Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Creature Feature: Spotted Skunk.

Skunks have as much uniqueness to them as any other animal. Spanning four genrera, they do not all have the same stripes, which cannot be said of animals such as cheetahs and zebras. There are many different sorts of skunk out there.  Honestly, just because the Looney Tunes say that a skunk can fall in love with a cat that just so happened to be painted with a skunklike stripe does not make it so. The two carnivores are too far apart to ever belong together like Pepe Le Pew so desires.

Mais, qu'est-ce que c'est?

The spotted skunk (genus Spilogale) would like a word with Warner Brothers. The four species of spotted skunks live in much of North America (minus the Great Lakes area -bummer) and some of Central America. They are omnivores, eating anything from berries to small animals. Yes, you can probably have one as a pet; check your local laws.

Unlike 'normal' skunks (y'know, in whatever way an animal that reeks so much can be considered 'normal'), spotted skunks have swirls of white streaked onto their black fur. The spotted skunks are smaller and faster than their striped relatives. They also sport silkier pelts and have been bred for the fur trade for over 100 years.

The spotted skunks should be submitting a letter of outrage to Warner Brothers any time now. Not only do they look considerably more weasel-like than other skunks, they are also frequently misidentified; their pelts used to be sold as "marten pelts," and the skunks themselves can be mistakenly called "civet cats." The two species are unrelated. Civet cats are vivverids and skunks are mustelids, the branch of carnvorids that includes weasels. Get it right, WB; the spotted skunks will leave you alone if you give them a ferret.

Plus, these skunks are far too badass to accept anything less. How many animals have you seen doing handstands lately?

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