Talk:Raccoon/Archive 1

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search


Pet raccoon

How about an article on pet raccoon? There's an article on pet skunk. Kent Wang 11:23, 17 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Go for it. There are certainly a lot of resources on pet raccoons. Word has it that they are more destructive than skunks, though, and also have more of a tendency to bite. Nathanlarson32767 (Talk) 03:19, 22 Jan 2005 (UTC)
Resources about pet raccoons: [1], [2].

'Washing' the food

how does 'washing' the food help them feel it? i've never known water to do anything but impair the sense of touch.

Good question. I'll post some sources here to further research the issue. Looks like the safest thing to say is that while they appear to wash their food, nobody knows why they do it. It doesn't seem to be because food is dirty.
  • [3] Says washing helps feel food
  • [4], [5], [6] Say studies are inconclusive and conclusions are speculative. [7] Comments that racoons even try to "wash" their food when there is no water.

I've edited the article text to reflect the above. Please comment and improve. Kent Wang 11:20, 17 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Distribution Map

Is everyone happy with my two-coloured distribution map? --Abbott75 00:02, 3 April 2007 (UTC)

raccoon distribution

Links explaining raccoon distribution: Liblamb 01:48, 19 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Scientific name

This page seems a little specific; Procyon lotor is not the only species known as the raccoon, and Procyon redirects back to this page. If this page is only for the common raccoon, shouldn't there be pages for racoons/Procyon in general?--Prosfilaes 06:31, 19 May 2005 (UTC)

Agreed—I've forked Procyon and retitled this page. The redirect from Raccoon to Common Raccoon is a little frustrating in terms of the sheer volume of pages, and ideally with a bit more work we could get the Procyon content into the Raccoon namespace down the line (akin to how Chimpanzee and Common Chimpanzee are split), but for now I think the redirect makes the most sense. -The Tom 03:55, 14 August 2005 (UTC)
A spate of impatience/boredom on my part has now gotten Raccoon up and running as the genus article. -The Tom 07:32, 14 August 2005 (UTC)

Half Albino?

What does that mean? What research? --Gbleem 13:36, 17 January 2007 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:37, 7 October 2007 (UTC)

Most likely caused by leucism. I will go back and check. -- Wikidragon 22:42, 23 October 2007 (UTC)

Ringed tail

I am surprised that although the article describes the racoon's ringed tail as being a distinctive feature there are no photos on the pagee in which this is visible. I think that might be a good addition to the article, I notice there is such a picture on the swedish article linked above. Stardust8212 16:29, 17 January 2007 (UTC)


Someone suggested that this article be merged, yet started no debate about it. I suppose I'll take it upon myself to do so. Aprogressivist 15:57, 18 January 2007 (UTC)

Tentatively oppose: The Common Raccoon is a type species of the raccoon; there does seem to be some ground, therefore, to differentiate between the two. Aprogressivist 15:57, 18 January 2007 (UTC)
I am the main writer of the featured German article and I think that there should be an article about the raccoons and the common raccoon. Our solution is, that "raccoon" leads to the big article for the common raccoon, wheras "raccoons" leads to the overview article for the genus Procyon. Currently, your raccoon article contains info which is supposed to be in the common raccoon article. However, both articles are not really satisfying, especially the completely unnecessary chapter about raccoons as food. -- 19:36, 26 January 2007 (UTC)
  • I agree- because the other species of raccoon have their own articles, the common raccon should have one Ryan shell 20:46, 5 February 2007 (UTC)
  • Oppose; we need a page for Procyon. I don't see why the section about raccoons as food is completely unnecessary; animals which have been used as food animals by humans should have something mentioning that on their pages. It should probably be here in Common Raccoon, though.--Prosfilaes 22:17, 5 February 2007 (UTC)
  • Oppose, for organizational reasons if nothing else. It seems to me that much of the material now in the genus article actually belongs here though. When we're talking about urban-adapted raccoons and those introduced into Europe, Procyon lotor is the specific species, no? TCC (talk) (contribs) 03:56, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
  • Oppose I just happened to surf over here and happened to catch and fix some vandalism. But then I saw this debate and figured I'd weigh in. I'm no zoologist, but I think it's pretty clear that taxonomically it's unacceptable to merge the two articles. Since everyone seems to already agree on this point, it's probably okay to remove the merge header and just start working on making sure information is in the right article. --JayHenry 04:16, 21 March 2007 (UTC)
  • See new merge proposal. Not sure if it's the same as this one. --greenmoss 02:10, 17 July 2007 (UTC)

Merge "raccoon"

Looks like the Raccoon article is "procyon lotor", as is this one. I don't see a difference. Should they be merged? --greenmoss 01:46, 17 July 2007 (UTC)

See above. Raccoon should be about genus Procyon, not about this species. As I said before, probably much of the material at Raccoon belongs here instead, but they should remain separate articles. TCC (talk) (contribs) 03:28, 17 July 2007 (UTC)
All the information on Procyon lotor needs to go to the Common Raccoon page, leaving only the information on the genera and the two lesser known species. It would also be nice if a photo of one of the other species was in the infobox. Speciate 17:46, 3 August 2007 (UTC)

Washing food?

I just heard on Discovery Channel, "Craftiest Animals", that raccoons don't wash their food. It is mistaken for washing their food when they are seen digging in water for certain animals in there that they eat. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:06, 9 September 2007 (UTC)

Raccoons as food

Is there any evidence for the last paragraph in this section? It's anecdotal at best, and when I tried to add a balancing view it was reverted. Which seems more plausible, that people would avoid eating raccoons because they eat garbage and often carry diseases, or because they view them as "intelligent" and therefore identify with them? Both observations are completely anecdotal. I don't see why one is automatically more valuable than the other. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:26, 28 September 2007 (UTC)

ÁĆÉĹ- How about an article on racoon hunting in the old days. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:30, 10 October 2007 (UTC)

Raccoons are still eaten. Most consumers prefer to keep that fact private, and do not advertise the fact they eat "'coon" because they would be made the object of jokes and even shunned by some in the community. Usually trappers and hunters provide the meat direct to the consumer, for this reason. You won't see raccoon meat on store shelves but consumption goes on. Most states have meat inspection laws, and bar restaurants from serving meat that hasn't passed inspection. Wild game often does not pass; however it is usually legal for hunters/trappers to sell meat directly to a private consumer. Many times trappers will ask about a "meat market" for coon on internet forums, and those with connections contact them with the information. Tsarevna (talk) 09:00, 30 November 2007 (UTC)

Social raccoons

"Raccoons usually live together in small, loose groups." Aren't these "groups" actually the female with her kits, including immature males. Raccoons are intensely territorial at some times of the year. "Groups" of raccoons may be drawn together briefly by a windfall, such as downed plums in an orchard. --Wetman 06:29, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

The statement is correct, though "often" would be better than "usually". Related females often share a territory and males ofen form groups of 2 to 4 individuals. If there is enough food available, they are surely not "intensely territorial" and it's not uncommon to see more than a dozen raccoons altogether at rich feeding grounds. -- 19:49, 26 January 2007 (UTC)

Some live with the humans See- —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:42, 7 October 2007 (UTC)

Racoons do attack and kill cats and dogs. I watched two racoons corner a cat in a tree out side my window (Rumson, NJ) and then kill it. There are currently 6 cats missing. I also checked google. Olympia Washington has the same problem. Check it out, they are killing the competition for thier "food" and eating it too! —Preceding unsigned comment added by Badad666 (talkcontribs) 22:10, 4 June 2008 (UTC)

Track image

Raccoon track foot print in mud

I uploaded a Raccoon track image Image:Raccoon track foot print in mud.jpg to commons, then I noticed the excellent image Image:Waschbaer fg01.jpg already on the article. if anyone thinks this second image of the track in the mud should be added please do so. Jeepday (talk) 11:10, 15 June 2008 (UTC)


First image looks like Procyon insularis to me, isn't the common raccoon Procyon lotor?

I'm pretty sure the image is misidentified too. Speciate 00:04, 20 August 2007 (UTC)
I've prophylactically exchanged it with the pic at Raccoon. Speciate 00:32, 20 August 2007 (UTC)
P. insularis has a much less distinct mask, if I'm not mistaken. See [8]. I think the ID is correct, but I note it was uploaded by a German Wikipedia editor, who presumably took the photo locally. I wouldn't be surprised to discover that the European populations have developed a few distinctive traits. TCC (talk) (contribs) 02:21, 20 August 2007 (UTC)
This is definitely a member of the species Procyon lotor. Coons with dark brown or nearly black fur are more common in Germany (those were bred in fur farms), but still rare. I re-inserted it because it is still the best portrait of a raccoon until some friend of mine will send me a picture of a raccoon with a standard coloring in some days. --Novil Ariandis (talk) 22:25, 22 June 2008 (UTC)

Range of the Raccoon

The range is stated as North America, but my wife and I just returned from our honeymoon in Costa Rica, where we found that raccoon's are populous as far as Panama.

Please remember to sign your talk posts with four tildes like this:~~~~
Second, I too, have spent time in Costa Rica. Is it possible what you saw was a Coati? Coatis are extremely common in the country. VanTucky Talk 04:38, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

Regarding the feral range in europe of raccoons that escaped fur farms, the article states that this is in the Caucasus region, but the map shows the european feral range (in blue) as being more in central europe around the Alps. One of the two is wrong. Aapold (talk) 19:11, 7 December 2007 (UTC)

I have drawn and uploaded a much more accurate map yesterday. To draw the correct distribution range in Canada and the Rocky Mountains is difficult, though, because there are quite different borders in every book. --Novil Ariandis (talk) 23:11, 20 June 2008 (UTC)

Comment about literature and credible sources about raccoons

Opinion about the literature used for the article

Here is a short overview of my opinion of the books about raccoons I have read. I have corrected several serious errors in the article and added new chapters during the last two days according to the information given in these credible sources. Other sources are often not accurate, what is true for newspaper articles and articles at wildlife websites of all kinds.

  • (de) Ulf Hohmann: Der Waschbär. Oertel+Spörer, Reutlingen 2001, ISBN 978-3886273010the definitive book about the species with an unmatched overview of appearance and behaviour (the author has studied them for a whole decade)
  • (de) Ingo Bartussek: Die Waschbären kommen. Cognitio, Niedenstein 2004, ISBN 978-3932583100useful information about urban raccoons
  • (de) Anke Lagoni-Hansen: Der Waschbär. Verlag Dieter Hoffmann, Mainz 1981, ISBN 3-87341-037-0very outdated regarding the behaviour, but with very exact statistics
  • Samuel I. Zeveloff: Raccoons: A Natural History. Smithsonian Books, Washington, D. C. 2002, ISBN 978-1588340337extensive information, but a bit outdated regarding the social behaviour
  • Dorcas MacClintock: A Natural History of Raccoons. The Blackburn Press, Caldwell (New Jersey) 2002, ISBN 978-1930665675good overview, but a bit outdated regarding the social behaviour
  • Virginia C. Holmgren: Raccoons in Folklore, History and Today's Backyards. Capra Press, Santa Barbara (Kalifornien) 1990, ISBN 978-0884963127very interesting facts about raccoons in mythology, but not much information about appearance and behaviour

--Novil Ariandis (talk) 23:06, 20 June 2008 (UTC)

Why you should be extremely cautious of information on raccoons on external websites

I don't want to be a smart ass, but I want to ask every reader of this to be very cautious about information given about raccoons on websites or articles not specifically mentioned or used as a source for this article. Zoology is not an exact science so there are always controversial topics which some people may have other opinions about. However, the information given on nearly all external websites and many newspaper articles are unsourced at best and completely wrong at worst. (The information given about foxes seems to be not as inaccurate most of the time, for example.)

You often see articles where it is stated that raccoons live solitary. But it is not done in a way like "Yes, we have read the studies of S. D. Gehrt and have heard about the similar results of Ulf Hohmann which suggest that raccoons are not loners. But we believe that they have misinterpreted their data because of A and B, and have not taken into account C and D." Then we could talk, as I am always interested in new insights. No, it is just stated "Raccoons live solitary!" without further explanation. What were the sources for this bold statement? An encyclopedia of the 1970s?

But it's not only those topics about behavior, even the facts about such simple things like the average litter size are often wrong which is for example said to be "around 5". How did they got this figure? An extensive listing of studies in various states on page 50 of Der Waschbär (The Raccoon) from Anke Lagoni-Hansen shows that the litter size is somewhere around 3.5, with only one sample reaching 5.0.

Keep such things in mind if somebody wants to sell you a raccoon for a tanuki in the future ;-). --Novil Ariandis (talk) 10:40, 23 June 2008 (UTC)

Thank you for correcting spelling mistakes etc.

