Raccoons Are Actually Much Smarter Than We First Thought

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Raccoons are some of the smartest creatures in the animal kingdom, and now they’ve got the test scores to prove it.

The Aesop’s Fable test measures the intelligence of animals based on their ability to solve puzzles and find food. The classic example is a clever crow, picking up stones with its beak and dropping them into a shallow pitcher of water to raise the level high enough to drink.

Crows are smart enough to add credence to the fables of long ago, and while raccoons are perhaps less prevalent in literature, they show the same talent for analytical thinking. According to National Geographic, after being shown the trick first, a number of raccoons were able to raise the water level in a narrow cylinder, bringing the floating marshmallows inside within reach.

Source: Pexels Is this the furry face of a genius?

Source: Pexels
Is this the furry face of a genius?

Out of eight raccoons who were given the test, two used pebbles to raise the water level as shown, while an impatient third knocked the pitcher over to retrieve the food.

This may be the first time in history raccoons have been officially lauded for their intelligence, but it likely won’t be the last. Want to learn more about these clever animals? Check out the fun facts below, and click through to read more!

10. Where to find them

Raccoons can be found in North and Central America, Europe, and Japan, Live Science reports.

“They are very adaptable, so they live in a wide range of climates and habitats,” the site maintains. “They typically make homes, called dens, in trees or caves, though they will also make homes in barns, abandoned vehicles and other man-made locations.”

Source: Pexels Raccoons can be found all over the world.

Source: Pexels
Raccoons can be found all over the world.

9. Do they make good pets?

Some people think so, but they’re not for everyone. Raccoons are wild animals. Let’s not forget that.

The Humane Society maintains that only one human has ever died from a rabid raccoon bite, but those free from rabies are liable to pass on diseases such as roundworm or leptospirosis.

As long as you keep your distance from dangerous diseases, it is fun to watch them play around!

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Click the button below to read more about these clever creatures!

Matthew Russell is a West Michigan native and with a background in journalism, data analysis, cartography and design thinking. He likes to learn new things and solve old problems whenever possible, and enjoys bicycling, going to the dog park, spending time with his daughter, and coffee. Find more about Matthew on his personal website.
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