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

Suns are the mammals and they have got a specific ability that they spray a liquid carrying a very strong odor. There are various species of skinks and these species vary mostly in their body colors and the patterns on their fur. Usually the skunks are black and white in appearance and sometimes they are in the combination of brown and cream color. However they also change their colors especially when they give warning signals.

Appearance of skunks
As it has been discussed about the coat color variations of skunks, there is also a great deal of variation in their sizes. The sizes of skunks vary from 15 inches to as much as 37 inches. Similarly there is a great deal of variation in their weights. The average weight of spotted skunks is about 1 lb while that of hog nosed skunks can reach up to 18 lbs. Skunks have got short but highly muscularized legs and their front claws are extraordinarily long.

Diet of skunks
Skunks are omnivore in their eating habits and they can feed on both the plants as well as animals. Their diets also change with the changing seasons. Most commonly skunks feed on the insects, grubs, larvae, earthworms and even a little larger animal like rodents, lizards, frogs, salamanders and even snakes. On the other hand, skunks also feed on grasses, nuts, leaves, roots of various plants and fungi. If they are found in suburbs of the settled areas, then these animals are found feeding on the garbage and left over food of the pets and humans. Usually the skunks dig holes in lawns and gardens and they are also found crawling into the places where the pet food is kept.

Behavior of skunks
Usually when the skunks are in non breeding stage, these are solitary animals. During cold season they do accumulate and live together to get warmth. Usually the male and females skunks have overlapping ranges of territories. Usually the skunks do not hibernate in winters but they remain inactive during these time periods. Females usually spend winters in aggregates while males spend winters alone.

Life cycle of skunks
Skunks are polygynous and their mating season is spring. This means that males usually mate with more than one female. After that the females pass through the gestation period up to May when they give birth to young ones. The gestation time of skunks is about 66 days and females dig a den before giving birth to young ones.

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