Why Do Raccoons Have Masks Around Their Eyes?

raccoons-masks-around-eyes Credit: Ikonica/Radius Images / 360/Getty Images

According to PBS, one hypothesis states that the raccoon's mask of black fur may function to reduce glare and enhance night vision. Raccoons are medium-sized mammals and members of the Procyonidae family. They average between 24 and 38 inches in length and weigh approximately 14 to 23 pounds.

In captivity, raccoons can live up to 20 years, but this figure is reduced to 2 or 3 years in the wild. Their diet is omnivorous and consists of insects, nuts and berries, among others. Raccoons are originally natives of North America, but they have a presence in Russia, Germany and Japan, due to human introduction.