Also known as the Polecat!
Skunk Scientific Classification
Skunk Physical Characteristics
Grey, Black, White
5-8 years
Top speed
10 mph
0.5-6.3kg (1.1-14lbs)
Skunk Distribition

” A skunk’s spray can be identified at ranges of up to1.5 miles.”

Skunks are omnivores consuming a diet of insects, fruit, fish, amphibians, reptiles, and little animals. This animal is best recognized for its capacity to spray a fragrant (smelly) fluid from its scent glands. They utilize the spray as a protection versuspredators Skunks stay in Canada, the USA, Mexico, and South America. Female skunks deliver yearly.

5 Extraordinary Skunk Truths!

  • These animals utilize their solid front legs and claws to mine insects
  • Skunks are not impacted by snake poison
  • They stay in dens, hollow logs, burrows, and also in deserted barns and residences
  • A female can have 2 to 10 infants in a trash
  • Skunks are recognized to lug rabies and can pass to various other animals or perhaps a family pet

You can have a look at even more amazing truths concerning skunks.

Skunk Scientific Name

The scientific name for among the skunk species is Mephitis mephitis The Latin word mephitis implies harmful scent. This animal is often called a polecat. At once, they were misinterpreted for candy striped polecats (scientific name: Ictonyx striatus) as a result of their similar appearance.

These animals come from the Mephitidae family and the class Mammalia.

The skunk family consists of 11 species. Several of those consist of:

  • Eastern detected skunk
  • Western seen skunk
  • Hog- nosed skunk
  • Candy striped skunk
  • Hooded skunk

Skunk Appearance and Habits

One of the most identifiable species has black hair with 2 vast red stripes of white on its back. Various other species have swirls or areas of white on their black hair. An exemption is the albino skunk. It has a layer of pure white hair. Albino skunks are uncommon. They do not have the capacity to create the melanin that dims their hair. Albino skunks are various from animals with primarily white hair. One means to inform them apart is a white skunk has shiners and an albino skunk has red eyes. Regrettably, albino skunks typically have a brief life expectancy since they have various other clinical problems as an outcome of their uncommon genes.

This animal’s conventional black and white layer makes it quickly identifiable by humans. Nonetheless, to its all-natural predators, the raw white red stripe or seen layout of its layer is an aesthetic signal to steer clear of. Do not claim I really did not caution you!

These animals have 4 feet, little shiners, and a bristly tail with a blend of black and white hair. Skunks have sharp teeth that assist them to eat a range of products in their diet. This animal has solid front feet with lengthy claws that assist them to dig burrows or search for worms and various other insects. Yet you possibly will not see them excavating a burrow. They are recognized for settling in burrows that have actually been deserted by foxes, woodchucks, and various other animals.

Several of these animals can utilize their claws to climb up. The seen skunk has the ability to utilize its solid feet and claws to climb up trees. Conversely, while the candy striped skunk is not most likely to attempt to climb up a tree, it can climb up mesh fencings rather quickly.

The animal’s body is from 8 to 19 inches long with a tail that can be as long as 15 inches. They can consider from 6 to 14 extra pounds. Photo 9 golf tees aligned end to finish and you’re checking out the size of a 19- inch skunk. When it pertains to weight, a standard- sized skunk (concerning 10 extra pounds) evaluates the like a housecat. The American hog- nosed species is just one of the lengthiest determining 2.7 feet from the idea of its nose throughout of its tail.

One of the most remarkable function of this animal is its capacity to spray. When this animal really feels intimidated, it launches a smelly fluid from scent glands under its tail. This fluid can take a trip approximately 12 feet, so a killer does not need to be close to a skunk to obtain splashed! Though this fluid isn’t harmful, it takes a number of days for the scent to diminish an animal’s hair or body. And also, if it enters the eyes of an animal, it can hurt. The killer escapes in an initiative to escape the effective scent. That’s why this spray is so efficient as a defense reaction. Discover more concerning the stinkiest animals in the world right here.

Skunks are primarily singular animals. Nonetheless, those that stay in chillier areas might collect in teams of 10 to 20 inside burrows to maintain cozy. A team of skunks is called a bellyful. Typically, they are reluctant animals that attempt to remain out of view. The only time these animals reveal hostility is throughout reproducing period when they are completing for companions. It is additionally essential to recognize that skunks are not rodents.

