Skunks can weigh 1 pound to over 10 lbs. Even if their most common appearance is black fur with a white stripe, there are some skunks that are gray and brown while others are cream colored. Some skunks have multiple stripes while some have only one single stripe on the back or on the tail. Others have the series of broken stripes and white spots.
The skunks are known for their anal scent glands that are used as a defensive weapon. The glands are found on each side of the anus, and they produce a mixture of sulfur that contains the chemicals which are malodorous. This odor is very strong and is used to ward off potential attackers, and it is hard to remove it from clothing.
The muscle found near the scent glands allows them to spray at least 7 times in 10 minutes. Besides the smell of the spray, their spray may cause irritation and it can lead to temporary blindness.
The skunk will use the spray if it feels threatened, but it will prefer to warn the attackers beforehand. It has the weapon in limited supply, so it will conserve it whenever it is possible. When the supply is used, then it will take at least 10 days to make more supply.
When it comes to the relationship between skunks, they are normally easygoing. They stay together when it is wintertime and they are not always ready to spray. The skunks will fight only amongst themselves on rare occasions. They live alone and if they go out to get food, they will always be near their homes. When they meet each other, then they will tolerate one another if they know each other. If they do not know each other, then they will take time to threaten one another. They can raise their tail, stomp, make loud vocalizations and bite. However, they will not spray one another since they do not fear for their lives.
At the end of the breeding season, the skunks may also fight. Striped skunks have induced ovulation, which means that the females should be stimulated in order to release their eggs. The stimulation may appear violent at a certain level. When the female does not want to breed, it can fight and sometimes it may also spray. However, the skunk may only choose to spray when it fears for its life. It is possible for the skunks to spray each other when the young ones explore the world during early summer. When an adult male skunk sees the baby skunk, it may kill it. If the young is out of the den area and it faces another skunk, then it may spray thinking that the skunk is a predator. However, the skunks are also like other animals and they are not happy if another skunk sprays them and will avoid it at all costs.
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