoons were once candidates for lab testing alongside rats and monkeys but were discarded for being too smart, adaptive and strong-willed.

Raccoons Can Make Over 50 Different Noises

Raccoons have a large array of vocalizations. In fact, studies have determined that these animals can make over 51 different sounds that communicate different things! They hiss, purr and growl when competing for food. Younger raccoons often chirp and squeal and raccoons with rabies often exhibit extremely high-pitched squeals.

Raccoons Have Special Paws

Similar to human hands, raccoons embody five dexterous toes on each of their front paws that essentially function as human fingers. This gives them the ability to easily grasp things, scavenge for food and lift the lids off of trashcans -something they are notorious for doing. Another interesting feature of raccoon paws includes the abundance of nerves that allow them to become extra sensitive and send messages to the brain – when underwater, raccoons use this sensitivity to examine objects. Raccoons also have special feet that are able to rotate 180 degrees which allows them to climb up and down trees head first.

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Raccoons Can Move At High Speeds

Raccoons are scavengers and are consequently always on the move searching for their food. In addition to walking, these animals are fast runners as well. In fact, raccoons can run at speeds as fast as 15 miles per hour, not only on solid ground but also while climbing up and down trees, and if dropped from a height of 35 to 40 meters, they can still remain unharmed. In addition to running with agility, raccoons are also able to swim to escape from predators and catch prey to meet their dietary needs.

Raccoons Are Nocturnal

Raccoons are nocturnal and are therefore asleep for majority of the day and are most active at night. Moreover, there are many myths claiming that seeing a raccoon up during daylight hours indicates that it is rabid. This is not true as there are many reasons as to why a raccoon may be awake, such as the availability of food during the daytime.

Raccoons Are Extremely Skillful

Raccoons are commonly associated with wild, violent and vicious behaviour; however,  this is not always the case and are actually quite skillful. As a result of their notable intelligence, people have been able to train raccoons to mirror the same basic skills that the average human toddler possesses, such as clapping and dancing.

Raccoons Can Survive Almost Anywhere

Raccoons were originally found in natural tropical areas but overtime, especially throughout the twentieth-century, they have managed to migrate and were then introduced to a wider array of habitats ranging from mountainous terrains to crowded cities; this is because of their noteworthy and uncommon ability to adapt to foreign environments. When considering their survivability, the average life expectancy of raccoons is typically between two to three years in the wild. The reasoning behind this low expectancy rate is simply cars and the expansion of roads and highways – raccoon death rates have increased because of countless roadkill incidents. However, they can live up to 20 years in captivity where they remain safe from road-related accidents.

Raccoons Do Not Have Life-Partners

Unlike wolves, beavers and other animals that mate for life, raccoons often have more than one mating partner. In fact, male raccoons attempt to mate with multiple females each season while female raccoons generally mate with one partner. Unlike other animals, male raccoons have nothing to do with raising their offspring and all of the responsibility falls on the mother as she raises her newborns alone.

Raccoons Have A Special Name

The scientific name for raccoons is Procyon lotor which is neo-Latin for ‘before-dog washer’. In 1780, scientist Gottlieb Congrad created a separate genus for the species Procyon which translates to dog-like, however raccoons and dogs are not related while raccoons surprisingly remain a close relative of the bear family. In addition to the latin name, the English word raccoon was derived from the Proto-Algonquian language and means “one who rubs, scrubs, and scratches with its hands”, which accurately describes this species.

Raccoons Love The City

Although they originated from earthly and natural habitats, raccoons love the city life! In fact, Toronto is one of the most raccoon populated cities in the world; approximately fifty times more raccoons live there than in neighboring suburban areas. Consequently, not only do crowded cities provide them with lots of space to scavenge around, but they also provide raccoons with easily accessible food resources. You guessed it – trash bins. With this being said you might want to keep in mind some raccoon proofing knowledge and a phone number of a reliable wildlife removal company!

If you notice signs of wildlife in your house give us a call. At SOS Wildlife Control Inc., we provide raccoon removal servicesquirrel control services for residential, commercial, and industrial clients, guaranteeing effective results every single time. Let us help you solve your wildlife problems. Taking action before it’s too late will help eliminate animal damage repair costs. We are available 24/7, 365 days a year for emergency services, and can easily be reached at 1-800-981-0330. Don’t wait, call us to schedule an appointment for a thorough inspection, removal and prevention to help evacuate all your unwanted wildlife guests in the most humane way possible.

Call SOS Wildlife 1-800-981-0330!