Striped Skunk - Mephitis mephitis. Rancho San Antonio County Park, Santa Clara County, California, USA.

yhelfman/Shutterstock. com

Skunk Environment

These animals stay in Canada, the USA, Mexico, and South America. They stay in areas with a pleasant environment. Especially, their environment consists of woodlands and timberlands where they can discover hollowed logs or brush heaps. They often stay in burrows that have actually been deserted by an additional animal. The majority of them are discovered living within 2 miles of a stream or creek, so they have accessibility to alcohol consumption water together with fish, frogs, and various other sorts of victim.

Throughout the cool- climate months, These animals remain in burrows to maintain cozy. Though they do not formally hibernate, they rest a great deal throughout this period. Moreover, these animals do not move. Actually, they live their lives within concerning a 2- mile variety of their hollow log, den, or various other sanctuaries.

Skunk Diet

These animals are omnivores. Biologists consider them opportunistic feeders. This implies they do not have a details checklist of points they eat. They’ll seize the day to eat anything readily available to them in their atmosphere. As an example, if a skunk wanders right into a community and locates a bird feeder, it will certainly eat seed that’s dropped on the ground.

What consumes skunks?

The wonderful horned owl is just one of the major predators of these animals. Others consist of golden eagles, eagles, foxes, and coyotes.

What do skunks eat?

They eat fruit, plants, rodents, grasshoppers, worms, bird eggs, and frogs. They can additionally eat poisonous snakes since they are unsusceptible to snake poison. These animals eat whatever food resource is most numerous throughout the specific period.

Skunk Predators and Hazards

Since these animals are energetic in the evening, they are vulnerable to wonderful horned owls. This owl can see the motion of a skunk at night. It can swoop to catch it prior to the skunk has the ability to transform and launch its repellent.

Various other winged predators of these animals consist of bald eagles and golden eagles. Though coyotes and foxes are predators of the skunk, they are often prevented from coming close to as a result of the skunk’s pigmentation and spray.

Dry spell is one ecological risk to skunks. Logging is an additional risk to the environment of these animals. These animals are often eliminated as parasites in areas since they are recognized providers of rabies. This condition can be passed onto a pet dog or cat. A human canister additionally agreement rabies from a skunk if the individual is attacked or damaged. Obviously, an individual ought to most likely to the closest healthcare facility if bitten or damaged by a skunk.

As a note, these animals assist to maintain the population of insects and mice controlled. In other words, they offer an objective in the ecological community as well!

The conservation status of the skunk is Least Concern with a steady population.

Skunk Reproduction, Infants and Life Expectancy

The reproducing period of these animals is in between February and April. A male seek a female and wanders around her to see if she prepares to mate. If the female desires absolutely nothing to do with the male, she launches her spray to chase him off. A male companions with a number of females in one reproducing period. The gestation duration of a female is 60 days. Females have simply one clutter annually.

The animal has real-time infants, also known as sets, in a den loaded with turf. A trash can consist of from 2 to 10 sets. Each infant evaluates around one ounce at birth and is unable to see or listen to till it’s 3 weeks old. The female takes single treatment of the sets and registered nurses them till they are 6 weeks old. Back then, the female enables the sets to discover outside the den and they are discouraged by the age of 2 months.

They end up being independent at around 2 months old and go off to search for their very own sanctuary. When a child begins moving beyond the den, it’s vulnerable to predators consisting of owls, eagles, coyotes, and foxes. It’s not unusual for sets to be eliminated prior to getting to one years of age.

The life expectancy of a skunk rises to 7 years, however the typical age is 3.

Skunk Population

The IUCN Red Checklist of Intimidated Species reports no details population. Yet, since females have one clutter of approximately 10 sets annually, the population of this animal stays steady. The conservation status of the skunk is Least Concern.

Skunks in the Zoo

Can you see these animals in the zoo? Yes you can!

  • Candy striped skunks get on display screen at the San Diego Zoo
  • The western seen skunk gets on exhibition at the Sequoia Park Zoo
  • See a celebration of candy striped skunks at the Elmwood Park Zoo


  1. Wikipedia, Available here:
  2. Chesapeake Bay Program, Available here:
  3. Massachusetts, Available here:

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