Skunks are legendary for their horrible-smelling spray. Produced by glands under its tail, this foul mist can be blasted as far as three metres.
Amazing Facts About the Skunk
- The oily liquid that skunks produce is used as a powerful predator-deterrent which causes no real damage to its victims.
- Skunks have two anal glands that carry the spray material. These glands carry limited amount, enough to spray 5 to 8 times.
- Skunks spray sparingly as they sometimes need over a week to reload the glands.
- A skunk will always give a warning before spraying: it turns its back to the target, hisses and stamps its feet.
- Skunks are not aggressive toward humans. They only spray in self defense.
- A snake bite does not kill skunks — they are immune to snake venom.
- Skunks vary in size, although most are the size of a house cat.
- They have a variety of striped, spotted and swirled patterns but all are a vivid black and white which makes them easily identifiable.
- Skunks usually nest in burrows constructed by other animals, but they also live in hollow logs or even abandoned buildings.
- Each female gives birth to between two and ten young each year.
- 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
- Type: Mammal
- Diet: Omnivore
- Lifespan: 3 years
- Size: Head and body 20-48cm, tail 13-38cm
- Habitat: Open woodland and dense shrub
- Range: The Americas
- Scientific name: Mephitis Mephitis