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Animals >>

Raccoon Dog


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Raccoon Dog
Raccoon Dog
Raccoon Dog
Raccoon Dog
Raccoon Dog
The raccoon dog is a small species of canine, native to parts of eastern Asia. As it's name suggests, this wild dog has markings that closely resemble those of a raccoon and has also been known to display similar behaviours including the washing of food. Despite their similarities however, raccoon dogs are not actually closely related to the raccoons found in North America.

The raccoon dog is now found across Japan and throughout Europe where it has been introduced and appears to be thriving. Historically however, the raccoon dog's natural range stretched through Japan and across eastern China where the raccoon dog is now extinct in many parts. Raccoon dogs are found inhabiting forests and woodland, that is close to water.

Raccoon dogs are unique canines as they are the only dog-like mammal that hibernates through the winter. Although raccoon dog hibernation is not true hibernation, it means that raccoon dogs are able to sleep through severe snowstorms when there is not enough food to allow them to survive. Raccoon dogs usually become more active again in February when the warmer, spring weather begins to return.

There are five different species of raccoon dog found across eastern Asia and in parts of Europe, all of which have been severely affected by deforestation of their native woodlands. Raccoon dogs are also known to have incredibly dexterous front paws which come in very handy when trying to catch slippery food in the water and when climbing trees.

Raccoon dogs are carnivorous animals meaning that they only hunt and eat other animals in order to survive. As raccoon dogs spend a great deal of time close to water, their diet is primarily made up from frogs and fish along with rodents, small birds, eggs and invertebrates such as insects and spiders.

The wolf is the main predator of the raccoon dog as packs of wolves are known to kill large numbers of raccoon dogs in the spring and summer months when they are also feeding their growing young. Foxes and wildcats are the other main predators of the raccoon dog along with humans who have hunted them for their meat and thick fur.

Raccoon dog pups are usually born when the summer begins in late April to early May. After a gestation period of up to 12 weeks, the female raccoon dog gives birth to a litter of between 5 and 16 raccoon dog pups which are blind when they are first born. Both raccoon dog parents help to raise their young until they are big enough to become independent and begin hunting for themselves.

Today, although raccoon dog populations are thriving in their introduced habitats in Europe, wild populations in the far east have been rapidly declining mainly due to over-hunting and habitat loss.


Raccoon Dog Comments (4)

Jan H.

"Very informative"

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Raccoon Dog Facts

Kingdom:
Five groups that classify all living things...
Animalia
Phylum:
A group of animals within the animal kingdom...
Chordata
Class:
A group of animals within a pylum...
Mammalia
Order:
A group of animals within a class...
Carnivora
Family:
A group of animals within an order...
Canidae
Genus:
A group of animals within a family...
Nyctereutes
Scientific Name:
Comprised of the genus followed by the species...
Nyctereutes Procyonoides
Type:
The animal group that the species belongs to...
Mammal
Diet:
What kind of foods the animal eats...
Carnivore
Size (L):
How long (L) or tall (H) the animal is...
50cm - 65cm (19.6in - 26in)
Weight:
The measurement of how heavy the animal is...
3kg - 10kg (6.6lbs - 22lbs)
Top Speed:
The fastest recorded speed of the animal...
40km/h (25mph)
Life Span:
How long the animal lives for...
3 - 8 years
Lifestyle:
Whether the animal is solitary or sociable...
Pack
Conservation Status:
The likelihood of the animal becoming extinct...
Least Concern
Colour:
The colour of the animal's coat or markings...
Tan, Black, Brown, Yellow
Skin Type:
The protective layer of the animal...
Fur
Favourite Food:Frogs
Habitat:
The specific area where the animal lives...
Thick forests close to water
Average Litter Size:
The average number of babies born at once...
8
Main Prey:
The food that the animal gains energy from...
Frogs, Fish, Rodents
Predators:
Other animals that hunt and eat the animal...
Foxes, Wolves, Wildcats
Distinctive Features:
Characteristics unique to the animal...
Dexterous front paws and pointed snout

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