I want to thank all other contributors who have corrected spelling mistakes or similar errors in my texts or who might do that in the future. It is not always easy for me to find the right words in English and sometimes when I have to use I wonder if the proposed translation is really correct. So I'd like to ask you to correct my spelling and grammar anytime. --Novil Ariandis (talk) 10:40, 23 June 2008 (UTC) I had to edit the part where it says "Disribution in America" becuase there is north america,south america & those combined make the america's but there is no america unless you account the nickname/short for the united states of america

Raccoons as food

I *believe* that raccoons are believed to be mainly eaten in "backwoods" regions, but User:DavidOaks fails to deliver a credible source for this statement. On the website given by him are just some recipes without mentioning anything about eating habits in Southern America or anywhere else. Furthermore, the website is not maintained by an organisation I would call credible. I have to ask at least for an article in a respected newspaper or an online magazine for statements like this (a website maintained by a college or a government site would be better). --Novil Ariandis (talk) 14:59, 26 June 2008 (UTC)

This source, from North Carolina state university doesn't say who eats them, but is a valid reference that they are used as human food: [9]. Here's another from Ohio [10]. They don't specify who is eating the raccoons, but there is no mention of "backwoods." Bob98133 (talk) 15:10, 26 June 2008 (UTC)
Sadly, both do not support the claims made by DavidOaks. Perhaps one can say that there are still some festivals today where raccoons are eaten (I remember that there was also an important one in Arkansas.) --Novil Ariandis (talk) 15:28, 26 June 2008 (UTC)
As noted in my edit summary, the presence of recipes is hard to explain except as evidence that people at least occasionally eat the things. Credibility of sources is a thorny area -- we certainly want to be critical about the sources of genuinely controversial claims, but I don't see the reason for opposing this. "Thousands are eaten every year," according to a Board of Education (IL) site. [11] Never had the pleasure myself, but I know plenty who do. DavidOaks (talk) 17:15, 26 June 2008 (UTC)

Vandalism from IPs

As much as I like it when IP users correct spelling mistakes or something like that, the constant vandalism and needless edits not improving the article are probably doing more harm to the article than the benefits from those corrections. If the amount of vandalism won't decrease I will most likely make a request for semi-protection of the article. --Novil Ariandis (talk) 15:25, 26 July 2008 (UTC)


Who are all these people in the references? Hohmann,Lagoni-Hansen,Bartussek etc. Their names appear with page numbers but there does not seem to be any indication of what work the footnotes refer to. References that are not available only in German should probablynot be used. Bob98133 (talk) 12:34, 28 July 2008 (UTC)

These are shortcuts for the books mentioned below, a common way to reference frequently used sources in many featured articles like Adolfo Farsari and Guinea pig. According to Wikipedia:Sources#Non-English_sources non-english references are okay, if no equally good references in English can be found. This is often true for the raccoon since Ulf Hohmann, who wrote Der Waschbär (The Raccoon), is most likely the leading raccoon expert of the world. [I stand corrected, Stanley D. Gehrt seems to have done research for 17 years now according to this article.] It is my intention, though, to deliver as much additional English sources as possible after I will have written the last missing major chapter about the distribution of the raccoon in North America. You can always ask me here, if you want a translation of the text in the given source for a statement in the article. --Novil Ariandis (talk) 13:05, 28 July 2008 (UTC)
It is traditional to list the entire reference the first time it appears, not just the author's name. Following references can then be by name. How can someone find out what "Hohmann" means? My guess is that there are available online references for every item that you have referenced to the German book. If not, how authoritative could that book be if no one has ever referenced it in other work? Bob98133 (talk) 13:28, 28 July 2008 (UTC)
It is traditional to list the entire reference the first time it appears I can do that, no problem at all, but it is not on the top of my priority list, so if you want it now, you have to do it yourself. If you have a look at Ulf Hohmann you will see that there are many points why he can be considered to be a raccoon expert. If you absolutely don't believe me or that Ulf Hohmann is an authority (you can contact him via ulf.hohmann(at), you can email Frank-Uwe Michler at, Samuel I. Zeveloff at, Stanley D. Gehrt at and Erik Fritzell at (those email addresses are all available on their public profile sites) and speak with those scientists who have studied the raccoon for many years about your issues. I do, of course, not make the claim that this article contains the Truth™. Books and papers written in German are generally not often cited by foreign scientists who can't read them, but Frank-Uwe Michler and his colleagues frequently cite Hohmann in their publications, for exampe on this page. --Novil Ariandis (talk) 13:54, 28 July 2008 (UTC)
Look, go on your merry way. Now that I know that I can email Hohman and ask him if he's an expert, how could I possibly doubt, or demand a full reference for, your as yet unsourced edits? Bob98133 (talk) 21:20, 28 July 2008 (UTC)
What part of "You can always ask me here, if you want a translation of the text in the given source for a statement in the article." do you not understand? Since you have still not mentioned any statement you think is wrong, you just seem to want to argue with me here, especially since the accusation that I make unsourced edits is laughable since the article has references for nearly every sentence. --Novil Ariandis (talk) 21:35, 28 July 2008 (UTC)

"Most omnivorous"

What is this supposed to mean? I know it is a quote but the article should clarify this. (talk) 08:50, 9 August 2008 (UTC)

It means that there are not many other animals with a diet consisting of that many different foods. Since the article is already quite long, I will only include this clarification, if another reader wants it, too. --Novil Ariandis (talk) 14:29, 9 August 2008 (UTC)
It only has to be one line or so; it would not lengthen the article significantly. (talk) 07:55, 28 August 2008 (UTC)
Done. --Novil Ariandis (talk) 08:13, 28 August 2008 (UTC)

Spelling mistake

Under this heading:


"Raccoons can carry raccoon rabies, a lethal disease caused by the neurotropic rabies virus carried in the salvia and transmitted by bites.[144] Its spread has begun in Florida and Georgia in the 1950s and was facilitated by the intoduction of infected individuals to Virginia and North Dakota in the late 1970s.[145]..."

"Salvia" in the first line needs to be corrected to "saliva". —Preceding unsigned comment added by Shrekkie45 (talkcontribs) 16:13, Sep 1, 2008

Done. --Novil Ariandis (talk) 20:29, 2 September 2008 (UTC)

Removal of passages?

The article is getting longer and longer and there are still some things that could be said about the most important subspecies and some physical characteristics. So I am open for comments if there are parts or sentences which do (in your own eyes) not seem to be very relevant and should probably be removed. However, this does not mean that the information about the average body weight will be removed just because you don't like it. ;-) --Novil Ariandis (talk) 18:46, 4 September 2008 (UTC)

Need a link to roundworm article

Wikipedia has a page for Baylisascaris. The Latin name of the raccoon roundworm parasite in the Diseases section should be linked to this article. (talk) 20:04, 2 September 2008 (UTC)

Done, but only at the first occurence of the term in the chapter "Distribution in Germany" --Novil Ariandis (talk) 20:29, 2 September 2008 (UTC)

GA Review

This review is transcluded from Talk:Raccoon/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

I'll be reviewing this article beginning in the next few hours and probably will be finished within 24 hours. The opener and range map look great, but I haven't had a chance to look much more thoroughly than that yet. DJLayton4 (talk) 01:44, 3 September 2008 (UTC)

Notes for lead through taxonomy

I've begun copyediting (I've noticed a few Denglish errors ^-^) and so far have gotten through the taxonomy section. Here are some areas that perhaps need fixing: DJLayton4 (talk) 07:05, 3 September 2008 (UTC)

Thanks very much for your edits. I have asked for a copyedit by a native speaker once, but that was not successful. I have tried my best to write good English, but to grasp the subtleties of "brilliant prose" is another thing. --Novil Ariandis (talk) 07:31, 3 September 2008 (UTC)
Your English is better than many native speakers, don't get me wrong. It's only that I've taught English in Germany and can recognise certain mistakes as distinctly German-to-English ones that others would probably fail to notice or only find subtely odd. On the whole it's very well written (infinitely better than I could write in German!). DJLayton4 (talk) 18:21, 3 September 2008 (UTC)
  • From the lead: "Often, related females share a common area and unrelated males live together in small groups up to four animals to sustain their position during the mating season." I don't understand what is meant by the bold text. Could you clarify?
  • This formulation looks much better. DJLayton4 (talk) 18:21, 3 September 2008 (UTC)
  • Does the evolution subsection belong in a section devoted to taxonomy? Perhaps the section should be renamed "systematics" to avoid this issue, but if it's common practice in other animal articles I suppose that the current layout is fine.
  • Yes, it is common practise. See the featured articles bobcat and elk for example. --Novil Ariandis (talk) 07:31, 3 September 2008 (UTC)
  • Strange to me, but I'll accept ^-^ DJLayton4 (talk) 18:21, 3 September 2008 (UTC)
  • Just as a note, FAC would probably require that the "other 19 subspecies" be treated a little more thoroughly, but for GAC its fine as is.
  • I think giving details about different coat color would be quite boring, so I will have to think about how this could be done. (But maybe not until a FA nomination.) --Novil Ariandis (talk) 07:31, 3 September 2008 (UTC)
  • Don't worry about it now, but boring is probably less important than relative completeness. DJLayton4 (talk) 18:21, 3 September 2008 (UTC)

Notes for description

I'll begin reviewing the rest now and I'll post comments on a section by section basis. DJLayton4 (talk) 18:21, 3 September 2008 (UTC)

  • In the "Physical characteristics" subsection's second paragraph you write: "It is assumed that the noticeable face coloring and the alternating light and dark rings on the tail help raccoons to quickly recognize the mimic and posture of conspecifics. - What is meant by "mimic" in this sentence? I would also suggest replacing "conspecifics", which sounds quite awkward and is jargon, with "members of their species" or something similar.
  • I meant something like "facial expression". Mimic is obviously a false friend of the German word "Mimik". "Artgenosse" is a widely used term in German for "other members of the own species", so I thought the direct translation "conspecific" would be a good choice and used it often. According to you I was wrong. --Novil Ariandis (talk) 21:09, 3 September 2008 (UTC)
  • As far as my experience goes, "conspecific" is most often used as an adjective and not a noun, but according to the dictionary "conspecific" can indeed be used as you have used it. I suppose it's fine to leave it then, but it is still a bit awkward and jargony for me as I don't ever recall encountering it. DJLayton4 (talk) 01:26, 4 September 2008 (UTC)
  • Some jargon should probably be explained throughout the section, such as plantigrade, vibrissae, accomodation and tapetum lucidum. Although these are wikilinked and rather specific, I find it very helpful to uninitiated readers to include a short definition, or at least an idea as to what the word means. I find it extremely irritating having to click on a wikilink every minute when I am reading about a subject that I am new to, so I think this would be a good service to the readers of this article. When I write descriptions of plants, which is very jargon rich, I use the scientific word followed by a parenthetical phrase. For example, "the leaf blades are ovate (i.e. egg-shaped) in outline" or " the leaf blades have oblique, or uneven, bases". This way you can have the specificity of scientific terms and accesibility for lay readers. Of course it's more difficult for complex words...
  • I know many articles fail to explain jargon, but I think that is a serious problem and should not be emulated. I think explaining any word when it can be done in a sentence or less will increase the readability of the article significantly. DJLayton4 (talk) 01:26, 4 September 2008 (UTC)
  • "Urine, feces, and gland secretions, usually distributed with their anal glands, are used for marking" - Is there more specificity about what they are marking? Territory, breeding grounds, etc.? Or are all of these excretions and secretions used generally?
  • Good questions, I have to check my books to be able to answer them. --Novil Ariandis (talk) 21:09, 3 September 2008 (UTC)
  • "In 1908, the ethologist H. B. Davis compared their learning speed with those of Rhesus Macaques after they had opened 11 of 13 complex locks in less than 10 tries." We need the results of this study. How did racoons compare?
  • Are these words missing: H. B. Davis compared their learning speed to be equal with that of Rhesus Macaques? If this is not the problem, I do not really understand it. --Novil Ariandis (talk) 21:09, 3 September 2008 (UTC)
  • Those words were indeed missing ^-^. And the word "compared" can't exactly be used like that. You would have to say "H.B. Davis compared the learning speeds of the raccoon and the Rhesus Macque and found them to be roughly equal" or something along those lines. DJLayton4 (talk) 01:26, 4 September 2008 (UTC)
  • The intelligence section should go into a bit more depth if possible. Could you give some more details on those 4 memory studies you mention?
  • Uhm, I would love to go more into detail about the intelligence of raccoons, but there is really not much more to tell. I could give an example for the task of one of the memory studies, but all in all it was very much like: "Interesting, raccoons remember this task to get some food after x months." With x increasing with every study. --Novil Ariandis (talk) 21:09, 3 September 2008 (UTC)
  • Details of the memory study would be quite informative I think. It would be nice to have some of them included if it's not a great inconvenience. DJLayton4 (talk) 01:26, 4 September 2008 (UTC)

