Trivia question for Oct-18-2011
Olivia and Carter actually held one of these this past summer as we visited a friend of ours who works at an animal recuse center. These guys are too cute. These guys hide away in a den by day, coming out at night to hunt under the cover of darkness.
These guys are omnivorous and will eat small rodents, fruits, berries, birds, eggs, insects and larvae, lizards, snakes, and carrion. They have a keen sense of smell that helps them find grubs and other food. Their hearing is acute but they have poor vision. These guys can live 6 years in captivity, but in the wild, about half die after 1 or 2 years.
So here are Olivia’s questions: Tell us what this furry little creature is where they can be found? Also, tell us how these animals are very useful to humans?
Good Luck 😉
Congratulations goes out to 6-year old Samantha from Rochester NY for being the first to identify the little stinker we featured. The skunk is known as the Spotted Skunk. The Spotted Skunk (also called the Western or Eastern Spotted Skunk depending on your location) is smaller and more weasel-like than the striped skunk. Both species are nocturnal and crepuscular. The spotted skunks are faster and more agile than the striped skunks and they have better pelts. For the last 100 years, the Eastern Spotted Skunk was bred for its fine silky fur. The furs and pelts were sold as “Marten Fur.” The Western Spotted Skunk occupies mostly lowland wooded areas in North America, west of the Continental Divide from southern British Columbia to Central America. The eastern species is found opposite of the Divide in prairie and wooded areas south to Mexico but not as far east as the Great Lakes.
These guys are very useful to humans because they are expert rodent hunters. Spotted skunks protect themselves by spraying a strong and unpleasant scent. Two glands on the sides of the anus release the odorous oil through nipples. When threatened, the skunk turns its body into a U-shape with the head and anus facing the attacker. Muscles around the nipples of the scent gland aim them, giving the skunk great accuracy on targets up to 15 feet away. As a warning before spraying, the skunk stamps its front feet, raises its tail, and hisses. They may warn with a unique “hand stand”—the back vertical and the tail waving. Here is more on these little guys: Spotted Skunk
Thanks for playing along 😉