|This photograph is under Creative Commons's Attribution-ShareAlike 2.5 license.|
What is it?
Where is it?
|Raccoon Dog natural range (in blue) and introduced range (in red). Image by Chermundy (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons|
How is it?
What is it related to?
This raccoon dog appears to be foraging for food. The photo was taken on
a small island off of Matsushima, Japan. Though wild, this individual was
reported to be comfortable in close proximity to people. Photo taken by and is
the property of Sean P Barry, who courteously provided it for use in this blog. The photo can also
be found on Sean's flickr page.
The vegetarian side of its diet includes berries, other fruits, seeds, and rhizomes (these are horizontal portions of plants from which roots and upward shoots branch off of)(1)(4).
Raccoon dog fur for sale in Italy. Photo by
Kuerschner (Own work) [Public domain], via
- Raccoon dogs will often use dens initially made by a fox or badger(4).
- Raccoon dogs climb trees to access fruit(1).
- Raccoon dogs are the only canids in the world known to go through a hibernation-like period known as torpor. Those living in colder climates are inactive during periods of low temperature and scarce food abundance. It is not a true hibernation because the raccoon dogs may awaken and come out on warmer winter days to forage(1).
- Raccoon dogs are farmed for fur in Finland(1) and China. Some fur farms have become notorious for extremely cruel and gruesome treatment (see article).
- Another common name for this animal is the Tanuki.
The Scientific Name
|This is a juvenile raccoon dog. Photo taken in Miyajima, Japan. Photo by Martin E. Walder (Own work) [GFDL (www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], via Wikimedia Commons.|
(Check the web sources for more detailed info on this animal)
(1) Kauhala, K., M. Saeki.