Notes for behavior

  • The three class society should be explained. Why did Hohmann choose to call it this? DJLayton4 (talk) 19:44, 3 September 2008 (UTC)
  • He called it like this because there are three quite different social systems (not truly the right word) in contrast to loners like tigers and pack animals like wolves (yeah, yeah, there are always exceptions... ;-)): "female fussion-fission society", "male social groups" and "mothers and her kits". But "three class society" maybe indicates too much "bottom to top" and not "side by side" and the whole citation should be removed. --Novil Ariandis (talk) 21:09, 3 September 2008 (UTC)
  • I think it would be fine to leave if it is simply made more clear that the three class society relates to the previous terms discussed. As it is it'a out of context and difficult to interpret. If we added something like, "These three different social organisations led whatever-his-name-is to describe their society as a three class society", then this would fix the issue. DJLayton4 (talk) 01:34, 4 September 2008 (UTC)
  • In "Dousing": "Raccoons sample food and other objects with their front paws to get a picture of it and to remove unwanted parts. In addition, it increases the tactile sensibility of their paws when the callus is softened underwater. Captive raccoons sometimes carry their food to a watering hole to “wash”, or douse, it before eating it; a behavior not observed in the wild" - The bold sentence does not flow with the preceding or following sentence. It is out of place and should be reworded and/or moved elsewhere. I can't think of how to fix it myself. DJLayton4 (talk) 20:15, 3 September 2008 (UTC)
  • I think it should stay in this place, but I will try to reword it for a better logical connection to the preceding and following sentence. --Novil Ariandis (talk) 21:09, 3 September 2008 (UTC)
  • I'm still confused as to how the sentence relates. It seems to suggests that they would douse in the wild in order to use this extra sensibility to their advantage, and this implication seems at odds with what follows. Does this make sense? DJLayton4 (talk) 01:34, 4 September 2008 (UTC)
  • Although the sense of touch in their paws is even better underwater for the reason mentioned, wild raccoons do not bring their food to a watering place. Only captive raccoons do that. I think that the text in the article says exactly this. --Novil Ariandis (talk) 09:22, 7 September 2008 (UTC)
  • The statement that raccoons in the wild have not been observed to douse their food prior to eating is simply not true. For several years I nightly sat by a stream and fed up to 70 raccoons in a local wooded area. Many of these raccoons would take food such as bread or other baked goods from my hand or from a food bag. The very first thing they would do is go to the stream and douse the food, then eat it. One female who used to come with four cubs would take several pieces of bread at a time, dump them all in the water and eat them. She would then return quickly for another handful of food which she immediately doused once again in the stream a few yards away. I have likewise raised raccoons in captivity. These animals more often than not would also douse their food before eating. They also enjoyed finding objects in my pockets, eg, coins, keys, pens, etc, all of which they would immediately dunk in their water troughs. Dousing by captive raccoons is surely an established fact; similar dousing by wild raccoons is behaviour I have witnessed on a regular basis. Clearly, dousing is not limited to animals in human care. Given raccoons will douse both food and non-food items would also seem to indicate that they simply enjoy the enhanced tactile pleasure afforded by wetting the objects, whatever they may be. ConcernedMage (talk) 12:54, 20 October 2008 (UTC)

Reply regarding both "Description" and "Behavior": I have tried to improve all open issues except for the jargon which I have still to look at. However, I have added the additional information about marking at the end of the chapter "Social behavior", since it does not belong into the chapter about "Physical characteristics". It was sometimes quite hard to get the facts right and I have to have a second look at the formulations later. --Novil Ariandis (talk) 13:22, 4 September 2008 (UTC)

Notes for reproduction and life expectancy

  • Both of these sections look fine.DJLayton4 (talk) 21:47, 6 September 2008 (UTC)

Notes for habitat

  • You mention quarries as a primary sleeping location- are you sure about this? Quarries are man-made sites for mining stone. Are you sure you don't mean a rocky slope or something like that? DJLayton4 (talk) 21:47, 6 September 2008 (UTC)
  • Rock crevice seems to be the best term (used by Zeveloff and not too far away from the direct translation of the word Steinbruch used by Hohmann). I rewrote some other parts of this passage, too. --Novil Ariandis (talk) 11:12, 7 September 2008 (UTC)
  • "In a study in the German low mountain range Solling, more than 60% of all sleeping places were used only once, but those used at least 10 times accounted for about 70% of all overday stays." : this sentence is unclear to me. What is an "overday stay"? DJLayton4 (talk) 21:47, 6 September 2008 (UTC)
  • An overday stay is supposed to be the opposite of an overnight stay. I exchanged it with a simple uses. --Novil Ariandis (talk) 11:12, 7 September 2008 (UTC)
  • "Since amphibians, crustaceans and other animals found at the shore of lakes and rivers are an important part of their diet, humid deciduous or mixed forests sustain the highest population densities.": here the conclusion does not follow from the premise. Presumabely this would mean that areas near rivers and lakes would sustain high population densities, not forests, which is stated more or less in the following sentence. I went ahead and changed this, but you may want to have a look to make sure that it still makes sense. DJLayton4 (talk) 21:47, 6 September 2008 (UTC)
  • Note to self: Look at this later! --Novil Ariandis (talk) 08:23, 11 September 2008 (UTC)

Notes for distribution in North America

  • I removed the bolded text from the following sentence: "The estimated number of raccoons in North America in the late 1980s was 15 to 20 times higher than in the 1930s when raccoons were comparatively rare; a population explosion which started with their 1943 breeding season." Not only is a semicolon inappropriate there (semicolons join independent clauses; the bolded text is a dependent clause), linking a single breeding season to the start of a population explosion should be explained due to the high degree of specificity. DJLayton4 (talk) 22:14, 6 September 2008 (UTC)
  • There is not much information about this fact in Raccoons: A Natural History. It says: "They began to prosper following their 1943 breeding season, apparently across the continent. A rapid population surge continued throughout the 1940s, [...] The reasons for both their decline and subsequent increase are not well understood, [...]" He then writes about the four causes I mention after that. If more data is needed why the year is nailed to 1943 by Zeveloff, I probably have to write him an e-mail and ask him to publish the information anywhere on his website, so that it can be used as a source. Surely not the best source since it won't be reviewed, but it should at least be acceptable since he is definetly an expert. I could also change the part to "a population explosion starting in the 1940s." --Novil Ariandis (talk) 22:31, 6 September 2008 (UTC)
  • Hmm. You're certainly right about the information being from a reliable source. The information is fine if it is reworded, and I like your formulation above. Let's go with that. DJLayton4 (talk) 00:13, 7 September 2008 (UTC)

Notes for distribution outside North America

  • I'm a bit concerned that the last paragraph of "Distribution in Germany" may not express a neutral point of view. The general concensus is that introduced animals, especially large ones relatively high on the food chain, are detrimental to native flora and/or fauna. However, your treatment gives one sentence to this view, followed by three sentences in opposition. Would you say that you have represented the two viewpoints in such a way that you are not giving undue weight to one? A quick google search yielded this pdf that discusses their effects on ground-dwelling bird populations and other groups.DJLayton4 (talk) 01:56, 8 September 2008 (UTC)
  • This "general concensus" is not shared by German scientists like Prof. Josef Reichholf, chairman of the "Zoologische Staatssammlung München" ("Zoological State Collection Munich"), who opposes the view of a static nature and calls it xenophobia. Ulf Hohmann (a hunter) says that the raccoon is a “scapegoat” for many hunters and Michler (also a hunter) says that the claim that raccoons are responsible for the decline of the numbers of ground-nesting birds is "pure speculation" that "lacks any reliability". These are quite strong words for scientists, so undue weight should be not an issue after the changes made today. --Novil Ariandis (talk) 08:40, 8 September 2008 (UTC)
  • The edits are a bit more carefully worded. I have one more concern with this sentence: "Hohmann points out that extensive hunting can not be justified by the absence of natural predators, because predation is also not a significant cause of death in North America." "Points out" is a bit of weasel word and should be changed to "believes" or "thinks", since it is clearly one man's opinion on the morality of killing off an introduced species and not the presentation of fact.
  • Changed to "holds". If you don't like that word, change it to "believes". --Novil Ariandis (talk) 08:22, 11 September 2008 (UTC)
  • I noticed that when I changed "carnivorans" to "carnivores" you changed it back. "Carnivoran" is an adjective in all dictionaries I have access to, but I noticed the Wikipedia article on the carnivores (as I would call them) uses "carnivorans" as well. At any rate, when the word is first used it should be explained or linked if it isn't already (I didn't check). DJLayton4 (talk) 22:17, 9 September 2008 (UTC)

Notes on urban raccoons

Notes on diseases

  • "It may occur conjoined with a following infection with the encephalitis virus, causing together the same symptoms like rabies". As far as I have known, encephalitis is a symptom of several viral and bacterial infections, not a virus in its own right. Could you check if the source was perhaps more specific? DJLayton4 (talk) 22:17, 9 September 2008 (UTC)
  • Changed, thanks for the information. --Novil Ariandis (talk) 08:22, 11 September 2008 (UTC)
  • "When cleaning latrines, a breathing protection should be worn to not ingest larvae of the Baylisascaris procyonis roundworm, which seldom causes a severe illness in humans." This needs a bit more context. I can imagine why raccoon roundworm larvae would be in a latrine, but it should be stated explicitly. DJLayton4 (talk) 22:17, 9 September 2008 (UTC)
  • Added the missing bit of information. --Novil Ariandis (talk) 08:22, 11 September 2008 (UTC)

Notes on conflicts

  • I changed "absolute rejection" in the first sentence, which was rather unclear, to "outrage at their prescence". I hope this is more or less what you had intended. DJLayton4 (talk) 22:47, 9 September 2008 (UTC)
  • "Some wildlife experts and most public authorities caution against feeding wild animals, because they might get increasingly obtrusive and dependant on humans as food source. Other experts challenge such arguments and give advice for feeding wildlife in their books." Is this information general or specific to particular animals? I notice that one of the sources is about wild foxes and as such may not be directly applicable to this article. DJLayton4 (talk) 22:47, 9 September 2008 (UTC)
  • This two sentences are not specific to the raccoon, but to feeding wildlife in general, in my opinion an important aspect. To say something like "caution against feeding raccoons, ..." would be wrong since this could be interpreted in a way that feeding foxes or wolves might be okay in their eyes. --Novil Ariandis (talk) 08:22, 11 September 2008 (UTC)
  • "When a mother uses the chimney or attic as a nesting place it is easiest to wait until she and her kits will leave when they are about eight weeks old." Why is this easiest? This information is uniteresting without further details, and Wikipedia is not a guidebook. DJLayton4 (talk) 22:47, 9 September 2008 (UTC)
  • I disagree. I think it is quite interesting to know that they will leave after some weeks, so that simply waiting is a decent option to deal with the problem. This sentence also just states a fact from the given source and is not written in a how-to-style. If so, it would read like: "... you should simply wait until they leave...".

GA Pass

This article is very complete and definitily meets GA standards now that some grammatical and prosaic issues have been improved. I would still recommend going through the comments once more in order to make some further improvements, especially if FAC is desired. I apologise that the review process took so long, but I was repeatedly interrupted by real life. Great job! DJLayton4 (talk) 02:04, 16 September 2008 (UTC)


I have been observing raccoons in the wild for six months. When I put out really dry food, such as crackers, they will carry the crackers under the fence to the birds' water pans and soak the crackers until they get soft, turning them over and testing them several times until they get soft. They do not do this with fruit, nuts, or dog food. It appears to me that they don't produce enough saliva to be able to swallow the crackers and therefore soak them before eating. Wapamaba (talk) 04:50, 22 September 2008 (UTC)

Have a look at the sentence "Observations that even wild raccoons may dunk very dry food are doubted by other experts.[83]" Virginia C. Holmgren describes exactly the same behavior in her book "Raccoons in Folklore, History and Today's Backyard" on page 22. However, other experts write that they don't do it. So, I had to find a compromise. Maybe it's not a typical behavior but common only in local populations. It is a fact, however, that many raccoons like squishy food like overripe fruit. --Novil Ariandis (talk) 18:49, 22 September 2008 (UTC)

Pecking order

I have also observed that they have a feeding rights order as so many mammals do. The others must wait until the "leader" is done and they get the left-overs. The youngest eat the provided food last, but are allowed to search for natural food sources in the immediate surrounding area. Trying to sneak the provided food from under the leader's nose earns the offender quite a scolding. Wapamaba (talk) 05:02, 22 September 2008 (UTC)

This is most likely not a typical behavior and I can't remember ever having read something like that in one of my six books. I have seen hundreds of videos and thousands of photos where raccoons of all age groups eat together at the same time. I've even seen many videos where an adult does not shoo away other unrelated kits/juveniles although there is not much food left. Of course, I have also seen some videos with some growling going on in such a case. --Novil Ariandis (talk) 18:49, 22 September 2008 (UTC)

Unlock please

I want to edit the article, but it has a lock on it. Fix please..

Pls let us know what you want to add with a reference, we will add it for u. Thanks. Docku:“what up?” 21:38, 7 November 2008 (UTC)
It has a lock on it because of rampant vandalism in the past. Since he did not bother to come back, it couldn’t be that important anyway... --Novil Ariandis (talk) 21:34, 6 December 2008 (UTC)

Canadian Habitat

I noticed the range images removed Nova Scotia as a habitat; Raccoons are quite common here. Natural Resources Nova Scotia actually has a fact sheet on Raccoons as a nuisance. ( ) Not a super high priority, but NS could go back onto the red blotch at some future revision. (talk) 18:47, 10 November 2008 (UTC)

Done. Thanks for the info. --Novil Ariandis (talk) 21:31, 6 December 2008 (UTC)

Christmas food

I can not edit the article as the edit this page tab is missing, but I wanted to mention that it was not uncommon to serve raccoon for Christmas dinner in the Southern US up until about WW2. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:15, 31 October 2008 (UTC)

There is already a chapter about raccoons as food and it really shouldn’t get any longer as it already is. --Novil Ariandis (talk) 21:37, 6 December 2008 (UTC)
Actually, the section's quite short, especially in light of its cultural significance. If there's a reliable citation for the claim, it certainly belongs. DavidOaks (talk) 03:10, 27 January 2009 (UTC)
No, the section is quite long, since eating raccoon has little cultural significance. This is proven by the fact that there is almost no information about it in all six existing, somewhat recent, monographies about the species. There are even just a few sentences about it in Raccoons in Folklore, History and Today's Backyards by Virinia C. Holmgren which discusses the whole history of raccoons and humans and has an extensive bibliography. --Novil Ariandis (talk) 18:15, 27 January 2009 (UTC)

This turns out to be quite interesting, and indicates that the modern revulsion towards eating the animal, or at least to treat it as normative, is a bit of now-ism. It was not always the food of those who knew no better or could get no better; in the San Francisco "Golden Era" of December 21, 1856, it's among the specialties advertised for the seasonal trade (San Diego's Hilarious History By Herbert Lockwood, William Carroll Published by Coda Publications, 2004, p. 46)

In "From Slavery to Wealth, the Life of Scott Bond: The Rewards of Honesty, Industry, Economy and Perserverance (Daniel Arthur Rudd, Theophilus Bond Published by The Journal printing company, 1917, p. 61) coon is treated as a delicacy, and a joke is played on an expert cook by substituting the presumably inferior beaver.

