WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHY – BIG CYPRESS WMA, FL
This photograph of a raccoon up a tree was taken at Big Cypress NWR off I-75 (Alligator Alley) using an Olympus 3040-z camera.
The raccoon (Procyon lotor), sometimes spelled as racoon, also known as the common raccoon, North American raccoon, northern raccoon and colloquially as coon, is a medium-sized mammal native to North America.
With a body length of 16.1–28.0 inches and a weight of 7.9–19.8 lb, the raccoon is the largest procyonid. The dense underfur, which insulates against cold weather, accounts for almost 90% of the raccoon’s grayish coat. Two of its most distinctive features are its extremely dexterous front paws and its facial mask, which are also themes in the mythology of several Native American tribes. Raccoons are also noted for their intelligence; studies have shown that they are able to remember the solution to tasks up to three years later. Raccoons are omnivorous and usually nocturnal; their diet consists of about 40% invertebrates, 33% plant foods, and 27% vertebrates.
Though previously thought to be solitary, there is now evidence that raccoons engage in gender-specific social behaviors. Related females often share a common area, while unrelated males live together in groups of up to four animals to maintain their positions against foreign males during the mating season and other potential invaders.