Striped Skunk

Mephitis mephitis
STRIPED SKUNK
About The Striped Skunk
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Mammalia
  • Order: Carnivora
Fun Facts:
  • Skunks can be either nocturnal or crepuscular depending on the particular habitat and preference of the individual.
  • Skunks will maintain eye contact while turning their rears to a threat, and unleash their devastating spray, capable of incredible accuracy over a range of 10 feet!

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

The Striped skunk is easily recognized by the twin parallel white striped that run along the length of its body, ending at the tail. The rest of the animal is black to further enhance the brightness of this aposematic coloring.

DIET

Skunks are omnivores, but when given the chance, they will feed almost exclusively on insects. However, if their favored prey is in short supply, skunks will readily forage for small animals, berries, and even carrion. This generalist diet makes them well-suited to raiding the garbage of human dwellings in their search for food.

DISTRIBUTION

Skunks are adaptable to the point where they can exist in any number of wild or human-modified biomes. Woodland, grassland, farmland, and even urban environments are all suitable habitats for skunk.

BEHAVIOR

Skunks can be either nocturnal or crepuscular depending on the particular habitat and preference of the individual. As a whole, they are fairly docile animals that tend to ignore the presence of other species around them.

REPRODUCTION & GROWTH

Skunks normally mate once a year, after which the female aggressively chases the male away and raises the young on her own. After a 59-77 day gestation, anywhere from 2 to 10 young are born. The mother will protect and nurture the growing younglings, which reach maturity at 10 to 12 months of age.

NOTES ON CONSERVATION

Their large numbers, vast range, and incredible adaptability make skunks a species of Least Concern under the IUCN.

HONOLULU ZOO

Our skunk Pepe resides in the Keiki Zoo Barn where he enjoys a strong relationship with his keepers. Although he has been raised by humans, he has also been de-scented as a precautionary measure.

CITATIONS

http://animaldiversity.org/accounts/Mephitis_mephitis/

http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/41635/0

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