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raccoon dog, Nyctereutes procyonides(noun)
small wild dog of eastern Asia having facial markings like those of a raccoon
The only species in the genus Nyctereutes of the Canidae or dog family.
The raccoon dog, also known as the magnut or tanuki, is a canid indigenous to East Asia. It is the only extant species in the genus Nyctereutes. It is considered a basal canid species, resembling ancestral forms of the family. Among the Canidae, the raccoon dog shares the habit of regularly climbing trees only with the North American gray fox, another basal species. The raccoon dog is named for its resemblance to the raccoon, to which it is not closely related. Native East Asian raccoon dog populations have declined in recent years due to hunting, fur trade, urbanization, an increase of animals associated with human civilization such as pets and abandoned animals, and diseases that may be transmitted between them. Following its introduction into central and western Europe, however, it has been treated as a potentially hazardous invasive species. In China the raccoon dog is farmed as food and for its fur.
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