Veronica's Random Dose - The Crab-Eating Raccoon
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Found residing in swamps or by streams across much of South America east of the Andes and north of Patagonia, the Crab-Eating Raccoon (or Mapache - Procyon cancrivorus) is a smaller and slimmer version (since they lack thick insulating underfur that is so common to other raccoons) of most of its raccoon cousins.
In keeping with their name, the Crab-Eating Raccoon consumes - you guessed it - crabs!
But their diet isn't restricted to crabs and crabs alone.
In addition, this slender omnivore consumes cray fish, mollusks, worms, fish, frogs, turtle eggs, fruits and seeds.
Although they feed at night, it is due to their excellent night vision and use of their touch-sensitive paws that enable the Crab-Eating Raccoon to detect their prey and find food suitable to their diet.
With a life-span of 5 years, the male Crab-Eating Raccoon will occupy and control the mating access to all the females of a territory that encompasses the home ranges of several potential mates.
Once breeding has begun (which happens to take place between July and September, with single litters of 3 to 4 young born).
Solitary and nocturnal, you will find the Crab-Eating Raccoon near streams, lakes and rivers - and though they prefer being close to water, they have also been known to survive in a broad range of other habitats such as the Amazonian rain-forest (although rarely seen here) and scrub-land.
Unfortunately, the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species stated; "Threats to this species have included over-hunting for pelts, use for target practice, the pet trade, and, in some areas, habitat destruction (being a rain forest species). Coastal development projects and mangrove destruction also contribute regionally to population declines."
Even with this information, no protection has been deemed necessary to provide, since the Crab-Eating Raccoon's habitat tends to overlap with protected regions.
The Crab-Eating Raccoon, another interesting specimen of the world of nature.
ref: The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Animals of America, by Tom Jackson.
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