What Species Are Raccoons Related To

What Family Are Raccoons In?

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Raccoons are cute and quirky creatures, what with their memorably dark-rimmed eyes and rather rotund physiques. The moderately sized mammals also look nothing like a lot of other animals you might frequently see scampering around, whether deer, rabbits or squirrels. Raccoons are part of a totally different family, after all.

What Family Are Raccoons In?

The omnivorous and mostly nocturnal mammals are part of the family Procyonidae, which also consists of coatis and other similar animals. Raccoons are also part of the order Carnivora.

Common Shared Body Traits of the Family Procyonidae

Although all of the animals within the family Procyonidae are different, as members of the same unit, they do also share a variety of key physical bodily traits. Some common characteristics of most Procyonidae animals are tails that are of moderate to extended length, relatively long bodies, short ears and curving claws. In general, the animals range from little to moderate size, reports the Animal Diversity Web website of the University of Michigan. Some can weigh less than 5 pounds, while others can even exceed 40 pounds.

Shared Facial Traits

Raccoons and other members of the family Procyonidae typically possess facial features that are reminiscent of foxes, notes the website for the University of Edinburgh’s Natural History Collections. Despite the facial similarities, foxes are members of a totally different family — the family Canidae. Family Procyonidae animals usually feature conspicuous marking patterns on their faces. These markings also appear on their tails, as well. The animals also usually have wide faces.

Specific Examples of Family Procyonidae Animals

Some of the various different animals that are closely intertwined with the raccoon within the family Procyonidae include the kinkajou, the ringtail, the white-nosed coati and the South American coati. Animals from the family appear in a diverse range of settings, which include tropical rainforest, desert and swampy areas. Raccoons are particularly prevalent in prairies, woodlands, swamps and urban regions, and are usually very adept at adjusting to new and unfamiliar living environments, reports the website for the Department of Environmental Conversation for New York State. The nimble animals also frequently reside by rivers.


What are Racoons related to?

Are raccoons related to cats,dogs,or rodents? I know all different species have different personalites like how dogs are loyal and go in packs and cats are independant but they can also lovable/curious, but what about rodents? Should I get my Racoon declawed? Racoons only think about food?

20 Answers

Raccoons belong to the family Procyonidae. This family contains coatis, olingos, ringtails, kinkajous and the red panda (though some scientists think the red panda should be placed in a family of its own). People are therefore correct when saying raccoons are related to pandas if they mean the red panda, but not if they mean the giant panda — the giant panda is a bear, belonging to the family Ursidae. It is not closely related to the red panda, though this was once thought to be the case, hence the shared common name.

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The family Procyonidae is part of the order Carnivora, to which the cat and dog families also belong. Rodents are a different order altogether. There are two branches of the order Carnivora, the Feliformia (or ‘cat-like’) families, and the Caniformia (or ‘dog-like’) families. The Procyonidae family belongs to the Caniformia branch, along with the Canidae (dogs), Ursidae (bears), Mustelidae (weasels and relatives), Otariidae (eared seals) and Phocidae (true seals). The Feliformia branch contains the families Felidae (cats), Viverridae (civets and genets), Hyaenidae (hyenas) and Herpestidae (mongooses).

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Racoons can make good pets but keeping them in a cage would be wrong. There is a great true kids story called Rascal. Be sure to have your racoon get shots since they can get rabies and other diseases. Check and see if it is legal to keep a racoon as a pet in your state. They are solitary except when they have a litter. The kits stay with the mom for a long time until they can hunt and forage on their own.

Racoons are NOT mustilids. Skunks are, along with weasels mink, wolverines and otters. Racoons are omnivores.

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The red panda (Ailurus fulgens) has been traditionally included within family Procyonidae, along with racoons and coatimundis. However, a 2000 study rejected the hypotheses that the red panda is most closely related to the bears (ursids) or to the raccoons (procyonids). Some new classification schemes assign it to its own family, the Ailuridae. The giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) is a member of family Ursidae, along with other bears. The evidence for inclusion of this species is overwhelming, despite its obvious specializations. So I guess the answer is No, none of the «panda» species are related to racoons.

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What are Racoons related to?

Are raccoons related to cats,dogs,or rodents? I know all different species have different personalites like how dogs are loyal and go in packs and cats are independant but they can also lovable/curious, but what about rodents? Should I get my Racoon declawed? Racoons only think about food?

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Of the species you mentioned, they are closer to the dogs. However, that relationship isn’t terribly close. They are indeed closer to pandas and bears than they are to dogs.

As someone earlier mentioned, they are in the Family Procyonidae, and their closest relatives are the other members of that family — several other species of raccoon, kinkajous, ringtails and coatis. Outside of the Procyonid family, the closest is the red or lesser panda.

As for your other questions, no you absolutely should not get your raccoon declawed. Raccoons have very dextrous paws which they rely upon both to handle their food and investigate the world. Their fingers are among their most important appendages. It’s possible to declaw cats by cutting the ligament that allows them to extend their claws, but the only way to declaw a raccoon is to chop the last joint off of each finger. This would be the equivalent of chopping your kid’s fingertips off to keep them from putting grubby fingerprints on the glass coffeetable. It would work, but is rather more drastic than the situation warrants.

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Also, as others have mentioned, raccoons do not make very good pets. They are curious and destructive — rather like living with a toddler who can climb. And they do indeed become more aggressive and territorial as they get older.


