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Raccoons Can Be Really Smart

RaccoonRaccoons can be very smart animals:

L.A. Weekly: How smart are raccoons?

MacDonald: All raccoons are pretty smart. Back in 1913, this guy named Walter Hunter wanted to see if raccoons are smarter than dogs. He had memory tasks and found that raccoons actually were really, really great at remembering things for a longer period of time than dogs. The dogs got distracted because they’re kind of like ADHD animals sometimes, and raccoons can remember for quite a long time. You know how B.F. Skinner studied rats and pigeons? Studying raccoons is really hard, so no psychologist studies them in labs. That’s why I’m working in the field, giving them things to do in their natural environment and seeing how they solve puzzles and problems that I give them. Does the raccoon have super powers? 

Not really besides his intelligence.

I wouldn’t put them on a team and expect them to be the smartest, but they do have super powers, that’s why I asked. They can see with their hands. You know how dolphins have sonar so that they can see underwater? Raccoons can do the same kind of thing with their hands—they have really, really sensitive hands, much more sensitive than we do. They don’t have to look at something. They’re great at night because just by grabbing an object, they can know if it’s edible or not. I’m surprised the movie guys didn’t make that one of their super powers. It’s awesome. If they were in a dark room, the raccoon could solve a problem.”

From LA WeeklyRead the full story here.