source of the photo above: https://zoosauvage.org/animaux/raton-laveur/
Good morning everybody. For the letter R, I thought at first of talking about the « renard » or fox but then the « raton-laveur » or raccoon or simply coon popped into my head. I have seen a fox only once but I have seen several raccoons in my lifetime and I never had any problems with them. I also just adore their sweet little face so here comes the « raton-laveur » presentation.
The raccoon is a carnivorous mammal that is also an omnivore. Actually the raccoon’s diet is quite extended from small aquatic animals (fish), to corn and fruits and nuts to snakes to small rodents and birds and even waste and garbage. Yes the coon is a rather opportunistic critter. How many of you have seen a raccoon ravaging your garbage can? I have on two occasions at least.
The « raton-laveur » was first found in North America and then brought in Europe. The « First Nations » used to hunt it mainly for its fur and it is still hunted to this day for its fur.
A raccoon looks like a little bandit with its black markings around its eyes. His fur is usually grey but some are light brown and the long tail has 5 or 7 rings on it. The nose is long and pointed with also a black or brown band descending along it. His ears are short and all this compared to a rather large head. An adult raccoon is rather large with a body length of 16 to 28 in (40 to 80 cm) and a weight of 11 to 57 pounds (5-26 kg). Also just like a husky, raccoons have thick underfur insulating him very well during the winter season.
It is to be noted that the coon or « raton-laveur » presents great dexterity with its front paws on which he has five digits with five non retractable claws. He has the same on his back paws. The raccoon is also extremely intelligent. Some studies suggests that a coon can remember, for up to three years, certain solutions to different tasks. Talk about intelligence: even I cannot compare myself to a coon…
Of course before the arrival of Europeans the raccoons lived in the forest areas mostly but today raccoons live just about anywhere they can even in the midst of cities and human population. In fact some of you might have heard about the raccoon who climbed a 25 storey building in St Paul, Minnesota. Here is a picture of the poor exhausted raccoon who rested up on a window ledge of the building before continuing its climb to the top of the building when it was finally caught on the roof…
Yes the « raton-laveur » is an excellent climber, robber and even pets to some people…
The origin of the word « raton-laveur » first off comes from the fact that a coon almost has the same shape as a large rat thus the word « raton ». The word « laveur » comes from the fact that a raccoon whenever eats fish seems to wash his hands while kneading its prey between his hands (wash is laver in French). The pronunciation of the word is fairly easy. The first part is « rat « whether in English or French. The second part is « on » the same in English but without pronouncing the letter « n ». The next word is slightly harder. The first part « la » sounds just like English « lard » but without the « rd ». The next part « veur » sounds like the last part of voyeur but with an l instead of a y.
Hope you enjoyed my presentation of the « raton-laveur » aka raccoon just as much as I enjoyed writing about this cute little critter. See you soon for the letter S.