Why Do Raccoons Wash Their Food? Curious Animal Behavior Facts To Know | Kidadl


Why Do Raccoons Wash Their Food? Curious Animal Behavior Facts To Know

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Raccoons are a one-of-a-kind animal species in the animal world with strange and amazing characteristic features.

One of their most interesting traits is their habit of washing their food before eating. This is amazing and at the same time, very funny to watch.

Raccoons are very interesting in nature. These black and white fur balls are omnivorous and eat anything they find. Their diet consists of several items such as fruits, vegetables, berries, insects, and fish. It is very cute to watch them while they eat. They hold their food in both their hands and munch on it. However, they are very well mannered because before starting to chew, they dip their food in the water and wash it well. Now there can be various reasons behind this, and in this article, we shall discuss these. So let's go!

If you like reading such fun and interesting facts, then you will also like our facts on why do ferrets stink and why do cats stick their tongue out.

Do raccoons have to dip their food in water?

It is seen that raccoons wash their food before eating. This food washing habit seems to be related to their DNA. These animals wash their food to wipe out the extra dirt. They wash their food to add moisture to it because they have only a few salivary glands.

As said earlier, raccoons washing their food before eating is in their nature and is a common characteristic. Even if they are in captivity and there is no water near them, these animals act and mimic as if they are dipping their food in water for wetting the skin and softening the food. We can say that this is a natural reflex that comes to them. Raccoons also need water while eating other than just for food washing. According to studies, raccoon animals have fewer salivary glands. Due to this, they can't supply enough moisture to their food while eating and need moisture from the outside to wet it. Raccoons have a great sense of touch in their paws.

Are raccoons germophobes?

Raccoons eat food after drowning it in water. For this reason, many people think that they are germophobes and clean their food like humans before they eat it. Now, this is not that false of a statement! But they are surely other reasons for this action too.

A raccoon eating is probably one of the funniest things to see. They hold their food with their paws, just like primates do with their hands. They then dip their food in water to clean it and then shove it into their mouth. Now it is a fact that raccoon species steal food from the garbage and trash and then run towards the water to wash it. This washing does not only mean that they are germophobes. Obviously, this washing cleans the food and removes extra dirt, but according to scientists, there are some other reasons behind this washing too. From studies, it is known that these mammals have fewer salivary glands in their mouth. Because of this, they need extra moisture from the outside world while eating. Washing food adds that extra moisture and makes it easier for them while they feed. But yes, a raccoon's nature is very neat and clean! Unlike some lazy animal species, they never forget to take a bath and even wash their food. They even poop in an almost fixed location and then bury it. Other animals should learn from them.

A Common Raccoon is walking in the short grass.

Do raccoons snatch their food?

Raccoons are mammals that have this rolling rumor about them that they snatch food. Raccoons are a wild animal species that can be spotted in human territories too. In the animal world, we can identify them as bandits because of their snatching habit. A raccoon's sense proves very good when it comes to finding food. Let's discuss how!

Now before knowing about their snatching habit, let's know what they snatch first or what do raccoons eat. Raccoons are omnivorous animals in nature. They eat anything that they identify as edible. When on a vegetarian diet, raccoons crave berries, fruits, nuts, and even vegetables. They generally follow a vegetarian diet during the fall season and, on other days, live a pure non-veg life. Wild raccoons eat mice, insects, and smaller animals, but the most common and so-called famous raccoon food is fish. They are experts in snatching, and what makes this possible is their nicely developed paws. Raccoons have paws that are similar to the hands of primates. They have dexterous paws that seem like hands. They can hold anything and form a strong grip with their hands. The inside portion of raccoon paws are completely hairless and are very sensitive. Their paw skin has nerves that send signals to their brain and that's why they can feel the object they hold, just like humans and any primate species. In wildlife, they use these paws to snatch food and can easily snatch fish from river sites. Their snatching habits can annoy humans too. Imagine you have gathered all the garbage and kept it in a particular area to dump later, and suddenly you find it scattered all over the ground. This a raccoon's work! Raccoons have this habit of rubbing their hands. This is mainly to keep their sensory organs active. They also keep their hands wet and moisturized but do not wash them particularly before eating.

Do raccoons wash all their food?

Raccoons can be called bandits but of the animal world. They are experts in snatching food using their hand-like paws in wildlife. They never forget to dip and wash their food before munching on it!

It is observed that raccoons dip their food in water before they eat. They do this with almost all their food. And the fun part is, they act as if they are washing their food even if there is no water source near them. Experts say that they do it to clean the food as well as to add extra moisture to it as a raccoon lacks salivary glands. The best gift that raccoons have received are their paws. Raccoon claws are unique in all ways when compared to other non-primate animals in the whole wildlife. Raccoons can freely move their digits and can form a strong grasp on their prey. Their grasping ability is very high as they can move their digits. This grasping ability allows them to climb easily. They can be easily considered to be a wonder in the animal kingdom.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for why do raccoons wash their food? Curious animal behavior facts to know, then why not take a look at best algae eaters: Fin-tastic facts On algae eating fish for kids or Bengal tiger vs Siberian tiger: Fascinating difference facts for kids?

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