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Feeding tests were conducted with captive raccoons (Procyon lotor) to permit more meaningful interpretation of food habit data obtained from fecal analysis. Ten diverse types of natural foods were offered in 20 tests. Digestibility coefficients were calculated that ranged from 3.6 for dry sunflowers, where considerable residue was recovered, to infinity for earthworms and boned meat where no residue was recovered. The influence of differences in both food and animal behavior on digestibility coefficients was significant (ANOVA, F<0.001). The use of digestibility coefficients to adjust quantitative estimates of fecal residue or to predict biomass consumed is of questionable value with raccoons due to variability in foods consumed and behavior of individual animals.
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Relating residue in raccoon feces to food consumed