Raccoons have extremely sensitive front paws, so if you want to make a raccoon happy you can give it an object with a particularly fancy surface it can “explore” with its paws. If food is involved that’s even better, of course ;-).
Almost two-thirds of the area responsible for sensory perception in the raccoon’s cerebral cortex is specialised for the interpretation of tactile impulses. That’s roughly equivalent to the area we use for the interpretation of visual signals and more than in any other studied animal. It is therefore believed that raccoons through touch can construct a picture of their surroundings that is as complex as that which we perceive with our eyes. (see also this short excerpt from the BBC series “The Life of Mammals”)
Update: Bubble wrap!
- Sandra: Hey Woo, I’ve got a new toy for you!
- Woo: Woo!
- Woo: And what a great one it is!
- Sandra: I knew you’d like it. But leave me some pieces for… uhh… research and development!