What Animals Are Relatives of the Raccoon?

Raccoons are in the taxonomic family Procyonidae, which includes olingos, coatis, kinkajous, cacomistles and ringtails. All 18 species of procyonids are New World animals native to the Western Hemisphere in areas ranging from Canada to Argentina. While the raccoon is common in North America, its relatives are heavily concentrated in Central America. Procyonids make their homes in a variety of habitats, including forests, wetlands, deserts and rainforests.

Animals in the raccoon family are typically small tree climbers, measuring roughly 12 to 28 inches in length. Their faces are often small and wide with large eyes and short ears. A raccoon’s distinct facial markings are found in relative species, but this characteristic isn’t universal. Procyonids have varying shades of brown fur and striped bands around their flexible tails. Some species have prehensile tails useful for balancing or grasping.

Procyonids have 40 sharp teeth for eating meat and vertebrates, but their omnivorous diets also include grains and fruits. Scientists believe these furry mammals are descended from an evolutionary branch of ursids, making them close relatives of the bear family. Many procyonids are nocturnal species and live in large social groups. Kinkajous are the only species known for territorial behavior, but other resourceful procyonids create dens in trees to evade predators.



Raccoon Facts

Procyon Lotor Type: 41-71cm (16-28in) Weight: 3.5-9kg (7.7-19.8lbs) Top Speed: Grey, Black, White, Brown Skin Type: Woodland areas close to water Average Litter Size: Fish, Nuts, Berries, Corn Predators: Bobcat, Foxes, Wolves, Mountain Lions Special Features: Black mask on face and dexterous hands and feet

Raccoon Location


The average raccoon is around 70 cm from the raccoons nose to the tip of the raccoons tail. A fully grown raccoon can weigh up to 10kg and can live for up to 20 years in captivity. Raccoons in the wild however, tend to have a much lower life expectancy.

The raccoon originally inhabited densely wooded areas and large forests but today the raccoon has adapted to living in mountainous and wetter habitats. The raccoon has also moved closer to human communities as the raccoons are able to find food very easily but many homeowners consider them to be pests.

Raccoons are grey, omnivorous animals surviving on a diet consisting of insects, plants and small animals such as fish and the occasional bird. Raccoons tend to be nocturnal but it is not uncommon to spot a raccoon during the day.

The most distinctive feature of the raccoon is the black mask found around the eyes of the raccoon. The raccoon has a thick layer of fur which keeps it warm during the cold winters and raccoons also have extremely sensitive and and dexterous front paws with raccoons having been observed turning door knobs and opening jars.

Raccoons forage for their food and raccoons are often found close to water. Raccoons have been observed washing their food in water before consuming it! Although the reasons for this behaviour are not really known, it is thought that the sense of touch of the front paws of the raccoon is heightened when wet.

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Their are around ten different species of raccoon that range in size but differ little in appearance, found throughout the Americas. The sense of touch is the most important for a raccoon and their agile front paws are covered in a spiny coating to protect them when they are not being used to aid eating.

Raccoons tend to mate in the late winter to early spring from January to March. However, more southernly raccoon species have been known to mate later with the mating season often lasting until June. After a gestation period of around 2 months, the female raccoon will give birth to roughly 5 baby raccoons, also known as kits or cubs.

The raccoon kits are born blind and deaf, with both senses appearing with the first month. Baby raccoons are not born hairless but instead have a layer of light coloured fur, with the distinctive black mask being visible from birth. Raccoon kits are normally about 10 cm long at birth and weigh around 75 g.

Raccoon Foot Facts

  • Raccoons have four feet with five toes both their front hind feet which give the raccoon more stability when running and climbing.
  • The underneath of the feet of the raccoon are bare-soled and flat which makes the raccoon waddle rather than walk.
  • The front feet if the raccoon are similar to the hands of a human in both appearance and dexterity to allow to the raccoon to easily hold onto things.
  • The larger back feet of the raccoon give the raccoon more power when running and balance when the front feet of the raccoon are in use.
  • Raccoons have very nimble fingers on their front feet that enable them to untie knots, turn doorknobs and even open jars.

Raccoon Teeth Facts

  • Raccoons have 40 teeth including four long and sharp canine teeth at the front of the mouth of the raccoon.
  • Raccoons use their front hand-like feet to hold onto their food before using their teeth to chew it up and swallow it.
  • The sharp canines in the front of the mouth of the raccoon are followed by the premolars which increase in size as they go into the mouth of the raccoon.
  • The raccoon uses its molars and premolars to grind up and chewing their food until they are able to swallow it.
  • Raccoons are known for their unique habit of washing their food when they are close to water, however raccoons will not pass up a tasty treat if there is no water around to wash it in.


What animals are related to raccoons?

Are raccoons closer to felines or rodents.

Or something else?

9 Answers

Raccoons are classified in the family Procyonidae. Other members of the Procyonidae include the coatis, the ringtails, kinkajous, olingos and cacomistles. Raccoons are closely related to the bears. Together the bears, seals, weasels, and canids (dogs, wolves, foxes, etc.), they are classified as dog-like carnivores. The cat-like carnivores include the cats, mongooses, hyaenas. The dog-like and catlike carnivores together are classified as the Order Carnivora. Rodents are classified as the Order Rodentia. Raccoons are members of Carnivora. Raccoons are more closely related to felines than to the rodents, but they are also more closely related to bears and dogs than to the felines.


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