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japanese raccoon dog

Raccoon dogs are active both during the night and day. Males fighting for females may yelp and growl. However, in most sightings by humans they are seen alone. In the modern Tokyo standard dialect, tanuki refers to raccoon dogs and anaguma refers to badgers. Males will fight briefly, but not fatally, for mates. In Japan, the Raccoon dog is known as the tanuki and has a long history in folklore. In some regions, Tanuki may refer to raccoons, … Although the tanuki is a real, extant animal, the bake-danuki that appears in literature has always been depicted as a strange, even supernatural animal. In Japanese folklore, tanuki is considered the rivals of kitsune. Popular in Japan and also the stars of the Studio Ghibli film Pom Poko, they have recently become the subject of fascination by Westerners unfamiliar with this unusual species. [12] In Japan the species is hunted mainly to prevent them from damaging crops; however, their fur is desired for use in calligraphy brushes and was exported chiefly to the United States before the outbreak of World War II. They were introduced in Europe and now these animals are abundant throughout Estonia, Finland, Latvia, and Lithuania, Bulgaria, Serbia, France, Romania, Slovakia, Switzerland, Austria, Belarus, Poland, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Moldova, North Macedonia, Romania, Ukraine, Germany, Norway, European parts of Russia, Denmark, and Sweden. [3], This species is rarely exhibited in zoological parks. [3], The Japanese raccoon dog is sometimes classified as its own distinct species (Nyctereutes viverrinus) due to unique chromosomal, behavioral, and morphological characteristics absent in mainland raccoon dogs. The Japanese raccoon dog is mainly nocturnal, but they are known to be active during daylight. [citation needed]. Raccoon dogs are the only canids that hibernate. [10][11], The raccoon dogs from Hokkaido are sometimes recognized as a different subspecies from the mainland tanuki as Nyctereutes procyonoides albus (Hornaday, 1904) (or N. viverrinus albus if recognized as a distinct species). As the tanuki, the animal has been significant in Japanese folklore since ancient times. The Japanese raccoon dog (Nyctereutes procyonoides viverrinus ), also known as the tanuki (Japanese: タヌキ or 狸; pronounced [taꜜnɯki]), is a subspecies of the Asian raccoon dog. Tanuki is often mistakenly translated into English as "badger" or "raccoon" (as used in the US version of the movie Pom Poko and outlined in Tom Robbins' book Villa Incognito), two unrelated types of animals with superficially similar appearances. You will find the word “Tanuki” in different Japanese folktales. [5], Genetic analysis has confirmed unique sequences of mtDNA, classifying the Japanese raccoon dog as a distinct isolation species, based on evidence of eight Robertsonian translocations. The Raccoon dog is named for its superficial resemblance to the raccoon, to which it is not closely related. Please don’t you think that I do make tea with my Tanuki tea … Apart from these places, tanuki are treated with special regard in a few cases. Like cats, the Japanese raccoon dog arches its back when it is trying to intimidate other animals; however, The Hangzhou Zoo in China and the River Safari in Singapore also have Japanese raccoon dogs. The legendary tanuki is reputed to be mischievous and jolly, a master of disguise and shapeshifting, but somewhat gullible and absentminded. It is the only one that hibernates, moves into winter and summer ranges, and looks like a cross between a raccoon—because of its colour and markings—and a fuzzy fox. The scientific name of this species, Nyctereutes procyonoides, translates from Greek roughly to “the night wanderer.” Nukt- means "night" and ereutēs - "wanderer". It is undoubtedly a close relative of the Asian Raccoon Dog, but many scientists believe it is a separate species.

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