This is one of our most common mammals, the raccoon, Procyon lotor. They are most often seen dead in the road (sorry about that). They are mostly, although not exclusively, nocturnal. Raccoons are extremely smart, and have dextrous front paws. Anyone who has tried to keep them out of garbage cans knows all about that! Their American cousins are animals like coatis, kinkajous, and ringtails. The raccoon is the only one in North America. It's easily recognizable with its black mask and striped tail.
This one was exploring the dirt road. I'm not sure what it was finding, but it kept walking back and forth. They are very curious.
Raccoons walk on the soles of their feet, like humans and bears. It's easy to see in these two pictures. That means they have good balance to stand on their hind legs. I just learned that the word for walking on the sole of the foot is plantigrade.
They can't run very fast, and always look awkward to me. Just an interesting rear view.
|See Ellen and Joan Ride for a baby raccoon|
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