- Category: Skunk
- Created: Wednesday, 07 December 2016 16:26
Skunks are nocturnal, meaning they are active during the cover of darkness. None of the four (4) species hibernate; however, during the winter months, November through February, they enter a period of inactivity or low activity and do not normally leave their dens. Males may leave the winter dens in search of food during warmer periods of winter.
All skunks, no matter what species, are fairly quiet. They have good hearing, but as can be expected with most nocturnal animals their eyesight is fairly poor.
Mating season for skunks vary by species. Western spotted skunks mate in the fall whereas Eastern spotted skunks and striped skunks mate in the spring. Gestation is a bit different between the species as will with the western spotted skunks actually delay implantation of the embryo. Because of this each species gives birth in the spring. In general, the species will have between five (5) to seven (7) babies.
Perhaps the most famous skunk behavior is its main defense mechanism-scent spraying. This may be the most famous defense mechanism of any creature on earth! The way and frequency of the spray is different depending on what species of skunk you are dealing with.
Striped Skunks will only spray if they are in fear of their life; but they will spray and if you’ve been close by when they have you know how pungent it is. The spray is actually sprayed from glands in the anus of the animals.
Because of their spray mechanism skunks, no matter what the species, skunks are rarely preyed upon by mammals and may only be fearful of large birds including owls and hawks. Occasionally a really hungry coyote or fox, or large, wild cat may prey on the animals. They as with many other small mammals living near human habitation will fall prey to the automobile, too.