All right, this one's actually kind of cool. Along with their adaptability, raccoons have physical traits that help their survival. For example, they have collapsible spines that allow them to get through all kinds of tight spaces.
But the real kicker is that their front paws are a lot like human hands. My BrainStuff colleague Cristen Conger wrote a piece about how when raccoons "wash" their food the water softens their nerve meshes, making their hands five times more sensitive. So its not surprising that scientists believe there's a link between their ability to manipulate objects and their growing intelligence.
As anyone who's found their garbage cans opened and scoured in the morning can tell you, raccoon hands aren't just sensitive, they're incredibly dexterous as well. Their forepaws are on par with primates, allowing them to hold objects, climb trees and even unlatch doors. Conger's article delves into the science behind raccoon hands, but suffice to say, you wouldn't want one in your bedroom, routing around through your underwear drawer.