Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Hungry Raccoon

These shots were taken at a car event we attended last weekend. The little fellow would take the dog food and douse the food in the water.

Wikipedia - Dousing

Captive raccoons often douse their food before eating.
Raccoons sample food and other objects with their front paws to examine them and to remove unwanted parts. The tactile sensitivity of their paws is increased if this action is performed underwater, since the water softens the horny layer covering the paws.[86] However, the behavior observed in captive raccoons in which they carry their food to a watering hole to "wash" or douse it before eating has not been observed in the wild.[87] Naturalist Georges-Louis Leclerc, Comte de Buffon (1707–1788) believed that raccoons do not have adequate saliva production to moisten food, necessitating dousing, but this is certainly incorrect.[88] Captive raccoons douse their food more frequently when a watering hole with a layout similar to a stream is not farther away than 3.0 m (9.8 ft).[89] The widely accepted theory is that dousing is a vacuum activity imitating foraging at shores for aquatic foods.[90] This is supported by the observation that such foods are doused more frequently. Cleaning dirty food does not seem to be a reason for "washing".[89] Experts have cast doubt on the veracity of observations of wild raccoons dousing food.[91]

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