Scientific Name: Mephitis Mephitis
Average lifespan in the wild: 3 years
Size: Head and body, 8 to 19 in (20 to 48 cm); Tail, 5 to 15 in (13 to 38 cm)
Weight: 7 oz to 14 lbs (198 g to 6 kg)
Top Speed: 16km/h (10mph)
Life Span: 5-8 years
Group name: Surfeit
The skunk (also known as the polecat) are most commonly known for their ability to secrete a foul, strong smelling odor from their rear end, when the skunk feels that it is under threat. skunk's spray is an oily liquid produced by glands under its large tail. To employ this scent bomb, a skunk turns around and blasts its foe with a foul mist that can travel as far as ten feet (three meters).
What does a skunk look like?
There are many different kinds of skunks. They vary in size (most are house cat-sized) and appear in a variety of striped, spotted, and swirled patterns, but all are a vivid black-and-white that makes them easily identifiable and may alert predators to their pungent potential. The colour of the skunk can vary from the typical black and white to grey, cream and even brown. However all skunks are striped and baby skunks are even born with their striped markings regardless of their colour. Humboldt's hog-nosed skunk is black or reddish brown with a white stripe down each side of its body. This skunk gets its name from the distinctive nose shape.
Where do skunks live?
There are 11 known species of skunk in the world, with most of these skunk species inhabiting the American continent. Two of these skunk species are found in Indonesia and the Philippines. Skunks usually nest in burrows constructed by other animals, but they also live in hollow logs or even abandoned buildings. In colder climates, some skunks may sleep in these nests for several weeks of the chilliest season. Each female gives birth to between two and ten young each year.
What does a skunk eat?
Skunks are opportunistic eaters with a varied diet. They are nocturnal foragers who eat fruit and plants, insects, larvae, worms, eggs, reptiles, small mammals, and even fish. Nearly all skunks live in the Americas, except for the Asian stink badgers that have recently been added to the skunk family.
What are the natural enemies of the skunk?
Although skunks have excellent smell and hearing, skunks are known to have very poor vision and can only see objects that are right in front of them. With the introduction of cars, numerous skunks have been killed on the roads as the skunks cannot see the cars coming towards them until it is too late.
Did you know this about skunks?
The skunk's foul-smelling oil is produced by glands around its anus. It can spray potential threats up to 10 feet away.
Skunks can store about five to six discharges of its spray. It takes about 10 days to replenish its stinky stash.
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