Diane has taught all subjects at the elementary level, was the principal of a K-8 private school and has a master's degree in Measurement and Evaluation.
What is a Skunk?
You are walking through the woods on a pretty evening and aren't paying any attention to the small creature that is close by. You keep walking when suddenly you look down and see it! You'd know that black and white animal anywhere, but it's too late! You've been sprayed by a skunk!
Skunks are small, black and white animals that create a strong, stinky smell to protect themselves. They aren't aggressive or fast runners, but they don't have to be.
There are many different kinds of skunks, and their fur may have spots, stripes or swirly designs, but they are all black and white. They all use a very stinky spray to protect themselves, which is probably why there aren't many animals who try to make a snack out of them! They may look cute and cuddly, but you'd better give them a lot of space instead of a hug!
What is that Smell?
Skunks make a greasy spray that comes from holes under their tail. It smells awful and can briefly burn an enemy's eyes so the skunk can run away. A skunk can shoot that nasty spray up to 10 feet away, and its terrible odor can be smelled for up to one and a half miles!
It is very hard to wash off, so if you get sprayed, it will take a lot more than your usual bath to get rid of the horrible smell! Your friends probably won't want to hang out with you for a while, either!
Skunks will usually warn you before they spray, so if you see a skunk thumping its feet on the ground, curving its back like a mad cat and lifting its tail, you should get out of there right away!
Where do Skunks Live?
Skunks are from the continent of North America and can be found in the wild from Canada all the way down to Mexico. They adjust well to different surroundings and live in areas including forests, meadows, fields and farms. They may even find their way into your backyard!
Once in a while, a skunk will dig a den for itself, but it usually takes over the empty den of another animal or lives in tree stumps, under mounds of rocks and sometimes under someone's porch. They use leaves like blankets, putting them on the floor of their den to make it more comfortable.
Skunks are nocturnal, which means they are most active at night. When they are out and about, they don't go far looking for dinner, and usually hang out within half a mile of their den.
What do Skunks Eat?
Skunks eat whatever they can find, including plants, fruit, nuts, insects, fish and chipmunks. They even eat animals that are already dead. Because they eat both plants and meat, they are called omnivores.
Skunks are small, black and white animals that create a strong, stinky smell using a greasy spray to protect themselves. They are nocturnal, which means they are most active at night and eat both plants and meat, making them omnivores.
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