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Last updated on April 20, 2014 at 8:28 EDT

Crab-eating Raccoon, Procyon cancrivorus

The crab-eating raccoon (Procyon cancrivorus) is native to South and Central America. Its range includes Trinidad and Tobago, Costa Rica, and extends to the northern areas of Uruguay and Argentina. It prefers a habitat with abundant water resources. Although the name implies that this raccoon’s diet consists of only crabs, it also consumes other crustaceans, like lobster, as well as fruits, amphibians, and turtle eggs.

The crab-eating raccoon is similar in appearance to the common raccoon, bearing a fluffy, ringed tail and a “bandit mask” on its face. The shorter fur can make it appear more slender than the common raccoon. However, it is very similar in size to its relative, reaching an average body length of up to 31 inches and a tail length between 8 and 22 inches. It can weigh up to 26 pounds, although its average weight is between 11 and 15 pounds.

As is common to raccoon species, the crab-eating raccoon is nocturnal. It is a solitary species that gives birth to three young during the months of July to August. The crab-eating raccoon appears on the IUCN Red List () with a conservation status of “Least Concern”.

Image Caption: Crab-eating raccoon (Procyon cancrivorus) in Manuel Antonio National Park, Costa Rica. This is one of a pair that came down to the beach together. Credit: Steven G. Johnson/Wikipedia (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Crab-eating Raccoon Procyon cancrivorus