If anyone has told you that you smell like a skunk, woo! That is awful. Skunks are known for their pungent defensive odor. All skunks are boldly colored. This is another warning to their enemies to stay clear. The defensive odor Skunks release also marks their territory.
Originally skunks were grouped to be part of the weasel family. However, recently research has classified them into their own group. There are five types of the North American skunks. These are the Hooded Skunk, Striped Skunk, Eastern Skunk, Western Spotted Skunk and the Hognose Skunk. Skunks go by various aliases for instance tree skunks, black martins and weasel skunks to name a few.
Once you see that black and white color look out it is a skunk. Many animals camouflage as a form of defense but skunks advertise in hopes to scare off any threats. Skunks have a body built like a cat with stripes starting at the neck. The striped skunk has an additional stripe on its snout. Hooded skunks usually have tails that grow over one foot. Which is long for a skunk. Hognose skunks have a snout similar to that of a pig. Thus the name additional their tail and back is white. With a black belly and sides. Spotted skunks also have several stripes on their body but the spots on ears and nose.
Skunks are nocturnal. They occupy wooded, agricultural, and scrub open areas. If skunks are present in those bushy areas. They are hognose or hooded skunks. Those skunks who are famous for the living in dry conditions are the Western spotted skunk. Skunks who live in those moist areas usually have a food perimeter of just under twenty acres. Those occupying the dry lands have a feeding territory of over 200 acres. Skunks sometimes dig their own burrows. However they seem to rather using those done by some other animal. If you live in an urban area. You may find them in walls, beneath buildings or in basements.
Usually a skunk will eat just about anything. These creates are omnivorous mammals. They come out at night and eat frogs, bird eggs, rodents or even fruit and berries. They will eat what is available in the particular season.
Each type of skunk has a different diet. For example the spotted skunks eat the most rodents, even rabbits and various invertebrates. While the hognose skunk prefers grubs and insects. The striped skunk consumes insects and larvae. These type of skunks are very slow so they hunt by lying in wait. Skunks never store they food although they may steel the food stored by other animals like weasels.
The average life span of a skunk living in the wild is less than ten years. Scientist have more information on the striped skunk when it relates to reproduction. It is known that all skunks can halt the development of a fertilized egg. This process of implantation can be done for months. The western spotted skunk usually mates in September and use this implantation process straight up to March. The other species often mate during the winter months like January through to April.
A female skunk can produce a litter that contains up to ten and as few as three skunks. When skunks are born they are blind and often only get to see about three week after being born. After six weeks of being in the barrow they accompany their money to hunt for food. They continue with their mother until they know how to hunt on they own. Females often stat mating within their first year of life.
Skunks have an unusual and smelly type of defense. They use the two scent glands located next to the tail to spray this yellow mist up to 15 feet. This spray also causes blindness and nausea. It is so potent that skunks hate the smell.
Striped skunks usually give a warning before they spray. Their body contorts to a U-shape before they release the mist. This allows its head and tail to face the threat. The most fun to see skunk it the spotted skunk it stands on its hands while facing the threat and squirts. Each type of skunk is very accurate and you should try to avoid coming in to contact with one.
A skunk’s glands hold about 15 cc of the yellow liquid mist. It is referred to as nbutyl mercaptan in the scientific world. This liquid can be released up to 6 times repeatedly. However, it takes around ten days to be replaced once discharge fully.
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