Raccoon was served for Christmas dinner aboard the USS Fernandia in 1863 (Life in Mr. Lincoln's Navy, Dennis J. Ringle, Naval Institute Press, 1998 p. 77) Among American slaves, raccoon was also eaten at Christmas, as was oppossum, though preferentially pigs or poultry were stolen. (Harriet Jacobs, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, Publishing, 2005, p.72). Barbecued raccoon is also reported as traditional by Richard Rhodes (Farm: A Year in the Life of an American Farmer. Richard Rhodes, reprint, U of Nebraska Press, 1997, p.270). President Calvin Coolidge was sent a raccoon to be served for Thanksgiving dinner (yes, there's a pattern of festive eating here), but it was made into a pet, and named "Rebecca." (Jen O'Neill. White House Life: Filling the Position of First Pet November 12, 2008. The traditionality of the association is affirmed by proverbial usage: "Negotiations between Wright and Paul 'The Punisher' Williams died at the table like a roasted raccoon on Christmas Day." [12] It's also listed on a BBS page dealing with "Christmas Traditions" tho' that's not an ideal RS. DavidOaks (talk) 03:41, 27 January 2009 (UTC)

Old, old information

I noticed this in the Conflicts section of this article:

In a study published in 1981, the equivalent value of the maximal crop loss per raccoon was given with C$4.42 in a field and sweet corn...

A study this old quoting dollar amounts is a bit silly. This should be removed and either replaced with some more current reference or restated as "make a financial impact" or something generalized that gets the same point across. Bob98133 (talk) 18:39, 13 December 2008 (UTC)

An update tag, if not for the entire article, for that particular section or sentence, may be necessary? Otolemur crassicaudatus (talk) 18:41, 13 December 2008 (UTC)

Well, it's certainly less outdated that one may think: The same study is quoted by Hohmann and Zeveloff in their books. I am quite sure that there is no more current study available. --Novil Ariandis (talk) 19:23, 13 December 2008 (UTC)

Can you tell me what the current "equivalent value of the maximal crop loss per raccoon" is, based on this reference? I can't. Why would a reference be given in a Canadian dollar value? It just seems like it would make more sense to have a figure such as "each raccoon eats 5.6 pounds of corn" or whatever, so that the reference isn't keyed to inflation, the value of the Cdn dollar or how much corn is used for ethanol. Bob98133 (talk) 17:25, 14 December 2008 (UTC)

Raccoon Identification

Have you ever heard of American Raccoons that do not have the characteristic mask? I have one in my yard and would like for someone to identify it. It seems unafraid of me but I know that could be a sign that it has some type of disease although it seems to be in fairly good health1beautifulchild (talk) 19:48, 17 January 2009 (UTC)

I have seen some photos of raccoons with a very light mask. I have also seen photos of albino raccoons without a mask. I have, however, never seen a photo of a normal colored raccoon without a mask. It would be cool if you could make a photo. That the raccoon is unafraid of you does not have to be a sign of a disease, more likely it is just used to humans. However, always stay away from wild animals far enough so that they can't attack you. --Novil Ariandis (talk) 18:20, 27 January 2009 (UTC)

Edits by David Oaks

Reasons for my revert:

  • I have added the [citation needed] since Zeveloff does not mention coonskin caps made out of fake fur on page 170 of "Raccoons: A Natural History". So the source is not given.
  • It is totally ridiculous to assume that most of the 118,166 killed raccoons in Missouri were eaten afterwards. The source does also not say that but just contains an obscure guess.
  • How to prepare raccoon does not belong into this article since it is not encyclopedic. Such information is also not present in articles about species which are eaten much more often. To add more information to the "As food" chapter would also give this very minor issue undue weight. You can see that it's a minor issue since almost no information can be found about it in all existing monographies, most of them having more than 100 pages.

--Novil Ariandis (talk) 23:33, 25 January 2009 (UTC)

Restricting sources to monographs of over 100 pages is of course not wikipolicy. And just speaking for myself, it doesn't make a lot of sense as a standard. There are a great, great many subjects that would be difficult to write upon if that were the case. In fact, much popular culture and folklore would disappear altogether; these subjects require a different kind of documentary record and procedure, though claims of fact must be backed by verifiable evidence. For example, we cannot say that it rained in London on March 20 1659/60. We can say that Samuel Pepys reported rain in his diary for that day, and give a link or hardcopy cite. Similarly, we can report that there are numerous references to raccoon as a festive meal (not a deprivational one), and we list the cites. DavidOaks (talk) 19:19, 27 January 2009 (UTC)
You are putting words in my mouth here. There are lots of additional sources in this article which were used to support facts not present in the books, like new research results about the island raccoons. It is, however, unaccaptable to add irrelevant pieces of information to the article just because there is a (potentially) reliable source about it. You could write 50 pages about physical characteristics of raccoons, but we don't do that here because a Wikipedia article requires summary style. Because of that, less important facts have to be dismissed. This includes mentioning all sorts of events where raccoons are eaten. --Novil Ariandis (talk) 19:48, 27 January 2009 (UTC)
Strange section title, but OK. Supplied cite for "faux fur."

Strange logic -- you have your sources ""Raccoons: A Natural History". If it does not appear there, "source not given." Seems odd to me. Think on this. Hard.

As to the Kansas City Star, argue with them. As a longtime resident of Hannibal, MO, I can affirm that the number of animals killed corresponds roughly at least with the number of animals taken. You may not be acquainted with people who have to eat this way. Meanwhile, it's well-cited.

Thanks for your ruling what's encylcopedic. I fear it's not universal. The information is well-sourced, and does not constitute instructions, but information on common practice. You disagree, take it to the discussion page, and we'll both await consensus. DavidOaks (talk) 02:29, 26 January 2009 (UTC)

I would keep the cite tag on the coonskin cap bit. I wouldn't consider to be a RS. I agree with Novil on the interpretation of the Star. I read "Statewide, consumption of raccoon meat can be tracked somewhat by how many raccoon pelts are harvested each year. In 2007, 118,166 pelts were sold" as meaning that the number of pelts sold is some vague indicator of consumption; the two figures are pegged. The article does not estimate that consumption in MO in 2008 was the meat of 118 116 raccoons, as David's wording would suggest. The additions at the end of the food section are unacceptable. Primarily, they purport to be sourced by the NCSU webpage; nothing of the sort appears on the page. I wouldn't object to them being added, if only they had a source. And a period to end the sentence wouldn't be bad, either. carl.bunderson (talk) (contributions) 02:59, 26 January 2009 (UTC)

Well done (joke). KSStar method of estimation explicitly noted. Sources added on the traditional treatment of game. DavidOaks (talk) 05:14, 26 January 2009 (UTC)
No. Your edit did not make things any better. The sources do not say what you're attributing to them. I'm reverting to Novil's last version after I finish this. Noting that the Star says... does not fix the problem. The source itself does not say what you're attributing to it. The sources need to say pretty much exactly what you attribute to them. That is not the case in your edits. carl.bunderson (talk) (contributions) 05:35, 26 January 2009 (UTC)
mmm, think the cites do say so, but will inspect more closely. Will undo own revert (hit the trigger too fast) DavidOaks (talk) 06:09, 26 January 2009 (UTC)
Okeydoke. "As a fad, the coonskin cap was at its zenith during the decade of the 1950’s, when the new medium of television offered young children an adventure show built around the exploits of Davy Crockett. Children in both the United States and the United Kingdom were caught up in the fad. These latest versions of the coonskin cap were not made of actual raccoon, however. Faux fur was used for the body and tail, and a simple fabric lining was used to complete the cap. While aimed at young boys, a few entrepreneurs also designed a coonskin cap design for young girls as well, often using white faux fur as the material of choice." [1] Then there's this: "Statewide, consumption of raccoon meat can be tracked somewhat by how many raccoon pelts are harvested each year. In 2007, 118,166 pelts were sold." [2] "Eating raccoon has never gone out of style. It's just hard to get unless you know somebody," he says as he carefully trims away the fat and the scent glands." [3]. I see the trouble with the web-version of the book-cites. Will work on it. DavidOaks (talk) 06:25, 26 January 2009 (UTC)
Nope, you're right. Those details were not in the source. Deleted. DavidOaks (talk) 06:31, 26 January 2009 (UTC)
Took me a bit to get your point about how the figures are "pegged" (not a term I regularly use. You're right, and I duly changed the wording. DavidOaks (talk) 16:09, 26 January 2009 (UTC)
Thanks, I think that sentence is good now. carl.bunderson (talk) (contributions) 20:25, 26 January 2009 (UTC)

I still strongly oppose the inclusion of the sentence The Kansas City Star indexed consumption using pelts reported -- 118,166 for Missouri alone in 2008. It is obviously neutral, but it doesn't make sense at best, and is misleading at worst because the number of raccoons used for consumption could lie anywhere between ca. 1,000 and, say, 50,000. This is a featured article and only accurate statistics should be included, using the best possible sources. Newspaper articles are NOT one of them. In fact, almost all newspaper articles about raccoons get major facts about them entirely wrong! I'm also strongly opposed to all other edits you have made during the last days since they have significantly reduced the quality of the article. You have added pieces of information already present in other locations and you have added irrelevant pieces of trivia to an article which is already very long. If you truly want to contribute something meaningful to this article, you have to educate yourself and read some scientific literature about raccoons to understand what is important and what is not. --Novil Ariandis (talk) 17:53, 27 January 2009 (UTC)

Your opposition is of course noted, but your position that newspapers are unacceptable sources isn't wikipolicy. Seek better sources if you feel they are needed. I appreciate your sharing your view about the reduction in the article's quality, but I'd point out that "irrelevant trivia" is a judgment dependent on one's own idea of relevance. Now your edits, all entirely admirable, focus on the biology of this animal. You need to understand that it also has a cultural place, and although this is evidently of comparatively little interest to you, it might well be so to others. By all means delete any actual redundancies I might have inadvertantly introduced, and have thanks. I urge you in turn to educate yourself about folklore and cultural matters, and to try to become a little more open to ideas other than your own about significance. I believe the sources I gave on the discussion page (waiting a decent period for response before putting them into the mainpage) make it abundantly clear that the animal was and is of cultural significance as a food item. Folklorically/anthropologically, they have undergone category shift, from "game" (desirable) to "varmint" (privation diet) to vermin (taboo for food use). that is, from a social scientific point of view, quite an interesting matter. DavidOaks (talk) 19:09, 27 January 2009 (UTC)
your position that newspapers are unacceptable sources - They are not unacceptable, a few are used for some facts if you have a look at the article. However, articles or books written by raccoon experts are always preferable.
Now your edits, all entirely admirable, focus on the biology of this animal. - This is obviously not true. The chapter "Raccoons and people" is longer than the section "Description"!
You need to understand that it also has a cultural place - That's why there is a section about "Raccoons in mythology and culture" and some pieces of information in other chapters. You are, however, exagerating the importance of the cultural significance of the raccoon as a food item when compared to the space about the subject in raccoon books by experts and even the total number of popular sources. Maybe you are even exagerating the cultural significance of raccoons as a whole because the raccoon has never played a main role in human culture like wolves, foxes or livestock.
I urge you in turn to educate yourself about folklore and cultural matters - Lol. I have read Raccoons in Folklore, History and Today's Backyards twice. There is really no way you can get more info about folklore and cultural matters about raccoons. --Novil Ariandis (talk) 19:35, 27 January 2009 (UTC)
I believe the sources I gave on the discussion page (waiting a decent period for response before putting them into the mainpage) make it abundantly clear that the animal was and is of cultural significance as a food item. - No, they don't make it clear that the section about raccoons as food has to be expanded. In fact I strongly oppose the expansion of this section, except for a more accurate statistic for the number of raccoons eaten each year.
You have to understand that the length of each section has to be correspondant with its importance. Since you have obviously only interest in limited parts of the article, you are not objective about their general importance.
--Novil Ariandis (talk) 19:35, 27 January 2009 (UTC)
Back down the fires a little bit. I know you worked long, hard and exceedingly well on this article. Now, I understand the sense of investment, but it's not the same as ownership, and doesn't give you the status of final arbiter -- certainly not of what's a good source or not, what's relevant or not. Look, a 20-year old book from Capra Press is not much in the way of a scholarly monograph, IMHOP. There's serious scholarship on the raccoon as trickster in NA lore (it was covered, so I didn't add). There's much about the animal in the literature of foodways (mostly obiter dicta; it's rare for a single animal to get a book on itself-as-main-course. Not aware of a university press volume, for example, on Truthahn as festive-bird, but we're not expunging all reference to it on the relevant pages. You have to go to mentions within articles and primary documents. You make a good point about proportion, but let's look not at "as food" vs "description;" let's look at "scientific" vs. "cultural" -- rather a different balance, don't you think? We must distinguish things-I'm-not-interested-in from things-that-are-not-interesting.DavidOaks (talk) 19:49, 27 January 2009 (UTC)
Now, I understand the sense of investment, but it's not the same as ownership, There are several pieces of information in the article which were added by other users or requested by them. And I was very happy for the additional input at the GA and FA nomintations.
a 20-year old book from Capra Press is not much in the way of a scholarly monograph - This book has an extensive bibliography citing 135 other works. It is also used as source by raccoon book authors Samuel I. Zeveloff and Ulf Hohmann.
We must distinguish things-I'm-not-interested-in from things-that-are-not-interesting. Exactly. I am, however, interesed in all fields of study regarding raccoons while you are mainly interested in their use for consumption. You are thus not objective on the importance of this issue.
rather a different balance, don't you think? No. The article got overwhelming support in the FA nomination in its current state. Nobody mentioned that the article should contain more info about "culture". --Novil Ariandis (talk) 19:59, 27 January 2009 (UTC)
Novil, we're both getting closer than is healthy to edit-warring. I will declare a 24-hour, unilateral withdrawal, both to permit cooling down and to let others weigh in here on the talk page about specific issues. Meanwhile, I'll go offline and see if I can't develop a shorter, brisker, more focussed culture section. DavidOaks (talk) 19:57, 27 January 2009 (UTC)
You know, withdrawal is easy when your version is currently online... --Novil Ariandis (talk) 20:33, 27 January 2009 (UTC)

