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There are 18 species of raccoons and their relatives, which include coatis, cacomistles, kinkajous, and olingos. They are all found in either North or South America. They are small to medium-sized mammals (1 to 20 kg) with medium to long tails. They are usually gray or brown in color with black or white markings on their head and often have tails ringed with dark and light markings.

Raccoons and their relatives are omnivorous, including both animal and plant foods in their diet. They are usually nocturnal and are excellent climbers, often taking refuge or foraging in trees. Some species are social and some mainly live on their own.

Raccoons and their relatives are found in a wide variety of habitats, from northern forests to deserts, rainforests, and wetlands.

University of Michigan Museum of ZoologyNational Science Foundation

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. "Procyonidae" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed February 28, 2024 at

BioKIDS is sponsored in part by the Interagency Education Research Initiative. It is a partnership of the University of Michigan School of Education, University of Michigan Museum of Zoology, and the Detroit Public Schools. This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant DRL-0628151.
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