Raccoon Eyes - Tapetum Lucidum Effect

Tapetum Lucidum

04.01.2004 - This is a photo of a mother raccoon and two of her baby raccoons.  The babies have grown to a decent size, and are about ten weeks old at this point.  I removed them all from the attic of a home.  I actually removed the young raccoons manually, with a snare pole, and then set one each in the back of two traps.  The mother went in the trap to get her babies, and I caught her.  I then reunited them all.  In this photograph, the young are clinging to mom, and I took the photo of all three together.

In people during photographs, the light of the flash will often reflect against the retina of the eye and cause red eye in photographs.  The same thing happens to many wild animals, such as raccoons, but since raccoons are nocturnal, like many nocturnal animals, they have a special layer called the tapetum lucidum layer, in their retinas.  This layer reflects light and assists in night vision.  That's why many animals' eyes will glow in response to light.  This glow reflects a whole spectrum of colors.  In this photo, the three racoons are at different angles, and thus different colors are reflected.  Neat!

Do it yourself: Visit my How To Get Rid of Raccoons page for tips and advice.
Get professional help: Visit my Nationwide Pro Directory of wildlife removal experts.

The raccoon (Procyon lotor), is a unique animal native to North America. It's not closely related to any other animals, with distant relatives such as bears and weasels. Coons are easy to recognize, with a black mask and ringed tail. Raccoons tend to weigh between 10-20 pounds as adults. They are mostly nocturnal, and are omnivores. Racoons average a lifespan of about 5 years in the wild, and have a litter of 3-6 young each spring. They are very strong, excellent climbers, very intelligent, and they are very skilled with their hands. Raccoons have learned to thrive in urban areas, and live in very high densities in cities, where they eat garbage and pet food. They commonly break into homes and attics, where they cause considerable damage, and they also destroy other property, and thus racoons are considered pest animals by many people. Raccoon control and removal, especially from inside homes, is best left to a professional.

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