Because of their general build, the Procyonidae are often popularly viewed as smaller cousins of the bear family. Its grayish coat mostly consists of dense underfur which insulates it against cold weather. The raccoon ( or US: ( listen), Procyon lotor), sometimes spelled racoon, also known as the common raccoon, North American raccoon, or northern raccoon, is a medium-sized mammal native to North America. A raccoon's distinct facial markings are found in relative species, but this characteristic isn't universal. Some scientists put the red panda in the raccoon family. The raccoon was just the latest addition to a menagerie that the press called the “Pennsylvania Avenue Zoo,” but the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported that … The raccoon (/ r ə ˈ k uː n / or US: / r æ ˈ k uː n / (), Procyon lotor) is a medium-sized mammal native to North America. The red panda and the giant panda have similar names, but you can see that the red panda is not a bear. In the past, people thought that the raccoon family and the bear family were very closely related. Christopher Columbus was the first to put observations about this fascinating animal down in writing; Raccoons have whiskers on their front toes! This picture shows a newer idea about the Carnivora family tree. It is the largest of the procyonid family, having a body length of 40 to 70 cm (16 to 28 in) and a body weight of 5 to 26 kg (11 to 57 lb). Their faces are often small and wide with large eyes and short ears. Size and Weight: The adult raccoon is a medium-sized mammal and the largest of the Procyonidae family. This is apparent in their German names: a raccoon is called a Waschbär (washing bear, as it "washes" its food before eating), a coati is a Nasenbär (nose-bear), while a … Animals in the raccoon family are typically small tree climbers, measuring roughly 12 to 28 inches in length. Family: Procyonidae Genus: Procyon Species: Procyon lotor. It is based on DNA. 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