(outdent) I am, however, interesed in all fields of study regarding raccoons while you are mainly interested in their use for consumption. No, that's inaccurate, as well as presumptuous. I am interested in folklore and foodways. And professional folklorists aren't going to look on the Capra Press volume as authoritative and final. Though apparently it was regarded as reliable enough to serve as a source for writers you respect. But I'm guessing they didn't use it as their sole source, did they? What's there is probably meritorious. I just wouldn't treat it as comprehensive on social-scientific approaches. for example, does it have extensive treatments of raccoons in petroglyphs? Along with possums, it's a common feature. Nobody mentioned that the article should contain more info about "culture". Ah, well I'm suggesting it now. Nothing huge, but yeah, the subject was significantly under-treated. FAs aren't perfect. Changes to them -- including change in direction -- is not by definition destruction. DavidOaks (talk) 20:12, 27 January 2009 (UTC)

Question from the Ref Desk

We have a user asking what the collective name is for a group of raccoons. I see no mention of it in the article, but are there any raccoon aficionados out there willing to help us out? Plasticup T/C 23:27, 24 September 2008 (UTC)

I don't think there is one. I've heard adults called both boars and sows (although that may not be 100% accurate either) and the younger raccoons are kits or cubs, but I don't think there is a name for a group of raccoons. (talk) 00:42, 3 January 2009 (UTC)
Seconded. I have never read an article or book which uses a specific name for a group of raccoons. --Novil Ariandis (talk) 18:09, 27 January 2009 (UTC)
There is a claim that the term is "a mask of raccoons."[13][4] Now, I have not examined the claimed authority. I do not doubt the claim is made there. I merely doubt that there is anything behind it (usage established by numbers, time or geographic distribution) except the author's inventiveness. DavidOaks (talk) 22:00, 29 January 2009 (UTC)

Controversial points

Currently, the following controversial points exist with differing viewpoints between Novil Ariandis and DavidOaks:

  • Novil Ariandis requests to remove the image [[Image:Spiromoundsraccoon.gif|thumb|left|Raccoon as depicted in artifact found at Spiro Mounds, in Oklahoma. <ref>Graphic created by Aaron Walden, and based on pre-Columbian original</ref>]] because there is currently no source to verify that this is in fact an accurate representation of the actual artifact and that this artifact even exists.
  • Novil Ariandis strongly requests to remove the sentence ''The [[Kansas City Star]] indexed consumption using pelts reported -- 118,166 for [[Missouri]] alone in 2008.<ref></ref>'' since this figure does not contain any information about the real number of raccoons which were eaten and is thus misleading.
  • Novil Ariandis requests to remove the sentence part though the Delefeld MN "Coon Feed" has been an annual event for more than eighty years. since it is not necessary to mention another event besides the Gillet Coon Supper where raccoons are eaten. Not longer that important.
  • Novil Ariandis strongly requests to remove the sentence The proverbial<ref>for example, the phrase appears in the lead of a 1972 ''Sports Illustrated'' article</ref> simile "crazy as a pet raccoon" reflects a folk view of the unwisdom of the attempt.</ref> since it is an irrelevant piece of trivia and the phrase gets only 182 hits at Google making it entirely un-notable.
  • Novil Ariandis opposes the expansion of the chapter "Raccoons as food" to not give this rather un-important chapter undue weight compared to more important chapters about physical characteristics or behavior.

--Novil Ariandis (talk) 20:14, 27 January 2009 (UTC)

Not sure about all the points but I think the sentence "The Kansas City Star indexed consumption using pelts reported -- 118,166 for Missouri alone in 2008" should be removed. This wording can imply that the consumption in MO was 118,166. That is not at all what the source states "Statewide, consumption of raccoon meat can be tracked somewhat by how many raccoon pelts are harvested each year. In 2007, 118,166 pelts were sold." One key word is "somewhat", so it is clearly not implying a one to one relationship, and doesn't make any suggestion as to what the actual relationship is. So the 118,166 can really only be used as a statistic for number of pelts sold, not at all for number of racoons eaten. With that sentence removed, I think the food section is pretty much okay. It does not seem overly long. I am fairly neutral re the Delefeld MN "Coon Feed". While I would not what to see the Food section devolve into a list of every area and occasion in which racoons are eaten, having a 2nd instance of some sort included does give some additional context that the Gillet Coon Supper is not the only event at which racoons are consumed. Rlendog (talk) 20:33, 27 January 2009 (UTC)
I'd also suggest removing the last sentence of the food section: "Recipes usually suggest removing the scent glands and fat before roasting to lessen the strong gamy flavor." That may be a little overly detailed information about preparing the racoon as food. But, unlike the sentence about the 118,166 eaten in MO, I do not think it is essential to remove this sentence. Rlendog (talk) 20:37, 27 January 2009 (UTC)
Thank you for your input, Rlendog. It's not that I would commit seppuku if another sentence would be added to the chapter "Raccoons as food", but together with several other edits by DavidOaks which are/were giving redundant or trivial information on the wrong places, I feel that there is a great danger that the worst chapter of the article, regarding accuracy and quality of sources, gets even worse. You just can't come around and add this and that to a featured article. This applies for myself, too. I'm very cautious about making any significant changes at this point and would want to hear the views of other persons interested in the topic first. --Novil Ariandis (talk) 20:43, 27 January 2009 (UTC)
NA, I will point out once, and only once, that this consistent tone creates an atmosphere generally unproductive of the kind of collaboration these projects require. DavidOaks (talk) 20:52, 27 January 2009 (UTC)
I would keep the last sentence of the food section. It has a source, and is quite relevant to the section. carl.bunderson (talk) (contributions) 21:43, 27 January 2009 (UTC)
1) I'm fine with the image being removed. 2) I think there is some place for the Star-based sentence. The wording might still be imperfect, but I would regard an article from a major US city's daily to be a RS. 3) I think the wording on this could be changed, but keep the gist of it. It demonstrates that eating raccoon is a phenomenon not restricted to the South. 4) This can be deleted; not really notable, and the point is already made in the previous sentence. carl.bunderson (talk) (contributions) 21:43, 27 January 2009 (UTC)
The problem with the Star based sentence isn't that the Star is not reliable, but that the Star doesn't actually say anything truly relevant to the section, and the sentence as constructed is misleading. The Star says basically two things:
  1. that the "consumption of raccoon meat can be tracked somewhat by how many raccoon pelts are harvested each year" (emphasis added) - okay, but so what? It doesn't state what the relationship is. Is one racoon consumed for every 10 pelts? Every hundred pelts? Every two pelts? 9 out 10? The language doesn't even necessarily preclude the relationship being "somewhat tracked" to be more than one racoon consumed per pelt (if, for example, nearly all racoons killed for pelts are consumed plus some racoons are killed for meat but not used for pelts).
  2. that "118,166 pelts were sold" in MO in 2007. That may be interesting information for a section on how many raccoon pelts are sold. But unless we know the missing relationship between pelts sold and raccoons consumed, that statistic does nothing to tell us how many raccoons were consumed. Based on the Star, the number consumed is almost certainly not 118,166. Rlendog (talk) 01:47, 28 January 2009 (UTC)

Now to business; as I said before, I'm observing a personal moratorium on changing the main article while we try to work things out on the talk page: there is currently no source to verify that such pre-Columbian art exists.'

Don't know about the specific image which the artist used as the basis for his work, but here's rocksolid proof (joke) that the animal was indeed a motif of Native American art, and across a wide geographic and chronological spread: Incised raccoon tracks are identified at the Crow Hollow Petroglyph site (Rock Art of Kentucky. Fred E. Coy, Thomas C. Fuller, Larry G. Meadows, James L. Swauger University Press of Kentucky, 2003 P60 & fig 65A). Also the Lewis Canyon Petroglyphs, TX[14] Prominent in petroglyphs occurring in the Reserve District (San Francisco and Tularosa river Drainages) (Schaafsma, P. Indian Rock Art of the Southwest Albuq., U.NM, 1992)
My argumentation was not clear enough. I do not challenge that pre-Columbian art exists in general, but that there are lacking sources for this piece of art. I have therefore re-written my initial concern. --Novil Ariandis (talk) 21:16, 27 January 2009 (UTC)

it is an irrelevant piece of trivia and the phrase gets only 182 hits at Google making it entirely un-notable.

You are not referencing (despite a request) a previous conversation on the topic to which you were directed. Search "crazy as a pet coon" and "crazy as a pet raccoon;" add "lazy" "goofy" and "mean" and sum . I get 1098, though I may be off a little either way. Now, I'm not sure what number you have in mind as adequate -- it would be nice if you'd share that -- but if you search similarly (to take a reasonable comparand) "as a pet possum" and sum it with "as a pet opposum" you get three hits (one for "plump" and one for "patient"). The differential suggests to me that there's a proverbial significance to the raccoon. I don't think the charge of insignificance sticks. I understand that you are not interested in the matter. DavidOaks (talk) 21:08, 27 January 2009 (UTC)
1098 hits is nothing for a popular saying. "crazy as a pet raccoon" has also 0 (!) hits on Google Scholar and only 1 hit on Google Books. I also don't see how this adds anything significant to "Raccoons are sometimes kept as pets, which is discouraged by many experts because the raccoon is not a domesticated species. Raccoons may act unpredictably and aggressively and it is usually impossible to teach them to obey commands." You really can't get any clearer than this to say that keeping raccoons as pets would be a really bad decision for 99,9% of the population. --Novil Ariandis (talk) 21:25, 27 January 2009 (UTC)
We have demonstrated its currency. It indicates a proverbial understanding. Cp "snake in the grass" "sly as a fox" "stubborn as a mule" "constipated as a quahog." Maybe the placement doesn't belong, and we need to think about putting it into the folklore part, as I suggested in the first place. What's concerning me here is the determination to exclude cultural and historical information. These animals really have a cultural life -- a big one. And documented. And ancient. As you can see from the section on "Christmas food" above, there's lots, solidly documented. And I'm really not finding much reasoned basis for opposing, except -- I infer -- that you are much more interested in biological aspects. DavidOaks (talk) 22:23, 27 January 2009 (UTC)

I'm going to remove the ref. That does not meet RS standards, and as I'm not the only who thinks so, I think that is firm enough to do without establishing consensus first. I'll replace it with a cn tag. carl.bunderson (talk) (contributions) 21:43, 27 January 2009 (UTC)

I was asked to participate in this discussion as I requested a source for the spiromounds.gif image of the raccoon that may be found in petroglyphs in Oklahoma during the FAC. I think it should be in the article, but the image, if the article is to be an FA, needs a reliable source on the image summary page that states pre-Columbian Native Americans used raccoons as art subjects. Just the bibliography and page number would suffice. --Moni3 (talk) 22:35, 27 January 2009 (UTC)

“Raccoon Priests Gorget” from Spiro Mounds, fig 105 p. 123 in The Arts of the North American Indian: Native Traditions in Evolution. Edwin L. Wade, Carol Haralson, Philbrook Art Center. Hudson Hills, 1986

Clearly shows two priests with a number of raccoons; don’t know if this was the original for the illustration under discussion Here’s the gorget:[15]

Now, the artist Bryce Muir said he saw something at Spiro mounds virtually identical to one he had sketched earlier at another Mississippian site, Ocmulgee in central Georgia, and the sketch (whether it’s from Oklahoma or Georgia) does indeed look to be the same as that offered by Aaron Walden (it’s on the right, as you scroll to the halfway point[16]
The two folks who publish are not a reliable source, unfortunately. Try here. --Moni3 (talk) 15:52, 28 January 2009 (UTC)
That's fine, though the whole discussion has now got me focussed less on particular matters of content than on wikiprinciples and their application in this article and its editing process, so I want to ask specifically why Muir would be a non-reliable source for a matter having to do with art. Here's how it looks to me: reliability is always tied to the nature of the claim, and their claim is that they went to a given place, saw a given thing, and drew a picture of it. Now, it matches the claim of the artist of the wikicommons image. Moreover, neither claim is particularly controversial -- that pre-columbian art included representations of raccoons; even if it were disputable, that claim is thoroughly secured by Wade and Haralson (though really, to be consistent, we have to acknoweldge that it is possible they fabricated their book, just as it is possible Bryce fabricated the website. Yet I think we'd all agree that Occasm's Razor applies here -- the simpler explanation which covers the facts is that these convergent claims are authentic). IOW, there's a preponderance of evidence (the principle on which journalists and scholars require multiple sources). Bryce Muir appears to have been an artist of standing, who would have had considerable to lose and nothing to gain from very public fraud. I'm just asking for a reason for judging Bryce non-reliable that can be applied systematically to all similar sources. I don't care whether he's admitteed to the RS category or not. It's about removing arbitrariness from decisionmaking.DavidOaks (talk) 16:57, 28 January 2009 (UTC)

