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Raccoon dog Characteristics, Lifestyle and Social Structure

The animal leads a sedentary lifestyle, choosing a particular region. Raccoon dog characteristics, lifestyle and social structure. Most often the area for one adult is 7-11 square kilometers. The animal leaves it only when this area is flooded due to spring floods, or when it is not possible to find sufficient food. Sometimes sites overlap. However, in an attempt to protect their territory, the animals show no aggression.

Raccoon dog Characteristics, lifestyle and Social structure

Activity and lifestyle of the raccoon dog depends on the amount of food, the prevalence of enemies in the area, and climatic conditions. In most cases, leads a more nocturnal lifestyle. Hiding in burrows during the day, going out at night to hunt or search for food. During daytime it is active only during mating season. If for a long period of time, the animal does not notice humans or predatory enemies nearby, it becomes more bold and active even during daylight hours.

 Raccoon dog characteristics and lifestyle

Most often it moves at a semicircular step, sometimes turning into a trot. When approaching danger, the Siberian coon may run at a gallop, but is not able to develop greater speed. Moorland, sand and deep snow drifts are a significant problem and an obstacle that the animal is not able to cope with. Only a body of water helps to escape from pursuit in such an environment. The Ussuri raccoon is an excellent swimmer.

Lives mostly in burrows. May use abandoned burrows of other animals to live in. They may also use gorges in rocks, trees, and mounds of wet soil as homes. Piles of leaves, hay or straw are often used as short-term shelters. There may be several such temporary houses. Permanent, and most importantly, dwellings serve as shelter for winter, a place for hibernation, as well as for giving birth to cubs. A variety of relationships develop between individuals of different sexes.

Types of relationships between heterosexual individuals:

  • The formation of a pair for the period of the mating relationship to breed and raise their offspring.

  • Female and male predators do not separate for one year.
  • A pair of different-sex predators are attached to each other for the rest of their lives;
  • Regardless of the type of relationship, for the duration of the tandem, the animals hunt and try to protect themselves from enemies together.

Surprisingly, the Siberian raccoons are the only members of the canine family that are characterized by hibernation. This quality allows them to easily endure frost and winter cold. It begins in mid- or late October or early November and ends in March.

Animals that could not gain enough weight, as well as the inhabitants of regions where winters are warm and snowless, do not hibernate.

Raccoon dog social structure and breeding

The period of mating depends on the climatic conditions of the region where the animals live. Most often it starts at the beginning of March and lasts until the end of April. In case of cold or frosty weather, it is postponed to a later period until the onset of warmth. By nature, furry raptors are monogamous. Pairs are created most often in the fall period. Males often fight for the right to pair with females.

Raccoon dog Characteristics, lifestyle and Social structure

An interesting fact. When breeding in captivity, they exhibit monogamy, and one male may mate with several females at once.

The female's heat lasts from a few days to a week. The mating process takes place most often in the dark hours of the day. After 5-7 days after the end of the mating period, females start mating again. The gestation period lasts 2-2.5 months. One female may give birth to 5 to 15 cubs. The number of cubs is determined by the mother's fat reserves. Feeding, protecting and rearing offspring is a joint parental task and they perform it equally. The offspring are born most often in late spring or early summer.

The cubs are born blind. Their body is covered with down, soft and thick. One pup weighs 50-100 grams. Male pups are somewhat larger at birth. Their eyes open after 7-10 days, and their teeth erupt after 2-3 days. Babies are fed with their mother's milk until they are one to two months old. From three to four weeks of age, they begin to eat insects, larvae, frogs and rodents that their parents catch. They develop and gain body mass fairly quickly.

They reach sexual maturity at 10-11 months. Life expectancy in the wild is 4-6 years; in captivity it almost doubles.