by Dennison B.
Raccoons are large mammals found in fresh water communities as well as on roadsides or at night going through garbage cans. They are shy creatures and they are active at night (nocturnal). Raccoons are often thought to be close relatives to weasels, but they are most closely related to pandas.
Their fur is grayish brown with black markings. Raccoons are easily identified by the black mask-like markings on their face and by their bush tails which have 4 to 6 black rings.
Raccoon dens are most often in hollow trees, fishures in rocks, caves, or borrows left by other small mammals. Raccoons almost always live near water. That is why we consider them to be part of the freshwater or riparian communities.
Raccoons are omnivorous and they eat almost anything like nuts, berries, leaves, acorns, grasshoppers, crickets, grubs, worms, dragonfly larvae, clams, wasps, salamanders, frogs, crayfish, snakes, birds and bird eggs, fish and squirrels. As scavengers, they often eat garbage scraps and even dead animals at the side of the road.