Raccoons are often painted as sly, smart creatures who might be resourceful in scavenging for food. Loved by many from a distance, these cute creatures have a lot going for them. Such as having dexterous hands; they actually have what seem to be five fingers on each paw and they are quite useful when they come to scavenge in your garbage, break into your garage, or peek in your cooler.
Their cool bandana-like mask isn’t just for show either, the black band around their eyes actually assists them with sight. The dark colors help to absorb light and reduce sharp glares that can hinder their vision – sort of like NFL players, and in the dead of night it also helps them to see since it’s easier for them to distinguish different contrasts in objects.
In fact, if you were to give them a puzzle and test them to complete it or any other few simple tasks, they’d probably succeed – so long as there’s food in it for them as a reward. They’ve demonstrated this endlessly time and time again in labs. In the mid 1900s, ethologist H.B. Davis provided 12 raccoons with a progression of locks to break.
The reward of course was treats inside the creations, of which they needed to solve and navigate bolts, latches, hooks, and buttons, with certain containers having a combination of more than one of these.
Eventually the raccoons were successful in passing 11 of the 13 mechanisms. However, despite these impressive feet (or hands,) they are sometimes also seen as clumsy, silly animals. Read more