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Both share a comparatively dark coat with long hairs, but the Upper Mississippi Valley raccoon is larger than the eastern raccoon. The adjacent range of the Upper Mississippi Valley raccoon covers all U. states and Canadian provinces to the north of Louisiana, Texas and New Mexico.
Nova Scotia, southern New Brunswick, southern Quebec, and southern Ontario south through the eastern United States to North Carolina, and from the Atlantic coast west to Lake Michigan, Indiana, southern Illinois, western Kentucky, and probably eastern Tennessee.
Two of the raccoon's most distinctive features are its extremely dexterous front paws and its facial mask, which are themes in the mythologies of the indigenous peoples of the Americas.
Though previously thought to be solitary, there is now evidence that raccoons engage in gender-specific social behavior.Click on the table headers to sort each column; All figures in millions, U. Its grayish coat mostly consists of dense underfur which insulates it against cold weather.Carl Linnaeus, the father of modern taxonomy, placed the raccoon in the genus Ursus, first as Ursus cauda elongata ("long-tailed bear") in the second edition of his Systema Naturae (1740), then as Ursus Lotor ("washer bear") in the tenth edition (1758–59).Unlike other procyonids, such as the crab-eating raccoon (Procyon cancrivorus), the ancestors of the common raccoon left tropical and subtropical areas and migrated farther north about 2.5 million years ago, in a migration that has been confirmed by the discovery of fossils in the Great Plains dating back to the middle of the Pliocene.