Skunks (in the United States, occasionally called polecats) are mammals best known for their ability to secrete a liquid with a strong, foulodor. General appearance varies from species to species, from black-and-white to brown or cream colored. Skunks belong to the family Mephitidae and to the order Carnivora. There are twelve species of skunks, which are divided into four genera: Mephitis (hooded and striped skunks, two species), Spilogale (spotted skunks, four species), Mydaus (stink badgers, two species), and Conepatus (hog-nosed skunks, four species).
The two skunk species in the Mydaus genus inhabit Indonesia and the Philippines; all other skunks inhabit the Americas from Canada to central South America. Skunks had been classified as a subfamily within the family Mustelidae, which includes ferrets, weasels, otters and badgers. However, recentgenetic evidence suggests that skunks are not as closely related to the mustelids as previously thought; they are now classified in their own family.
Skunk species vary in size from about 15.6 to 37 inches (40 to 94 cm) and in weight from about 1.1 pounds (0.50 kg) (spotted skunks) to 18 pounds (8.2 kg) (hog-nosed skunks). They have a moderately elongated body with relatively short, well-muscled legs, and long front claws for digging. Although the most common fur color is black and white, some skunks are brown or grey, and a few are cream-colored. All skunks are striped, even from birth. They may have a single thick stripe across back and tail, two thinner stripes, or a series of white spots and broken stripes (in the case of the spotted skunk). Some also have stripes on their legs.
Skunks are crepuscular and are solitary animals when not breeding, though in the colder parts of their range they may gather in communal dens for warmth. During the day, they shelter in burrows that they dig with their powerful front claws, or in other man-made or natural hollows as the opportunity arises. Both genders occupy overlapping home ranges through the greater part of the year; typically 2 to 4 square kilometres (0.77 to 1.5 sq mi) for females, up to 20 square kilometres (7.7 sq mi) for males.
Skunks are not true hibernators in the winter, but do den up for extended periods of time. However, they remain generally inactive and feed rarely, going through a dormant stage. Overwinter multiple (as many as twelve) females huddle together. Males often den alone. The same winter den is often repeatedly used. Although they have excellent senses of smell and hearing – vital attributes in a crepuscular omnivore – they have poor vision. They cannot see, with any clarity, objects more than about 3 metres (10 ft) away, making them vulnerable to death by road traffic. They are short-lived animals: Fewer than 10% survive for longer than three years.
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Bebudak SKUNK suke nau kan cakap SKUNK SKUNK ni? Cow tow keww are-men-der SKUNK two? Skunk cow dar tow? Bar-ghost!