Family: Procyonidae Genus: Procyon Species: Procyon lotor. Animals in the raccoon family are typically small tree climbers, measuring roughly 12 to 28 inches in length. A group of raccoons is called a "nursery" or a "gaze" of raccoons; The word raccoon comes from a Powhatan Native American word meaning "scrubs with hands" Raccoons were once thought to be tiny bears. Christopher Columbus was the first to put observations about this fascinating animal down in writing; Raccoons have whiskers on their front toes! The red panda and the giant panda have similar names, but you can see that the red panda is not a bear. In the past, people thought that the raccoon family and the bear family were very closely related. The raccoon was just the latest addition to a menagerie that the press called the “Pennsylvania Avenue Zoo,” but the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported that … It is based on DNA. The raccoon dog (Nyctereutes procyonoides) is a wild animal belonging to the Canidae family.The raccoon dog is therefore a dog, rather than a raccoon. Their faces are often small and wide with large eyes and short ears. The raccoon (/ r ə ˈ k uː n / or US: / r æ ˈ k uː n / (), Procyon lotor) is a medium-sized mammal native to North America. The raccoon ( or US: ( listen), Procyon lotor), sometimes spelled racoon, also known as the common raccoon, North American raccoon, or northern raccoon, is a medium-sized mammal native to North America. This picture shows a newer idea about the Carnivora family tree. This is apparent in their German names: a raccoon is called a Waschbär (washing bear, as it "washes" its food before eating), a coati is a Nasenbär (nose-bear), while a … Some scientists put the red panda in the raccoon family. It is the largest of the procyonid family, having a body length of 40 to 70 cm (16 to 28 in) and a body weight of 5 to 26 kg (11 to 57 lb). 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