These mammals are well known for their secretion of a liquid with a strong, foul-smelling odor. General appearance differs from species to species, from black-and-white to brown or cream colored.
Skunks were classified as a subfamily within the family Mustelidae, which includes ferrets, weasels, otters and badgers. However, recent genetic evidence suggests that the skunks are not as closely related to the mustelids as previously thought; they are now classified in their own family.
The spray is an oily liquid generated by its gland under its large tail. To employ this scent bomb, a skunk turns around and blasts its foe with a foul mist that can travel as far as ten feet (three meters).
The spray does not cause real damage to its victims, but it makes them uncomfortable. It can hang on for many days and confront shots to remove it. Predators typically give skunks a wide berth unless little other food is available.
There are many different kinds of skunks. They vary in size (most are house cat-sized) and appear in a variety of striped, spotted, and swirled patterns—but all are a vivid black-and-white that makes them easily identifiable and may alert predators to their pungent potential.
It usually nests in burrows Formed by other animals, but they also live in hollow logs or even abandoned buildings. In colder climates, some skunks may sleep in these nests for many weeks for small reasons. Two to ten young ones were given birth each Female.
They 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.
Most of the skunks live in the Americas, except for the Asian stink badgers that have recently been added to the skunk family.