This genus consists of two extant species native to the southwestern United States and Central America and two extinct species: Bassariscus sonoitensis and Bassariscus casei. Genetic studies show that raccoons are Bassariscus’s closest relatives that diverged from each other about 10 million years ago.
Animals from this genus have a common characteristic in that their tail has markings in the form of black rings. These animals are omnivores that feed on a wide variety of foods, such as insects, small vertebrates, rodents, and fruits. They lead a solitary life and only come together to mate during mating season.
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Terrestrial / Aquatic
Altricial / Precocial
Polygamous / Monogamous
Dimorphic (size) / Monomorphic
Active: Diurnal / Nocturnal
Social behavior: Solitary / Pack / Herd
Diet: Carnivore / Herbivore / Omnivore / Piscivorous / Insectivore
Migratory: Yes / No
Domesticated: Yes / No
Dangerous: Yes / No