Sunday, September 11, 2011

Eastern Spotted Skunk

The Eastern Spotted Skunk is perhaps not what you would think of when the word "Skunk" comes to mind. After all, they don't have stripes!

Spilogale putorius
All Skunks are members of the Musteloid superfamily, which makes them relatives to Weasels, Badgers, and Racoons. Eastern Spotted Skunks are actually pretty Weasel-looking, moreso than some other Skunks, due to their slender bodies. This allows them to be more agile and active.

Not only is this species more agile and more slender than other Skunks, but it is also more social. During the winter as many as eight Skunks may share a common den. They also happen to be the only Skunk that climbs trees!

Eastern Spotted Skunks are omnivores, and they are excellent rodent catchers. Their diet changes based on the seasons, but they also eat insects, fruit, eggs, and even honey. They themselves are preyed upon by owls, coyotes, foxes, bobcats, and a handful of other predators. When threatened, they do a series of handstands to warn their attackers, and if that doesn't work they shoot out their amazingly accurate musk. They can aim well to hit things as far as 16ft (5m) away!

IUCN Status : Least Concern
Location : Eastern United States
Size : Body length up to 13in (33cm)
Classification : Phylum : Chordata -- Class : Mammalia -- Order : Carnivora
Family : Mephitidae -- Genus : Spilogale -- Species : S. putorius

3 comments:

  1. This little fellow is very cute! I don't understand why people don't like skunks they are the cutest!

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  3. I've heard you can get rid of the stink by soaking in tomato sauce for several hours. I wonder how you get rid of the ketchup smell afterward, though.

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