Procyonidae (raccoons; suborder Fissipedia (or Caniformia), superfamily Canoidea)
A family that includes the raccoon, coati, and perhaps the red panda. They are relatively short-legged, mainly arboreal mammals in which the gait is plantigrade
or semi-plantigrade, the claws are partly retractile or non-retractile, the canine
teeth are long and rectangular in cross-section, the carnassials
are developed only weakly, the auditory bulla
is well rounded, and the paroccipital process is prominent. The diet is omnivorous. The Procyonidae broke away from the main canid line in the early Oligocene
and were present in both Europe
and N. America at that time. Their fossil record in Asia
begins in the Miocene
. There is currently dispute as to whether Ailurus fulgens
(red panda) should be referred to this family or to a separate family, Ailuridae
. If the red panda is included, there are seven genera, comprising about 19 species, found in N. and S. America and parts of Asia.
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