Skuns belong to the family of mammals and the detachment of predators. Previously, they were ranked to the Kunih family, but only recently they were allocated in a separate family. Absolutely all representatives of this family have a common color, which allows us to easily and quickly identify the species of animal.
Types of Skins
The structure of the body of the Skunas has a resemblance to badgers and steppe chores. They also have a dense body and short paws. In total, about 13 types of skunks are distinguished.
Consider the most common views:
One of the most numerous representatives of the family. The view has spread in the territory of South Canada and Central America. Often this animal is found in cities. It is characteristic of them to organize small shelters in the basements. Prefers forest regions. Has a characteristic black and white color on the back. A white spot and strip are located on the head. The weight of this species ranges from 1.2 to 5.3 kilograms.
The smallest representative. He settled the southwestern region of America. Found in rocky and deserted areas. The color can be practical black with a white back, black with stripes on the sides or combine both types of color in yourself. In general it has many similarities with striped scoons. The difference lies in the texture of the wool and its length. Near the head there are long hair, because of which the skunks of this species received a separate name “hood scouns”.
This species combines 3 more subspecies: small Skuns, spotted Skuns and dwarf skunk. They are distinguished by their habitat. Small Skunas spread from the center of the United States to the east of Mexico. Spotted skunks settled southeast and center of the United States. Dwarf scunks live in the southwestern region of Mexico. All these species are distinguished by their abilities to climb trees. They equip their shelters among stones, in holes and basements. They are distinguished by soft wool and black color with several white stripes and spots.
Combines about 5 species that differ in the habitat. These include:
- The pigbearing Skunk, who settled the south of the United States and Nicaragua;
- EastMexican Sick living in Texas;
- A semilane skunk living in the south of Mexico, as well as in Peru and Brazil;
- The South American Skus, who settled Bolivia, Chile and Argentina;
- Skuns Humboldt, settling Chile and Argentina.
These are the most overall scunks that can weigh up to 4.5 kilograms. All these representatives are endowed with black hair with wide white stripes on their backs and a completely white tail. It is noteworthy that they do not have a characteristic white strip in the head. The name went due to the structure of the nose, which resembles a pork patch. They prefer to populate uneven areas, and the holes are equipped in stones.
Skunas are endowed with a characteristic color in the form of alternating white stripes on a black background. Minor differences in color are observed depending on the type of view under consideration. This characteristic pattern is a protective function for them.
In their dimensions, skunks can reach from 17 to 30 centimeters of body length and with a weight in the range from 0.2 to 1 kilogram, with the exception of pigs scunks.
The most famous distinguishing feature of these representatives lies in their smelling anal glands that produce and distinguish a persistent unpleasant odor. They are able to break this liquid at a distance of up to 6 meters.
All the skors has a strong physique and a very fluffy tail. The limbs are short and welldeveloped. Sharp claws are located at the ends, which help to dig ground for the arrangement of Nor.
Where Skun lives
As a habitat, Skuns prefer a plain area next to which water springs are located. The birthplace of this animal is considered to be southern Canada. It cannot be found in Alaska. Most often, the high population of Skuns is preserved in Mexico, Argentina, Costa Rica, Paraguay, Peru, Bolivia, Chile and Salvador.
It is common for them to climb up to 1800 meters above the sea. There are animals at an altitude up to 4000 meters. Most often they live in forests and meadows. Are found next to the cities. The most beloved range of their habitat is shrubs, slopes and edges near ponds and rivers.
Skins is characterized by night activity. They independently pull out holes, but can occupy readymade. Some representatives climb trees perfectly. Animals that live in the northern regions, with the onset of autumn, begin to actively stock up fat for a hibernation period. They do not fall into full hibernation in winter, but become very passive and leave the hole only to search for food. Winter is carried out in their constant hole. Can be combined into groups from one male and several females.
Animals compensate for their poor vision with excellent sense of smell and hearing. They cannot distinguish between objects that are located next to them.
Skuns prefer to spend warm seasons alone. These are not territorial animals, so they are not characteristic of occupying spaces and marking the boundaries of their possessions. As a rule, up to 4 kilometers of square territories accounts for one female, and for one male up to 20 kilometers of square.
The average life expectancy varies depending on the type. In the wild, Skuns live on average up to three years. In captivity they can live up to a decade of age.
Skunas are considered absolutely omnivorous animals. They can hunt for small mammals like mice, protein, ground and small rabbits. There are also some fish and crustaceans in their diet. Can eat insects and worms. From plant foods prefer various herbs and foliage. If their range has hazelniks and fruits, then they feed on them, including. If there is a food deficiency, then they consume different carrion.
Skunes that are contained in captivity can gain significantly more weight than their wild relatives. This is due to the fact that the stern contains a large amount of fat. At home, the skunks feed practical as dogs. Their food should not be sweet or salty. For a variety, you can fry with fruits, fish and chicken.
During the hunt, animals are actively using hearing and smell. Having discovered potential prey, they begin to actively dig the ground and unfold stones and leaves. They grasp small rodents with their jaws at the time of the jump.
It is also noteworthy that the skunks are very fond of honey and can eat it with honeycombs and bees. For them, the sting of bees does not cause fears due to thick wool. However, a bite in the face of the muzzle can lead to poor consequences.
Autumn at the skins is marked by the beginning of the reproduction period. As a rule, it begins in September. Females become sexually mature. The animals themselves are characterized by polygamous behavior. There may be several females per male. Moreover, the male does not participate in the upbringing of offspring.
The incubation period lasts up to 31 days. Females are characterized by an embryonic range when there is a delay in attachment of the embryo to the walls. In such cases, pregnancy lasts two months. As a rule, from 3 to 10 small skunks that weigh only 22 grams is born. They appear absolutely blind and deaf. They become sighted only after a few weeks. At the age of one month, they begin to shoot with their odorous liquid. For two months, females actively feed their offspring, after which they learn to get their food on their own. The female spends the first winter with the cubs. After which they are completely ready for an independent life and can leave the territory of their mother.
Skunas practically do not participate in the food chain of other animals because of their ability to produce a odorous secret that scares away many predators. However, such predatory animals as lynx, fox, coyote and badger can attack weak skunks.
In the event of a danger, Skoon warns his opponents, taking a threatening pose, lifting his tail and stomping his feet. If a dangerous animal does not leave, then it begins to hiss, stand on the front paws and even play a false shot. Thus, the animal gives predators a chance to avoid a skirmish. If this did not work, then Skuns bends his back and through his head breaks his odorous secret to a potentially dangerous animal. When it gets into the eye, this substance can lead to temporary blindness.
The resulting substance contains butylmercaptan. It accumulates in the glands of the anal opening for a long time. As a rule, this liquid is enough for 6 shots. It will take a few more days to resume.
In addition, the scines are the main carriers of many diseases and parasites. In particular, these include a disease called histoplasmosis. Also among the skunks are often found rabies.
The most important enemy of these cute animals is a person. Many people decided to destroy Skuns because of the smell that they spread. There are also cases when scums can attack poultry. Increasingly, skunks die on the roads or during eating in advance poisoned lures.