Skunks are mammals. This means that they give live birth, are covered in fur, and drink milk when they are babies.
Mammals are also warm-blooded, which means that they can regulate their body temperature.
No matter how cool or hot the environment might be, a skunk’s internal body temperature will always be the same.
There are five different types of skunks in the world. They are all some variety of black and white.
Most skunks have fluffy tails with a variety of markings that make them stand out.
Contrary to popular belief, skunks do not want to spray their stinky musk.
They only have a limited amount of their spray, and once it is gone, it takes a long time to regenerate.
They are also not stinky all of the time!
Related: Interesting nose facts.
Unlike most animals, skunks do not want to blend in with their environments. Their easily distinguishable markings make them easy to spot no matter where they are.
Their markings are a skunk’s first line of defense against predators or other animals that might harm a skunk. They are meant to tell other animals to stay away, or they’ll be sorry!
If the markings are not enough of a warning, a skunk will usually stamp with its front paws to try to ward off any unwanted advances.
If that doesn’t work, then a skunk might spray if it feels threatened. The spray comes from a pair of stink glands on the back end of the skunk.
A skunk can spray in two different ways. It can send out a stream of spray or an all-covering mist.
The spray can go further, but the mist is more accurate since it spreads everywhere around the skunk.
If you or a loved one is unfortunate enough to be sprayed by a skunk, be prepared to stink for a while! The smell, if left untreated, can easily last for about a year.
Skunks are omnivores (they eat both plants and animals) and prefer to move about during the nighttime. This means that they are nocturnal mammals.
A skunk’s senses
Like most animals, a skunk has many senses that are superior to ours. They can smell and hear much better than a human.
Unfortunately for them, and us, they do not have a good sense of sight.
This lack of good eyesight can lead to accidental sprayings when a skunk is surprised. If you ever see a skunk, it is best to remain calm and keep your distance.
If you do accidentally get close, try to stay completely still, so you don’t startle the poor nearsighted skunk.
Skunks do not live very long in the wild. They only tend to live for about two to three years. This is mostly because they are, despite their stink, often eaten by other animals.
Skunks can be found in both North and South America.
They prefer to make their homes in burrows or rotten logs in the forest, though they are experts at scavenging in towns and cities as well.