They don’t call them the little bandit for nothing. The raccoon has the unmistakable black mask across their eyes. Lest we forget about their ringed tail which suspiciously resembles the stripes on a prisoner’s uniform. The rings themselves range in number from four (4) to ten (10). The color of the fur of the raccoon can vary based on habitat. In the northern regions raccoons are customarily gray, whereas in the southern most parts of their range they take on a reddish hue. Let’s not forget that cute black nose and thick fur and their characteristic hunch back.
While the raccoon has some the fullest fur in the mammal world, their front paws are mysteriously absent of fur. With a look unmistakably human, raccoon hands are unusually dexterous allowing for the little bandit to grasp most like people. Both the front and rear paws have five (5) toes, but the front paws are used more often to feel and grasp. In fact, the word raccoon, derived from the Algonquin Indian word “arakun” means “he scratches with hands”.
Pointed ears and a pointed snout round out the prominent physical features of nature’s little bandit, the raccoon.
Overall, the raccoon weighs in anywhere between ten (10) to thirty (30) pounds and range in length, excluding the tail, from two (2) to three (3) feet. The tail of the raccoon can make up as much as 52% of their overall length. As with most animals the male is normally much larger weighing up to 30% more than females and both the male and female can actually have fat making up 50% of their body weight. This is more common in northern climates where this often coupled with tenderhearted humans that feed the animals. This has lead to some animals weighing close to 60 pounds.