About skunks: Appearance, biology, life cycle, habitat, diet, behavior

South Carolina skunks are popular because of their ability to spray a liquid with an unpleasant smell. Skunks vary in color. Those which are found in North America have popular white and black color. Other rare colors include cream, ginger and brown. All skunks, regardless of color, display a trait called “aposematism.” This is the ability to look unprofitable in the face of potential predators.

The Biology of Myrtle Beach Skunks
Skunks are an old world relative to stink badgers and they possess scent glands. These scent glands serve as defense mechanisms to humans and predators since the glands can emit a foul-smelling odor that can last for days.

Skunks vary in sizes. The regular adult Myrtle Beach skunk measures from 40 cm to 94 cm in length. They can also weigh up to 18 lbs or 8.2 kilograms as in the case of hog-nosed skunks. All skunks have stripes on their bodies and these stripes are often white. They have short legs but they can run fast. They have sharp front claws used for digging.

It is easy for skunks to find food since they can eat different kinds of plants and small animals. They are omnivorous in nature. The common diet of a skunk includes little animals such as salamanders, frogs, snakes, larvae, grubs, and earthworms. When it comes to their plant diet, they can eat a lot of fungi, roots, berries, grasses and other edible leaves. Skunks mostly forage inside garbage cans or inside the house if they are living in urban areas.

The skunk females mate with males in the early spring. The males can mate more than one female skunks in order to reproduce more. After the mating, if the female becomes pregnant, she would excavate a den for her litters. These will serve as the young ones’ nest after they are born. The typical gestation period for female skunks is usually 66 days. It is important to note that the mother is very protective of her babies. She will spray an unpleasant liquid once she notices a slight hint of danger.

The behavior of Skunks
Skunks are solitary animals. Most of the time, they wander alone and forage for food except during the mating season. During the winter, male skunks can go into a den and spend its time there for the remainder of the season. Female skunks can huddle together, even in groups of 10 to keep themselves warm.

The Skunks’ Spray
Skunks are well-known for their anal scent glands that are used for defense from possible threats. The skunk spray consists of methyl, butanethiol, quinolinemethanethiol, and acetate. These can be perceived by the human nose as a bad odor when in large quantities. Predators such as wolves, badgers, and foxes do not generally approach skunks for fear of being sprayed. Human and dogs are also wary of skunks because the bad odor can linger for days. Aside from the odor, skunks use hisses, and foot stamping to warn predators not to approach them.

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