( mephitis mephitis )
A small furry animal known for its strong musky scent.. That's the short of it. :)
Their Scientific name is mephitis mephitis .Related to the Weasel, ferret, and mink. All of which belong to the Mustelidae family.
Four kinds of different skunks live in North America, and Europe. Like the Spotted, Hognosed, Hooded, and the Striped skunks. The striped, and spotted skunks are so named after the coloring of their
fur coats. The hooded skunk has a large amount of hair around it's neck giving the effect that it wears a hood. This skunk also has the longest tail of any skunk. Nearly 15 inches or 38
The hognosed is so named as it's nose looks like that of a hog.
Skunks make dens in hollow trees, near marshes, and ponds Also in the desert, and in the back streets, and yards in cities, and towns.
Their fur like most small animals is thick near their bodies, for warmth, with longer fur to protect them from wind, and rain.
Skunks are stocky little animals about the size, and weight of a house cat. They have short stout legs with strong claws for digging up insects such as grubs. Also to catch grasshoppers, crickets,
along with small snakes, frogs, and mice. Skunks are helpful to man as they eat many harmful insects, rats, and mice..
They hibernate till late February or early March. Mating takes place very early in the spring. Skunks give birth approximately 2 months later to 4- 6 babies which at first cannot see or hear.
Enemies include the Great horned owl, Fox, Coyote, and Badger. When angered skunks stamp their feet, hiss, and growl. Skunks don't usually spray in a fight with each other. It seems that skunks don't
care much for the strong scent them selves. It is mostly used for defense. Two glands under the tail, generate the strong smelling musk. They stand on their front paws, tail against their backs as
they face their victim to spray
with a mist or stream.
Up to 3 meters (10 ft ) they are very accurate, But can reach nearly 5 meters (16 ft) At that distance the accuracy suffers greatly.
Skunks are considered to be bad to carry rabies. But like nearly all animals they die from it. For the most part no more likely to have rabies than a raccoon or other wild animals. Caution should always be
used with any wild animal. Especially one that shows no fear. You should leave quickly, and report such to your parents or proper authority.
More information can be found at the links below.