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Striped Skunk

Mephitis mephitis
Conservation Status: 
Least Concern
North America

The striped skunk (Mephitis mephitis) is an omnivorous mammal of the skunk family Mephitidae. Found north of Mexico, it is one of the best-known mammals in Canada and the United States.

The striped skunk has a black body with a white stripe along each side of its body; the two stripes join into a broader white area at the nape. Its forehead has a narrow white stripe. Similar in size to a domestic cat, this species is the heaviest species of skunk, though it is not as long (in body or tail length) as the American hog-nosed skunk. Adults can weigh from 2.5 to 15 lb (1.1 to 6.8 kg), although the average weight is 6–8 lb (2.7–3.6 kg). The animal's length (excluding the tail) is 13 to 18 in (33 to 46 cm). Males tend to be around 10% larger than females. The bushy tail is 7 to 10 in (18 to 25 cm), and sometimes has a white tip. The presence of a striped skunk is often first made apparent by its odor. It has well-developed anal scent glands (characteristic of all skunks) that can emit a highly unpleasant odor when the skunk feels threatened.

This article uses material from the Wikipedia article "Striped Skunk", which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.