The Procyonidae (The “Before-Dogs”)
Procyonidae include the raccoons, coatis, cacomistles (ringtail “cats”), kinkajous and olingo/olinguitos. They’re native to North and South America, and likely split off from the canids around 25 million years ago.
Many members of this family have distinctive facial markings and ringed tails, though the olingos and kinkajous do not. The kinkajous have prehensile tails, which is a trait shared with only one other carnivoran, the binturong (“bearcat”) of South-East Asia.
These species are members of the superfamily Musteloidea, which includes red pandas, weasels, and skunks. Well, it might. Current phylogenetic studies seem to indicate that this might not be a truly-related group, but for now they’re still classified together.
Despite being members of the Caniforma (“dog-shaped”) suborder, which are members of the Carnivora, the Procyonidae don’t have any carnassal teeth - part of their more-omnivorous opportunistic diet, compared to the rest of their suborder. Carnassal teeth are needed for ripping and shredding flesh, and are essential in hunters like wolves and bears. While each species of the Procyonidae has preferred foods, they’re not obligate consumers of any one thing, allowing them to adapt and survive in an increasingly-urban world.
The Quadrupeds of North America. John James Audubon, 1851