(outdent) Will try to make some edits reflecting consensus. I think a Native American image of the animal belongs in the mythology portion, if we can find a free one. This onepasses most tests, but it's acknowledged as an image of an image (of an image). I think there's cause and consensus for deletion. The proverbial phrase does not add to understanding in proportion to the degree it upsets some people. Out with it. Editing KC Star sentence to clarify issue while retaining core idea -- that nontrivial numbers go to food use. Will add a ref from MO DNR for "many thousands." I do not sxee consensus yet for removing the reference to a non-southern raccoon feed, nor to removing the mention of fat and scent glands. I will capture the whole section and noodle with it offline as time permits, to see whether it can't be improved, though I do not hear consensus that it's too long. I think there may be a cultural thing here -- raccoons are much more important to the culture of the rural United states, including history, hunting, folklore (indigenous and euro-american) and foodways than might appear to urban and European points of view. DavidOaks (talk) 18:55, 29 January 2009 (UTC)

Retitled the food section for accuracy, and revised for better sequence of discussion, acknowledging its status as privation diet item and festive food, with sources. Am thinking the culture section as a whole needs re-sectioning. DavidOaks (talk) 21:24, 29 January 2009 (UTC)
Why did you delete the MO DNR sentence and ref? I think it would be better to maintain that one and delete the Star sentence and ref. carl bunderson (talk) (contributions) 21:28, 29 January 2009 (UTC)
I agree. The Star sentence/ref really only provides information about pelts, not conumption. But the MO DNR sentence was fine. Rlendog (talk) 21:34, 29 January 2009 (UTC)
The MO DNR ref duplicates the NEbraska DNR ref already present -- right down to phrasing. Avoiding redundancy. DavidOaks (talk) 21:36, 29 January 2009 (UTC)

Okay, after cleaning up a bit, I think the chapter "As food" contains now some interesting new facts instead of made-up statistics and meaningless preparation methods. The sentence about the petroglyphs is still a bit vague, but it is a good incitement to write one or two additional sentences about Native American artwork. --Novil Ariandis (talk) 23:29, 30 January 2009 (UTC)

Things that could be added to the article

Here, things that could be added to the article can be discussed beforehand:

  • I think it is very interesting that Kassel might also benefit from the presence of raccoons. According to Frank-Uwe Michler there are many tourists visiting the city just to see raccoons. This could be added as contrast to the "Conflicts" section, although it might be hard to find the right place. --Novil Ariandis (talk) 01:36, 31 January 2009 (UTC)

cleaning up

Making numerous small edits for cleanup of spelling, punctuation, usage and style, a few bigger things as noted. It would be nice to get a figure for the numbers lost to vehicles. Roadkill says it's 15m/year, but the source does not seem to me reliable.

This sentence puzzles me: The larvae of the Baylisascaris procyonis roundworm, which seldom causes a severe illness in humans, is contained in the feces and can be ingested by humans cleaning latrines without wearing a breathing protection.[5] How do raccoon feces get into latrines? I'm not sure how this fits with the subject. Are we talking about raccoon latrines (and if so, why would humans be cleaning them?). Could the editor who contributed this check the source and clarify? DavidOaks (talk) 16:38, 30 January 2009 (UTC)

  • 15 million doesn't sound right to me either. If one in twenty gets killed by a car each year (and it couldn't be much more than that if the population is viable - after all, raccoons die of other causes as well, and presumably need to survive a few years to reproduce effectively) that would imply 300 million raccoons. That's more raccoons than people in the U.S. (as of 2000), which doesn't seem right. Raccoons can be a nuisance, but if there were that many, it would be an infestation. Rlendog (talk) 04:30, 31 January 2009 (UTC)
Went back and did some repair; there's been damage to the cultural section, but it can be smoothed out over time. DavidOaks (talk) 21:25, 3 February 2009 (UTC)
It IS an infestation -- you should see my backyard -- and they're nesting in the airspace over my office. However, I won't run them off, because a) I like them and b) it won't help -- they just ratchet up breeding (I could go find the source for that, but I won't since I'm not putting it in the article space). Point is, they breed to meet the losses to roadkill, but yes, 15m sounds high. Will continue to look for a good stat. DavidOaks (talk) 21:34, 3 February 2009 (UTC)
Indiana's wildlife management office runs, or has run, a raccoon roadkill survey, and came up with a high-stable figure of 37 dead coons per 10k miles of road for the annual March count. That's in a high-population state, at a time of overall elevation in pop. It's solid, but not to be extrapolated. It could simply be reported as a sample. [6]21:40, 3 February 2009 (UTC)
Interesting; the more I look, the more I find that roadkill stats on this non-endangered creature are used basically as population-trackers, not with an eye to reducing mortality. Some indication that the roadkill is even regarded as beneficial (feeding corvids). DavidOaks (talk) 22:16, 3 February 2009 (UTC)

reverts to revert

I propose to revert the recent edits by N.A., which scooped up a lot of things with the key claim that one of the sources for one of the items was inadequately sourced. Still trying to stay on the right side of the edit-warring line. I think the refs are good, but here are more* (I trust official scouting orgs can be seen as authoritative on these matters?), but as I look at the reliable sources guidelines and policy, it seems to me that information on raccoons as campground pests is a noncontroversial claim adequately addressed by an edited, hosted blog on the subject. Other matters in the two different versions: “automobile coats” is likely to remain a redlink; disrupts the article. “Many thousands” is (and was) properly cited to an authoritative source. “Festive meal” contextualizes what follows; ref to culinary & festival use as sanctioned by the US government is a significant fact wrt cultural issues. DavidOaks (talk) 14:17, 4 February 2009 (UTC)

Will wait for some feedback; would be nice if the person who made the suggestion were to honor it himself. WRT edit summary: "I don't really care about that link, it was just included in otherwise objectionable edits every time" -- such problems can be avoided by not doing mass reverts. Little usage check -- "objectionable" is not the same thing as "I object;" it's a simple matter of not universalizing one's own judgment. DavidOaks (talk) 17:51, 4 February 2009 (UTC)

A suggestion was made on the admin notice board (Wikipedia:Administrators'_noticeboard/Incidents#Edits_to_raccoon_by_User:DavidOaks --Novil Ariandis) that the view of eating raccoons as other than mainstream needs to be documented. Will comply. It's actually made clear in the article earlier added (and discarded in favor of better sources) from the KC Star, and backed by another from the Chicago Tribune; references to overcoming "ick factor" and inhibitions, more familiar as roadkill than main course, or simply surprising to find served at home, pretty well do it. Both are I think reliable sources for indicating present day cultural attitudes and practices, but anyone who feels differently should take the opportunity to weigh in, indicating what would, alternatively, be sound evidence and reliable sources. The following quotes need not be embedded in a ref, in my view; I certainly wouldn’t want to appear to be disrupting the article in order to make a point. I think it’s fine if they’re available for inspection here – but of course anyone who feels they do need to appear in the notes should not hesitate to put them in. I’m a little concerned about going over the top here, but there’s a history of intense scrutiny of sources. Trying to be careful and collegial here.

"If stores could sell coon, we’d run out of them. It's a long-hidden secret that they're so good." [...a]s long as you can get past the "ick" factor that it's a varmint, more often seen flattened on asphalt than featured on a restaurant menu. (One exception: French restaurant Le Fou Frog served raccoon about a dozen years ago, a waiter said.)

And though it may surprise many who dine on deep dish and Polish sausage, the bandit-masked critter is turning up in kitchens across the state [...]“You have to overcome certain inhibitions,” said Catherine Lambrecht, 48,of Highland Park, who brought the meat to Moto after purchasing it in Wisconsin. “But when it’s prepared right, raccoon is really good.” DavidOaks (talk) 02:37, 5 February 2009 (UTC)

Coon as ethnic slur

It seems to me a very brief warning is warranted, at the end of the etymology section, that "coon" is an extremely offensive ethnic slur. There's an academic-press volume [7] that attributes it to the minstrel show figure Zip Coon, in turn claiming the derivation depends on a stereotypical association of the target ethnicity with chicken-theft, just like raccoons. Interesting conundrum, though -- while this passes all tests for WP:RS, IRL I know something about the subject, and I can't see that this is anything more than speculation...but faulting an RS because one simply happens to be a credentialed jusge of sound evidence is OR. Tricksy situation...DavidOaks (talk) 17:34, 5 February 2009 (UTC) Here's a major source news story that documents current usage and general understanding that it's offensive.[8]

Dousing, an ethiological problem

How can dousing be widely accepted as a vacuum activity if it is not truly observed in the wild? Sturunner (talk) 05:00, 7 May 2009 (UTC)

Readability Edit


I just wanted this line just below the first image to be rewritten for better readability:

Raccoons are omnivorous and usually nocturnal, and their diet consists of about 40% invertebrates, 33% plant foods and 27% vertebrates.


Raccoons are omnivorous and usually nocturnal; their diet consists of about 40% invertebrates, 33% plant foods and 27% vertebrates.


Raccoons are omnivorous and usually nocturnal. Their diet consists of about 40% invertebrates, 33% plant foods and 27% vertebrates.

Thank you.

Felix-The-Ghost (talk) 22:49, 31 August 2009 (UTC)Felix-The-Ghost

Done Welcome and thanks for contributing. Celestra (talk) 23:55, 31 August 2009 (UTC)


No desire for an edit-war, but looking for a reason why a picture of the critter on a German housetop is particularly illuminating, and why the distribution in Germany needs a separate callout (in addition to the map, which I've left in place), that is, why they should NOT be deleted. Native range and further colonization seems a reasonable division; otherwise, logic requires a country-by-country treatment (as if they were respecters of customs-sheckpoints). Distribution in Europe seems rational...DavidOaks (talk) 16:41, 28 October 2009 (UTC)

This or a similar image should stay for two reasons:
  1. It's showing a raccoon on a man-made structure in an urban environment.
  2. It's showing a raccoon in an area outside of North America.
Therefore it has two unique features and improves the quality of the article.
The additional headline seems appropriate since the chapter is long enough. Without an appropriate number of headlines an article degenerates into a "wall of text".
--Novil Ariandis (talk) 10:57, 29 October 2009 (UTC)
If this were identifiably a German scene, that would be compelling logic; it's not particularly evident that this red tile roof is in Germany as opposed to Italy or even the red-tile roof section of St. Louis. Breaking up a block of type is a weak rationale for introducing a division of subject matter (that actually is a stronger rationale for retaining the picture). You have not responded to the logical issue. Why Germany, but not a separate section on Russia? Why the map of Germany? DavidOaks (talk) 12:38, 29 October 2009 (UTC)
Why Germany: Because the population in Germany is well researched, while there is practically no material for the Russian population. The German population is also the biggest and thus most important one and can be used to describe similar issues in other non-native populations. --Novil Ariandis (talk) 21:57, 3 November 2009 (UTC)

Readability Edit


I just wanted this line just below the first image to be rewritten for better readability:

Raccoons are omnivorous and usually nocturnal, and their diet consists of about 40% invertebrates, 33% plant foods and 27% vertebrates.


Raccoons are omnivorous and usually nocturnal; their diet consists of about 40% invertebrates, 33% plant foods and 27% vertebrates.


Raccoons are omnivorous and usually nocturnal. Their diet consists of about 40% invertebrates, 33% plant foods and 27% vertebrates.

Thank you.

Felix-The-Ghost (talk) 22:49, 31 August 2009 (UTC)Felix-The-Ghost

Done Welcome and thanks for contributing. Celestra (talk) 23:55, 31 August 2009 (UTC)


No desire for an edit-war, but looking for a reason why a picture of the critter on a German housetop is particularly illuminating, and why the distribution in Germany needs a separate callout (in addition to the map, which I've left in place), that is, why they should NOT be deleted. Native range and further colonization seems a reasonable division; otherwise, logic requires a country-by-country treatment (as if they were respecters of customs-sheckpoints). Distribution in Europe seems rational...DavidOaks (talk) 16:41, 28 October 2009 (UTC)

This or a similar image should stay for two reasons:
  1. It's showing a raccoon on a man-made structure in an urban environment.
  2. It's showing a raccoon in an area outside of North America.
Therefore it has two unique features and improves the quality of the article.
The additional headline seems appropriate since the chapter is long enough. Without an appropriate number of headlines an article degenerates into a "wall of text".
--Novil Ariandis (talk) 10:57, 29 October 2009 (UTC)
If this were identifiably a German scene, that would be compelling logic; it's not particularly evident that this red tile roof is in Germany as opposed to Italy or even the red-tile roof section of St. Louis. Breaking up a block of type is a weak rationale for introducing a division of subject matter (that actually is a stronger rationale for retaining the picture). You have not responded to the logical issue. Why Germany, but not a separate section on Russia? Why the map of Germany? DavidOaks (talk) 12:38, 29 October 2009 (UTC)
Why Germany: Because the population in Germany is well researched, while there is practically no material for the Russian population. The German population is also the biggest and thus most important one and can be used to describe similar issues in other non-native populations. --Novil Ariandis (talk) 21:57, 3 November 2009 (UTC)

Evil Raccoons?

