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It was recorded on John Smith's list of Powhatan words as aroughcun, and on that of William Strachey as arathkone.
In the 1830s, the United States Whig Party used the raccoon as an emblem, causing them to be pejoratively known as "coons" by their political opponents, who saw them as too sympathetic to African-Americans.
These are the Bahamian raccoon and Guadeloupe raccoon, which are very similar to each other; the Tres Marias raccoon, which is larger than average and has an angular skull; and the extinct Barbados raccoon.
Studies of their morphological and genetic traits in 1999, 20 led all these island raccoons to be listed as subspecies of the common raccoon in Mammal Species of the World's third edition.
Head to hindquarters, raccoons measure between 40 and 70 cm (16 and 28 in), not including the bushy tail which can measure between 20 and 40 cm (8 and 16 in), but is usually not much longer than 25 cm (10 in).
The body weight of an adult raccoon varies considerably with habitat, making the raccoon one of the most variably sized mammals.
This is reminiscent of a "bandit's mask" and has thus enhanced the animal's reputation for mischief.Nova Scotia, southern New Brunswick, southern Quebec, and southern Ontario south through the eastern United States to North Carolina, and from the Atlantic coast west to Lake Michigan, Indiana, southern Illinois, western Kentucky, and probably eastern Tennessee.Texas, except extreme northern and western parts, southern Arkansas, Louisiana, except delta region of Mississippi, and south into northeastern Mexico, including Coahuila and Nuevo León, to southern Tamaulipas.It can range from 5 to 26 kilograms (10 to 60 lb), but is usually between 5 and 12 kilograms (10 and 30 lb).The smallest specimens live in southern Florida, while those near the northern limits of the raccoon's range tend to be the largest (see Bergmann's rule).