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What does raccoon mean?

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Quick Answer

In English, the word "raccoon" is an adaptation of a Native American word from the Powhatan tribe that means "animal that scratches with its hands." The animal's scientific name is Procyon lotor. It is neo-Latin, and it means “before-dog washer."

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Full Answer

Raccoons are native to North America. They are found in all parts of the United States, except the Rocky Mountains and some southwestern states like Nevada, Utah and Arizona. They are also found in parts of Canada, Mexico and in the northern-most regions of South America. The species was introduced to other parts of the world in the 20th Century; they now live in some areas of Germany, Russia and Japan.

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