In Olympia, Washington, USA there is a group of killer raccoons. They have killed ten cats,attacked one dog, and bitten at least one pet owner, who had to get a rabies shot. Here is the link. [[17]]

Teamedward12 (talk) 20:18, 5 March 2010 (UTC)

There's some sensationalism in the reporting ('psych' has no place in an encyclopedia) but I can't see that the article offers anything not already covered under "raccoons and people". Do you see something?DavidOaks (talk) 14:56, 6 March 2010 (UTC)


Map is missing Prince Edward Island - raccoons are probably introduced here, not native, but they are very firmly established. -- (talk) 14:25, 15 May 2010 (UTC)

Difference in area measurements

dont want to edit just to point out that there is a masive diference between square miles and km squared—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 18:18, 31 July 2009

You are correct. The conversion factor was inverted. It is now fixed. I assumed the metric numbers were the originals. DGERobertson (talk) 00:48, 15 December 2009 (UTC)
Um... it isn't fixed. Perhaps you fix was reverted at some point? Reads stuff like "While population densities range from 0.5 to 3.2 animals per square kilometre (0.2–1.2 animals per square mile) in prairies" at the moment. At any rate, it would be nice to get the actual numbers from the cited source instead of assuming which is correct. Anyone have access to it? Krushia (talk) 04:41, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
On my calculator, those are correct conversions. DGERobertson (talk) 01:03, 13 May 2010 (UTC)
You probably confused density with area. A larger area will enclose more animals. A square mile is larger than a square kilometer. There should then be more animals in a square mile than in a square kilometer. Basically, you need to convert "backwards" if converting density with an area conversion function. I haven't had any luck finding the data source online btw. Krushia (talk) 19:17, 14 May 2010 (UTC)
Without doing any math I see that something went wrong. I know that a kilometer is shorter than a mile. So, a square kilometer is less land than a square mile. Therefore, the square mile, being bigger, can't contain fewer animals (0.2 to 1.2) than the number of animals (0.5 to 3.2) contained in a square kilometer, which is smaller. Further down in the "Urban Raccoons" section the article's math passes this instant less-than/greater-than judgment: the article converts 50 animals in a square kilometer to MORE THAN 50 in a square mile, and converts 150 animals in a square kilometer to MORE THAN 150 in a square mile. (talk) 16:17, 18 May 2010 (UTC)Christopher L. Simpson
I'm back, with some math. The reciprocal of 0.5 animals per square kilometer is 2 square kilometers per animal. Since a square kilometer is 0.3861 square miles, the 2 square kilometers housing one raccoon is equal to 0.7722 square miles. The reciprocal of 0.7722 square miles per animal is 1.29499 animals per square mile (not 0.2 animals per square mile). Replacing 0.5 animals per square kilometer (the lower limit) on my spreadsheet with 3.2 animals per square kilometer (the upper limit), I find the reciprocal to be 0.3125 square kilometers per animal, which is the same as 0.12066 square miles per animal, whose reciprocal is 8.28796 animals per square mile (not 1.2 animals per square mile). Expressed using square kilometers the most-dense given in the article is 6.4 times as dense as the least-dense: 0.5 X 6.4 = 3.2. Expressed using square miles the upper limit I get is still, as it should be, 6.4 times as dense as the lower limit I get (since 1.29499 X 6.4 = 8.28796). Another check is to note that the reciprocal of 1 square kilometer equalling 0.3861 square miles is that 1 square mile therefore equals 2.5899 square kilometers. Then you can just multiply the count of animals in the least-dense and most-dense square kilometers each by 2.5899 to enlarge the square kilometer, and therefore the count of animals therein, to a square mile. The result is still a range of 1.29499 to 8.28796 animals per square mile. (talk) 17:01, 18 May 2010 (UTC) Christopher L. Simpson

Absurd precision

Stuff like "With a body length of 41 to 72 cm (16.1 to 28.3 in) ..." sets the alarm bells ringing. We've got quite a wide range (55 ± 30% cm) with quite precise end points (to the nearest centimetre i.e. ± 1–3%). Introduced about two years ago and, it seems, never questioned. Forty-one to seventy-two not forty to seventy centimetres. To make matters worse the measurement is converted to the nearest tenth of an inch ... more false precision. What's going on? If we convert 16 to 28 inches to the nearest centimetre, we get 41 to 71 cm. Convert that to the nearest tenth of an inch and we get 16.1 to 28.0 inches which is what was added in August 2008. Somehow the larger raccoons gained a centimetre since then but it's all very silly. We should be converting to the nearest ten centimetres for such a range ... if it is a conversion from inches. Of course the 16 to 28 inches could be a conversion from 40 to 70 cm after all. Nor does it stop there. JIMp talk·cont 06:53, 22 June 2010 (UTC)

Douse vs dunk

I changed a couple of instances of "douse" with its connotations of "extinguish fire by pouring water" over it, to "dunk", "to dip into a liquid", but I realised that douse was being used so consistently that it must be deliberate and not just a slip of the tongue. I would still favour dunk, but am prepared to defer if others feel differently. Awien (talk) 01:58, 22 June 2010 (UTC)

Douse isn't being used incorrectly here, as supported by the sources and obvious common English usage of the term. See the first definition at Merriam Webster ("to plunge into water"[18]) and the Oxford English Dictionary (douse v2: "To plunge vigorously in water, or the like"). There's also dousing and wiktionary:douse, which find similar conclusions. I advocate changing most instances back to "douse", as "dunk" may remind one of basketball and bobbing for apples. María (habla conmigo) 02:21, 22 June 2010 (UTC)
My (old) Concise Oxford has "lower (sail), close (porthole); extinguish (light); throw water over, drench". We seem to have a case of different usage (or at least connotations) different sides of the pond . . . Awien (talk) 12:26, 22 June 2010 (UTC)

Featured article

Isn't this the SECOND time this article has been the FA? Are we running that short on good ones? DavidOaks (talk) 11:48, 22 June 2010 (UTC)

No, it isn't. See Wikipedia:Today's_featured_article/February_2004 ff. I doubt Wikipedia is running short on good featured articles: there are currently 2924 featured articles (Wikipedia:Featured_articles); this is the 2313th time a featured article has appeared on the Main Page; and, in the year from June 2009 to May 2010, 372 more articles have been promoted to featured status than demoted (Wikipedia:Featured_article_statistics). (talk) 14:36, 22 June 2010 (UTC)

I have been looking at this all day...

What is with the phrase "medium size"? Relative to what? Perhaps someone could reword or remove that phrasing? --- (talk) 22:59, 22 June 2010 (UTC)

Dousing section inaccurate?

I don't want to edit it because I'm not an expert on raccoons but the dousing section states that dousing behavior has not been observed in the wild? If this is true then why do most names for raccoons refer to washing? Also, I'm pretty sure I saw video of a raccoon dousing food in a river on the Discovery channel a while back. Myth318 (talk) 17:46, 22 June 2010 (UTC)

Myth318 - I have no idea how to edit this section, since all I have is personal experience vs. all the cool links to experts, but raccoons ABSOLUTELY douse food in the wild. There are about a dozen raccoons that live in the woods all around my house (more when they have kits) and I've often watched them douse their food when standing water is conveniently available (i.e. near the food source). I'll have to see if I can get video footage and put it up on you-tube or something. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:01, 27 June 2010 (UTC)


What does that mean? How about "Raccoons as Food"? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Speedyboy (talkcontribs) 15:44, 23 June 2010 (UTC)

Check the wikipedia article on the subject. Foodways is the more encompassing term, and covers all cultural practices associated with their use as food -- holiday associations, taboos, etc. DavidOaks (talk) 14:46, 27 June 2010 (UTC)
Sound a bit like a WP:NEO... Til Eulenspiegel (talk) 14:50, 27 June 2010 (UTC)
Not at all -- a very well-established concept and term in the social sciences, esp. folklore. Google it, and see how widespread its use is. Here's an instance of headword use in a scholarly bibliography[19] DavidOaks (talk) 15:31, 27 June 2010 (UTC)
The term "foodways" refers to the practices and traditions of a group, not the use of a particular animal as a dish. It would make sense to use the heading if, for instance, the article was about an Indian tribe and the section was related to their foodways. In this case, however, we are not discussing the foodways of raccoons; that would mean we were discussing what they eat (which we already cover in "diet"). We are discussing the use of raccoons as food.
Secondly, "As food" is consistent with the other sections in this article, as well as similar sections in other articles (see Rabbit or Bear, or any number of other articles).
Finally, as a relatively minor style point, section headings should not be linked. Kafziel Complaint Department 16:52, 27 June 2010 (UTC)
Perhaps "In Foodways" would be better usage; when we talk about when the thing is served, how prepared, we're over the line from "as food" (what eats it, nutritive value, toxicity) into cultural matters. I'd prefer the more precise term. Not that big a deal. DavidOaks (talk) 17:31, 27 June 2010 (UTC)
On the contrary, as you said yourself, above, "foodways" is the "more encompassing" term. It can't be more specific and more inclusive at the same time. "Foodways" refers to all manner of food- and eating-related things. "As food" refers only to raccoons as food. It is the heading most commonly used throughout Wikipedia. Kafziel Complaint Department 17:54, 27 June 2010 (UTC)
Not the place for a discussion of semantic fields. If people prefer the looser term, so be it. DavidOaks (talk) 18:04, 27 June 2010 (UTC)

Balyascaris, raccoons and humans

emerging infectious diseases Vol. 8, No. 4 April 2002 Baylisascaris procyonis, a roundworm infection of raccoons, is emerging as an important helminthic zoonosis, principally affecting young children. Raccoons have increasingly become peridomestic animals living in close proximity to human residences. When B. procyonis eggs are ingested by a host other than a raccoon, migration of larvae through tissue, termed larval migrans, ensues. This larval infection can invade the brain and eye, causing severe disease and death. The prevalence of B. procyonis infection in raccoons is often high, and infected animals can shed enormous numbers of eggs in their feces. These eggs can survive in the environment for extended periods of time, and the infectious dose of B. procyonis is relatively low. Therefore, the risk for human exposure and infection may be greater than is currently recognized.

Current evidence indicates that B. procionis infection is not in any sense "mild" ,mortality and disability is very high, the paragraph in Health does not reflect it, should a change be made? (talk) 04:24, 24 June 2010 (UTC)

I don't think that paragraph contradicts what's here. In the last sentence, the author admits that the disease is not currently recognized as a high risk. The author clearly wants it to be recognized as a greater threat, and think it might be a higher risk than we think, but unless reliable sources show that it actually is considered a high risk, we shouldn't change the article. Kafziel Complaint Department 15:06, 24 June 2010 (UTC)

Removal from this discussion-page of threads pointing out math-errors in the article without correcting those math-errors in the article isn't really nice, is it?

The math is still in error but when I checked this discussion-page today I found that the paragraphs pointing out that the math is in error have been removed.

To reiterate: The article says, under the "Habitat" heading, "While population densities range from 0.5 to 3.2 animals per square kilometre (0.2–1.2 animals per square mile) in prairies and do not usually exceed 6 animals per square kilometre (2.3 animals per square mile) in upland hardwood forests, more than 20 raccoons per square kilometre (50 animals per square mile) can live in lowland forests and marshes.".

Please insert comments within my comments to indicate which of the points you disagree with.

First, the instantaneous check: since a square mile is larger than a square kilometer, any assertion that there are FEWER animals in a square mile (0.2, 1.2, and 2.3, respectively) than in a square kilometer (0.5, 3.2, and 6, respectively) must be incorrect.

Do you agree with that or disagree?

If you agree, then why do you get it right when it comes to the end of the quote (20 animals per square km, and a LARGER (not smaller as above) number of animals (and a correctly-computed larger number at that) of (roughly) 50 animals per square mile)?

I have examined this in greater depth than I did last time and I now know why the error occurs. The writer is applying conversion-factors that would be correct if applied to "LAND-AREA per ANIMAL" (which resulted, earlier in the article, in the CORRECT values for the RANGE of ONE ANIMAL) and recklessly applying those same conversion-factors to "ANIMALS per LAND-AREA", in disregard of the fact that the latter object is the reciprocal of "land-area per animal" and so reciprocal conversion-factors should be used. It is true that an animal who has 0.5 square kilometers has 0.2 square miles. But it does not follow from the former being true that therefore one square kilometer holding 0.5 animals means that one square mile holds 0.2 animals.

Do you agree with that or disagree?

Here is the correct math (to a spredsheet degree of precision, which should be tweaked downwards to reflect the degree of precision in the collected raw observational data, which I can't do because that degree of precision is unknown to me):

0.5 animals per square kilometer is 2 square kilometers per animal (please agree?/disagree?), which is 0.7722 square miles per animal (please agree?/disagree?), which is 1.2950 animals per square mile (please agree?/disagree?).

3.2 animals per square kilometer is 0.3125 square kilometers per animal (please agree?/disagree?), which is 0.1207 square miles per animal (please agree?/disagree?), which is 8.2880 animals per square mile (please agree?/disagree?).

