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The kits are subsequently raised by their mother until dispersal in late fall.
Although captive raccoons have been known to live over 20 years, their life expectancy in the wild is only 1.8 to 3.1 years.
It was recorded on John Smith's list of Powhatan words as aroughcun, and on that of William Strachey as arathkone.
In the 1830s, the United States Whig Party used the raccoon as an emblem, causing them to be pejoratively known as 'coons' by their political opponents, who saw them as too sympathetic to African-Americans.
Home range sizes vary anywhere from 3 hectares (7.4 acres) for females in cities to 5,000 hectares (12,000 acres) for males in prairies.
After a gestation period of about 65 days, two to five young, known as "kits", are born in spring.
The slightly rounded ears are also bordered by white fur.
The word "raccoon" was adopted into English from the native Powhatan term, as used in the Colony of Virginia.
Its grayish coat mostly consists of dense underfur which insulates it against cold weather.
Two of the raccoon's most distinctive features are its extremely dexterous front paws and its facial mask, which are themes in the mythologies of the indigenous peoples of the Americas.
Nova Scotia, southern New Brunswick, southern Quebec, and southern Ontario south through the eastern United States to North Carolina, and from the Atlantic coast west to Lake Michigan, Indiana, southern Illinois, western Kentucky, and probably eastern Tennessee.
Texas, except extreme northern and western parts, southern Arkansas, Louisiana, except delta region of Mississippi, and south into northeastern Mexico, including Coahuila and Nuevo León, to southern Tamaulipas.