Animals of the world, Skunk

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Skunk (640x547)

  • The skunk family is composed of 11 species, 9 of which are found in the Western Hemisphere.
  • Skunks are typically around the size of house cats. Species vary in size from about 15.6 to 37 in (40 to 94 cm) long
  • They have a stout body, a small head, short legs, bushy tail and thick, black, glossy fur with white stripes that extend down their back. Some skunks are brown or grey and a few are cream-coloured. The tails of skunks are wide, long and bushy, and can be all black or have varying amounts of white
  • 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
  • Skunk scent comes from anal glands located inside the rectum at the base of the tail. When frightened, skunks will shoot a smelly, oily substance from the gland. If threatened, skunks will give many warning signs before spraying their potential victim
  • Primarily nocturnal, skunks are diverse carnivores that live in a wide variety of habitats, including deserts, forests, and mountains
  • Skunks are omnivorous, and not particularly picky. They’ll eat insects, flowers, small rodents, eggs, frogs, worms, and – human’s garbage
  • In winter, skunks spend most of their time underground. They either create burrows by digging under existing structures or steal them from smaller burrowing animals
  • They sleep in dens lined with leaves during the day
  • Their lifespan in the wild can reach seven years, with most living only up to a year



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