6 animals per square kilometer is 0.1667 square kilometers per animal (please agree?/disagree?), which is 0.0644 square miles per animal (please agree?/disagree?), which is 15.5399 animals per square mile (please agree?/disagree?).

In each case the resulting number of animals in a square mile is LARGER (as it should be) than the number of animals in a square kilometer. (talk) 06:06, 7 October 2010 (UTC)Christopher L. Simpson

Work needed

Hello everyone! This article currently appears near the top of the cleanup listing for featured articles, with six cleanup tags. Cleanup work needs to be completed on this article, or a featured article review may be in order. Please contact me on my talk page if you have any questions. Thank you! Dana boomer (talk) 17:51, 8 November 2010 (UTC)

  • I added a citation to the CN statement. Additionally, I removed the following text, nowikied in case it shouldbe re-added or changed, with the citations which are now dead links:

[[Guadeloupe raccoon]] (''P. l. minor'') and [[Tres Marias Raccoon]] (''P. l. insularis'') were classified as [[endangered species|endangered]] by the [[International Union for Conservation of Nature|IUCN]] in 1996.<ref>{{IUCN2007|assessors=Mustelid Specialist Group|year=1996|id=18268|title=Procyon insularis|downloaded=2008-08-10}}</ref>{{Dead link|date=February 2010}}<ref>{{IUCN2007|assessors=Mustelid Specialist Group|year=1996|id=18269|title=Procyon maynardi|downloaded=2008-08-10}}</ref>{{Dead link|date=February 2010}}<ref>{{IUCN2007|assessors=Mustelid Specialist Group|year=1996|id=18270|title=Procyon minor|downloaded=2008-08-10}}</ref>{{Dead link|date=February 2010}}<!-- offline at the moment -->

  • Those species no longer appear in the IUCN's database. Additionally, P.L. Maynardi is also no longer listed in the redlist individually (it shows as a Synonym of P.Lotor) but I left it in for now, as the book cite would verify that it was listed in 1996, even if it is not now. Looking for further info on these guys... ArakunemTalk 18:20, 11 November 2010 (UTC)


The risk of infection and subsequent fatal outcome with balyascaris does not have enough emphasis. Please check the CDC website, and other medical articles. (talk) 03:06, 12 February 2011 (UTC)


I'm no IPA professional, but I speak the first syllable of Raccoon as though it were the first part of the word 'rack' or 'back', and I'm pretty sure that's not the "ae" sound indicated in the phonetic pronunciation... -Ayeroxor (talk) 11:14, 19 October 2010 (UTC)

The IPA ligature -- the two graphs joined, not separate "a" and "e" -- does indeed represent the sound you indicate; cf. Listeni/ˈkænzəs/ DavidOaks (talk) 11:51, 19 October 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for the edification :) - Ayeroxor (talk) 20:22, 5 March 2011 (UTC)

Edit request from, 8 June 2011

{{edit semi-protected}}

Vandalism on first line should be removed (talk) 03:14, 8 June 2011 (UTC)

Done, thanks. Adrian J. Hunter(talkcontribs) 16:17, 8 June 2011 (UTC)

Edit request from, 02:35, 9 June 2011

Would like an anchor on "as food" section so I can reference this section. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

Did you try Raccoon#As food? Feezo (send a signal | watch the sky) 11:26, 9 June 2011 (UTC)

Urban Raccoons

This section mentions that raccoons are present in "upscale neighborhoods of the Castro in San Francisco". This a strange statement, seeing as Raccoons are present in many other SF neighborhoods as well, including many that are not upscale at all. It should be edited so that SF is listed by city name only, both for accuracy, as well as consistency with the other cities listed in this section, which have no individual neighborhoods mentioned. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Capitan planeta (talkcontribs) 08:26, 1 June 2011 (UTC)

Removed phrase. Dger (talk) 01:50, 19 June 2011 (UTC)

Edit request from Kkline81, 14 July 2011

Wanting to add a reference to fox news saying that live raccoons consist of 1500 calories. As a pop culture reference.

Kkline81 (talk) 17:10, 14 July 2011 (UTC)

do you have the ref available so it can be checked and included. Monkeymanman (talk) 20:14, 14 July 2011 (UTC)

Raccoon in image?

Is it just me or is the raccoon in the taxobox image unusually dark? I double-checked the species to make sure I was on the page for Procyon lotor and not some other raccoon. I've seen many raccoons over the past twenty years, but they were always primarily a light peppered gray color, not this dark blackish-brown. (See the raccoons in the "Behavior" section as an example.) Is this some kind of regional variation? Because I've never seen a P. lotor that looked like that. (talk) 16:03, 20 March 2011 (UTC)

I somewhat agree, although the ones I see (in Ontario) can also be reddish-brown. Dger (talk) 01:36, 19 June 2011 (UTC)
I've been intimately observing many many clans of raccoons here, and none of the colors in the images are out of the norm. They can range from light-gray to a dark chocolate-brown, and as Dger stated, even have tinges of reds in them. One year there was one that had a remarkable gold-colored coat. Due to how many are here I've learned to recognize them almost like they know how to recognize each other (not always easy), but their wide range of coloring patterns helps. Though I usually tend to give them names by more obvious features: Gimpy missing a leg from a hunter or a fight, Bobbie missing a tail, Saddle missing a patch of fur on her back from an injury, Ol' Grumpy Gertrude from her gray-whiskers and face and the non-stop growling she does whether my hand is in her food dish or not, she starts growling even before she enters the yard, funny, but up close she's just as kind and respectful as any of them, etc. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:44, 19 July 2011 (UTC)

Any Real-Life Experience Notes Needed?

Due to feral-cats devastating the food-chain in my woods, about a dozen years ago a mother and her two cubs came to my door in the middle of the day, desperate for help. She couldn't even make milk for her cubs because the cats that people released in the area had destroyed all the food sources for all the wild animals here. I've always had a soft-spot for raccoons, from the time when I raised one from a pup once. Well, she told two friends, and they told two friends ... until about 3 years later I had counted as many as 60 raccoons in my yard every summer night, coming for their yearly whelping-season booster of special vitamin-rich critter-cake that I make for them. I've since learned of some extremely interesting social-behaviors of theirs. Even going so far as to learning some of their "language". When it came time that food would run out for the night, I had to find an easy way to peacefully disband them all, so I found their signal for "lets go forage ...". Works every time when I crouch-down in the middle of the hoard and I mimic it. After a few disappointed growls and grunts, they eventually all wander off for the night and don't return til the next evening.

Would observations and knowledge of this nature (no pun intended) be of interest to anyone? Or just like all Wiki editors that live in their basements, will you only accept words written elsewhere as proof and be allowed?

For example, just tonight one of the mothers brought EIGHT of her new cubs to my door. This is what prompted me to go in search of their litter counts. Four to five is the norm here, six is common, "Fertile Myrtle" was the only one that brought seven every year. But now one of them brought EIGHT of them to show off to me. In the 12 or so years I've been doing this, this litter of 8 is the first time I've seen that many. I wonder what their record litter-count is now. (And I feel so sorry for that mother raccoon. I raised just one from a pup and it was a non-stop handful. She has my full respect.)

They trust me enough that they'll even let me play with their cubs while the mother takes a much-needed belly-up snooze in the yard. Using me as a temporary baby-sitter. Just to let you know how closely I've been observing and knowing the total family-circus cycles they go through every year. Make no mistake, these are all 100% wild raccoons, they just seemed to have accepted me as one of their own in order to survive the devastation that's been done to their habitat by encroachment of man. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:27, 19 July 2011 (UTC)

Wikipedia is basically a compendium of information taken from reliable sources. Personal observations and knowledge are not permitted (see wp:OR). BC  talk to me 03:39, 19 July 2011 (UTC)
Okay, no problem. But your loss. Because I'll never be publishing my observations anywhere. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:47, 19 July 2011 (UTC)
No reason to not contribute to Wikipedia. We would welcome your input. Just keep in mind that this is an encyclopedia and as such all input must come from credible, reliable sources. Encyclopedias do not include such things as personal anecdotes, observations (with questionable conclusions), opinions, or bias. Including these things does harm to the encyclopedia's credibility as an information source. So, not really Wikipedia's loss, sorry.-- BC  talk to me 18:27, 19 July 2011 (UTC)

(unindent). There are some possible references for litter size via this Google search:


I came here looking for info on hibernation and did not see any. I found this:

More info and possible references:

missing reference

Starting in note 15 there are many references to a work by Hohmann, but the full reference for that work is never given. (talk) 13:46, 24 August 2011 (UTC)

See section "References" for full details (ISBN 9783886273010). Materialscientist (talk) 23:44, 24 August 2011 (UTC)

Huge amount of Germany references for an English article.

This article seems like an English translation of a German article with all the Germany-based info.  ?? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:33, 3 March 2012 (UTC)


Taxobox image

The brown fur of this specimen suggests it may be a Guadeloupe raccoon, a subspecies of the common raccoon. At any rate, it looks somewhat atypical, so perhaps the image should be replaced by one of a specimen with a more typical appearance. -- Rrburke (talk) 19:09, 17 October 2012 (UTC)

  • No, it’s a raccoon in Germany where raccoons with dark fur are more common since that occurred among the ones released to the wild. But a good full-body shot of a raccoon with lighter fur would be good. But there is still none on Commons. --Novil Ariandis (talk) 23:50, 17 October 2012 (UTC)
Well, no image is perfect, but there are a few decent candidates:
  • File:Raccoon climbing in tree.jpg The tree branches partly obscure the animal and make the image rather busy, but to me this FWS image is a spectacular shot: the size and colouring of the animal are typical, it characteristic tail rings are visible, and the image features the animal's climbing and gripping ability. The wary intelligence in the expression is also striking. Would have to be cropped.
  • File:* Raccoon.jpg A full body shot showing its use of its forepaws, but a different angle might've been better than full profile.
  • File:Procyon_lotor_(Common_raccoon).jpg A full body shot with the animal turned more towards the camera, but this looks like a yearling and I think an full-grown adult specimen would probably be better. The image is also somewhat blown out in places, for instance around the muzzle.
My personal preference would be for a specimen in a natural habitat, and many of the free images are of overfed urban raccoons the size of minibuses or else are cloyingly "cute". -- Rrburke (talk) 03:04, 18 October 2012 (UTC)
Done. --Novil Ariandis (talk) 14:30, 9 February 2013 (UTC)


The revision "20:00, 18 December 2012‎ Panther341 (talk | contribs)‎ m . . (76,044 bytes) (+175)‎ . . (Racoon Jake Ruddell)" is clearly vandalism. Raccoons do not walk on two legs and work out. Link0007 (talk) 20:10, 18 December 2012 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done Vandalism reverted. Thank you for pointing it out. -- Gogo Dodo (talk) 20:13, 18 December 2012 (UTC)


From the article: "Contrary to popular belief, raccoons eat active or large prey, such as birds and mammals...."

Would it be possible to list what types of mammals raccoons eat -- rats, mice, squirrels or something larger? Opossums? Rabbits? Domestic cats or dogs? Also, do raccoons actively hunt their prey or do they merely attack and kill whatever mammal happens to be hand, a passing chipmunk, say? Thank you. Risssa (talk) 21:34, 11 May 2013 (UTC)

Pelt prices skyrocketing

Because of demand from Asia and other regions, racoon prices are skyrocketing. Trapping is becoming very profitable and trapping supply houses are quickly selling out their supplies and equipment. 2014/2015 fur bearer season promises to be the largest in recent memory, due to the inflated prices fetched by prime coon pelts. Example: NAFA 2013 auction prices averaged $31.20 per pelt (with over a half million pelts sold). This is double the prices paid on average for the previous year. This article would better serve readers if it included this current info, rather than info about fur prices from 30 years ago. Trapping -- not just of coons, but of all fur bearers -- is enjoying a renaissance, and raccoons are an economically important species to many rural landowners not just because of the damage they cause, but because of their worth in the fur trade. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:22, 25 May 2013 (UTC)


Can you give a nursing raccoon antibiotics if they may have a problem that you know is NOT rabies? Autumnraccoonlover (talk) 10:03, 30 June 2013 (UTC)

This page is for discussing the content of the article, not general questions about raccoons. Having said that, please be very careful about any advice you might get on here - there are people out there who love raccoons and others who hate them. Seek specialist veterinary advice.__DrChrissy (talk) 18:38, 30 June 2013 (UTC)

Article feedback is being monitored

The feedback on wildlife articles has legitimate requests from casual users who want to know more... please don't disable it. Krushia (talk) 14:31, 12 December 2013 (UTC)

What does it mean?

"...In the first half of the 1990s, the seasonal hunt dropped to 0.9 to 1.9 million due to decreasing pelt prices..." ?? Jacek555 (talk) 19:32, 14 January 2014 (UTC)

Fixed. Dger (talk) 22:47, 14 January 2014 (UTC)


I don't have a source, but based on my own experience and that of a neighbor, it seems racoons often find backyard fish ponds and 'water features' attractive sources of ornamental or pet fish — much to the annoyance of the human owners. Sca (talk) 17:36, 11 February 2014 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 24 February 2014

The Scientific Classification (Taxonomy)table is wrong. The family is Procyonidae, not Mustildae. See: or Raccoons are not in the weasel family. (talk) 12:52, 24 February 2014 (UTC)

Done, thanks! --ElHef (Meep?) 18:39, 24 February 2014 (UTC)