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10 Raccoon Fun Facts: Get to Know These Trash Bandits | BeCause Tees

10 Raccoon Fun Facts: Get to Know These Trash Bandits

With their distinctive black masks, small paws, and charismatic nature, raccoons are a familiar sight across much of the US. But how much do you actually know about these fascinating creatures? Get to know these trash bandits with our 10 raccoon fun facts.

3 raccoons 

10 Raccoon Fun Facts

1. They’re Not Picky About Where They Live

Raccoons are highly adaptable creatures. Originally native to North America's forests, they’ve adapted to urban environments, thriving in cities and suburbs worldwide. They’re now found throughout the US, as well as parts of Mexico, Canada, and further afield.

2. They’re not Fussy Eaters

In addition to not being picky about where they live, raccoons are also not fussy about what they eat! These omnivores have a diverse diet ranging from fruits, nuts, and vegetables to insects, rodents, amphibians, and more. Living up to their ‘trash bandits’ nickname, they can also be found rummaging through trash cans for food.

3. Their Food Gets Washed First

    Raccoons tend to wash their food before eating it, although it’s believed this isn’t to get the food clean, but because getting their paws wet helps the nerve endings to find out more information about what they’re holding.

    This use of water is also referenced in their scientific name, Procyon lotor - ‘lotor’ means ‘the washerman’ in Latin.

    Raccoon in water 

    4. Their Paws are Human-Like

      Raccoons have paws that are remarkably similar to human hands. These dexterous paws enable raccoons to manipulate objects, including unscrewing lids, turning knobs, and of course, being able to open up trash cans!

      5. They’re Excellent Climbers

        Equipped with sharp claws and those dexterous paws, raccoons are superb climbers, similarly to opossums. They can climb up trees, walls and more, allowing them to escape predators and access food sources that may be out of reach for other animals.

        6. They Have Rotating Feet

          Another feature that helps them to climb is their rotating feet! Raccoons have hind feet that are able to rotate 180 degrees, which allows them to climb down trees and fences head-first.

          2 Raccoons

          7. They Have Both Excellent and Poor Vision

            Raccoons are primarily nocturnal creatures, so they’re mostly active during the night. They’re well suited to nighttime activities, with excellent night vision just like many other nocturnal creatures such as red foxes, owls, and deer. In contrast, their daytime vision is fairly poor, plus it’s believed that they’re either colorblind or only able to partially see color. 

            8. They're Intelligent Creatures

              Raccoons are curious by nature, and also intelligent. Various studies have been conducted comparing raccoon intelligence to other creatures, and even to human children, and their problem-solving abilities are impressive. 

              9. They Go into Torpor in the Winter

                Unlike some creatures, raccoons don't hibernate during the winter. While they may become less active in extremely cold conditions, they don't enter true hibernation. Similarly to hummingbirds, they may enter a torpor state in order to conserve energy and slow down their metabolism, sleeping in their dens for a few weeks.

                10. They're Very Vocal

                  Raccoons are very vocal animals and they have a diverse range of vocalizations to communicate with one another. The sounds they make include purring, growling, hissing, snorting, whining and even screaming when under stress.


                  We hope our raccoon fun facts have helped you to get to know these trash bandits. They're intelligent and resourceful creatures that are able to adapt to their environment, wherever they find themselves. Treat yourself to a raccoon shirt to celebrate these fascinating animals! For each order, we fund the planting of trees and make a donation to ecological nonprofits - shop all designs today.

                  Raccoon shirt 


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