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University of Nebraska–Lincoln

UNL Extension in Lancaster County

Can You Guess It?? Feature

This page was updated December 2008

Helping Nebraskans enhance their lives through research-based education.


ANSWER: The front paw print of a raccoon**

About Raccoons

Raccoons, with their black bandit mask and black- and brown-banded tail, are well known to Nebraskans. The word "raccoon" is derived from Native American words "arakum" or "aracoun," meaning "he scratches with his hands." Adult raccoons (Procyon lotor) typically are 26-40 inches long (nose to tip of tail). Their weight can vary dramatically as they fatten up in preparation for winter, but they usually weigh 7-35 pounds. On rare occasions, raccoons weigh up to 50 pounds.

Raccoons are omnivores, enjoying a diet ranging from eggs, carrion, food scraps, corn, crayfish, bird seed, worms, amphibians, pet food and more. While extremely harsh weather will cause them to remain in their dens, raccoons do not hibernate. Source: Controlling Raccoon and Opossum Damage

Learn more about raccoons:

*Controlling Raccoon and Opossum Damage from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln

*Raccoons in the City from UNL Extension in Lancaster County - NEBLINE Newsletter

*Internet Center for Wildlife Damage

**Special Thanks to Stephen Vantassel, University of Nebraska-Lincoln for providing the photo of the raccoon pawprint

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