Thursday, May 8, 2008

let's talk about . . . raccoons

Since one of the most common searches bringing people to this site is: are raccoons (or racoons) nocturnal?, I thought I'd share a few essential raccoon facts.*

First, while native to the New World, raccoons can also be found in Europe, thanks in part to the decision of Hermann Göring, then-head of the Reich Forestry Office, to allow them to be released into the wild.

Second, raccoons lack the convergent grasp of, say, frugivorous kinkajous, but have dextrous, although non-opposable, thumbs, allowing them to lift lids off garbage cans.

Third, one common strain of rabies to which raccoon are subject, has a latency period of up to six months, ample time to breed a whole litter of cuddly and rabid cubs.

Finally, yes, raccoons are nocturnal. Very, very nocturnal. If you see one during daylight hours, my suggestion would be: run for your life!!!



*Bonus raccoon links: Print and wear this raccoon mask! Select from this wide array of raccoon-themed gifts (including this lovely toilet seat)!


Edited to add: Law Mommy was nice enough to provide a link for all of you wondering exactly what a frugivorous kinkajou looks like.

23 comments:

CLC said...

How do you tell what searches people are doing to find your site? Also, do you know if you can tell who subscribes to your blog?
I know you want to talk about raccoons, but you seem to be the expert blogger!!

thrice said...

I was surprised one day last summer when a Raccoon was sitting on my AC. What the heck was he doing climbing a VERY vertical apartment building? Scared the life out of me at 5:00 am.

Amanda said...

Have you discussed raccoons before? How in the world do people find your blog using raccoons as a search term? Love your post -- it's too funny.

Amanda said...

Have you discussed raccoons before? How in the world do people find your blog using raccoons as a search term? Love your post -- it's too funny.

Lori said...

You have weird readers.

I resemble that remark.

Tash said...

these posts of yours keep inspiring me to do something with my funny search words, and I keep forgetting.

My last neighborhood was in rabid raccoon central. More than once I'd look out the window onto the wooded path and see one stumbling along in the daylight, a sure sign of distress. I guess for this reason I find them rather scary.

This is a scary blog, maybe that's the connection? Or "rabid readers"? "Frothing"? "Dangerous behavior?"

painted maypole said...

just yesterday afternoon we saw "our raccoon" (that lives in our neighbor's tree and our cat tries to attack through the window) snuffling about under the bird feeder. at 3:30pm.

Magpie said...

Oblique.
Deflection.
Obfuscation.

Jenny F. Scientist said...

I grew up in the country where, if you see a nocturnal animal in the day, you call someone with a gun. But here in the city, I've seen quite a few skunks in daytime! I think they're just confused.

Aunt Becky said...

I see plenty of raccoons. But sadly, I have never found your blog while frantically googling information about them.

OR DID I?!?

Muahahahahaha!

Christine said...

why do people get to your place after looking up racoon's? weird.

Which Box said...

you've posted this before. Well, not this post but that people find you through that query. But I can't remember any other post about raccoons, so why do people find you that way? Weird indeed.

CLC - visit statcounter.com and install that on your site. They track all sorts of things, including the searches.

I don't know about the subscribers, though.

Julia said...

I learn something new every day. :)

Rachel said...

I am so glad you didn't post any pictures of raccoons. I am TERRIFIED of them. Even pictures bother me. It stims from the 2 years I worked on a dairy farm. We had well fed fat raccoons that weren't scared of people and had a tendancy to hiss at you when you turned the lights on for the 4 am milking.

the dragonfly said...

For awhile at the camp where I worked (and where I met my husband!) my nickname was "killer". I had a reputation for...um...hitting raccoons with my car. It was not intentional, but it just kept happening. Three times.

*sigh*

LAS said...

I totally don't get why people find your blog searching for information on racoons! How funny! The one I keep getting lately is, "is it legal to remove a catalytic converter?" Though this makes sense because I purposely titled a post as being about a catalytic converter when it was really about the holidays I think! Silly me.

LawMommy said...

I had never heard of a frugivorous kinkajou before (and honestly, it really isn't every day that I learn a new word...), and, unfortunately, I was not able to follow your link. (They wanted $19 or to know my affiliation with a related institution.) So, I googled them, and there are photos of them here: http://www.wmspca.com/wildlife/kinks.html - my god they are so astonishingly ugly they are cute.

Of course, now people googling fruivorous kinkajous will be led to your site...

The most common search term that brings people to my site is "bear wolf", followed closely by "mommy boobs". I have no idea what to make of that...

Sarah said...

can't wait to hear what your top search terms are after this post. wild, dextrous and nocturnal, hmmmm....

My Reality said...

Really? You get a lot of hits for raccoons? Interesting. Very interesting.

Aurelia said...

Racoons are considered endangered in the rest of Canada and overwhelming pests in Toronto. They live under my back porch right now and are as large as dogs, as vicious as wolves and do come out in the daytime.

Especially on garbage day. On garbage day, they will fight humans to get into "their" green bins and take all the food scraps. I know people who have tied up garbage with bungees, chains, and put them inside steel sheds---and the racoons still get into them.

I don't believe in guns for urban areas, but for racoons, I am very very tempted.

Beck said...

We were trapped in our house for HOURS last summer while a rabid raccoon frothed all over our freaking porch. Finally, the animal control people trapped the thing and took it away and we hosed off our porch. And that is my raccoon story.

Roxanne said...

I don't know why people are finding you by searching for raccoons, but since you brought it up I will tell that my family had a pet raccoon that lived in our bathroom for about 5 years. My father rescued it as a baby and couldn't bring himself to let it go. It often had the run of the house.

Let me tell you that raccoons do not make good pets! That raccoon scared the crap out of me.

But I just think it's neat to tell people we had a raccoon. :)

Dr. Grumbles said...

I am getting that toilet seat.

Oh - and in at least one southern Mississippi town, "coon meat" can be purchased from a cooler in a pickup truck parked at a gas station. The "coon man" gives special instructions about how to get the meat tender. Yes, in the Gulf South, we'll eat anything.