Though they are closely related to striped skunks, spotted skunks are smaller in size and more agile that their cousins. They are omnivores and gladly take advantage of any available food source, like berries, carrion, rodents, and snakes. Spotted skunks are mostly known for the pungent and foul-smelling odor they produce to repel predators.
In general, spotted skunks grow between one to two feet in length and weigh around a pound and a half. They have black fur with erratic white striping, and many individuals also bear a single white spot on their foreheads. Their loud and striking coloration is thought to function as a warning for predators. Animals and humans who fail to recognize the threat are sprayed with the odor that emanates from the skunk's anal glands.
Spotted skunks are often found near or within forests. Their ability to climb trees and move agilely amongst branches in a squirrel-like fashion is most likely the cause of this habitat preference. Spotted skunks are also notorious for digging underground burrows on private properties, residing within barns, and constructing burrows near trash receptacles.
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