Fast Facts for Kids
Skunk Facts for Kids

Skunk Facts for Kids

  • Common Name: Skunk
  • Class: Mammalia
  • Order: Carnivora
  • Family: Mephitidae
  • Total Species: 10
  • Diet: Omnivore (Meat and Plants)
  • First Appeared: ~11.5 million years ago

24 Skunk Facts For Kids

  1. Skunk is the common name for a small group of mammals that are members of the Mephitidae family.
  2. Skunks are well known and infamous for their ability to spray anything that threatens them with a stinky scent.
  3. Fossil evidence suggests that skunks and their ancestors first appeared between 11 and 12 million years ago.
  4. Skunks are easy to identify by their black and white colored fur, large fluffy tail, and weasel like face.
  5. If you have ever seen a skunk, it was probably the striped skunk (Mephitis mephitis).
  6. The native habitat range for all skunk species includes both North and South America.
  7. Skunks live in a wide range of habitats, including brush, forests, grasslands, prairies, and urban areas.
  8. Skunks live in structures called dens which they create by digging holes with their front paws, they will also takeover dens built by other animals.
  9. Skunks are omnivorous and eat both meat and plant material.
  10. The diet of a skunk includes amphibians, berries, birds, fungi, grass, insects, leaves, nuts, reptiles, rodents, and roots.
  11. Skunks that live in an urban area will scavenge and eat almost entirely human garbage.
  12. Skunks are solitary animals, but in colder regions they may share a den for warmth.
  13. Skunks typically have black-and-white colored fur, which is a warning coloration used to ward off predators.
  14. Most predators avoid skunks out of fear of being sprayed, but the great horned owl does prey on skunks without regarding to their spray.
  15. The largest skunk species is the American hog-nosed skunk (Conepatus leuconotus) which can weigh up to 10 pounds.
  16. The smallest skunk species is the pygmy spotted skunk (Spilogale pygmaea) which weighs on average around 1 pound.
  17. The average lifespan for skunks is between 2 and 3 years, but in captivity they can live up to 15 years.
  18. Skunks an excellent sense of hearing and smell, but they have poor eyesight and can barely see things 10 feet away from them.
  19. Skunks have a unique defense weapon; they can spray a very noxious scent from their anal glands.
  20. Skunks can spray their noxious scent at a threat that is up to 10 feet away.
  21. Some people like to keep skunks as pets, these skunks usually have had their scent glands removed.
  22. Skunks are rarely aggressive to humans but will bite one if they are cornered and cannot escape.
  23. Bites from a skunk are dangerous to humans because skunks can transmit the rabies virus via their saliva.
  24. Skunks are considered pests in urban areas due to them digging into garbage cans, living in human structures, and spraying household pets.

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Skunk Pictures

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then the below images will be helpful for your research on skunks. Below are three pictures of various skunks. These pictures should help you better understand what a skunk looks like.

The Striped Skunk (Mephitis Mephitis)

A picture of the striped skunk (mephitis mephitis).

The Eastern Spotted Skunk (Spilogale Putorius)

A picture of the eastern spotted skunk (spilogale putorius).

A Family Of Baby Skunks

A picture of a family of baby skunks.

Skunk Resources

We hope you found the above skunk facts, information, data, and pictures both fun and educational. You can continue to research skunks using one of the below additional resources. They were chosen for their credibility and accuracy; you can trust their information when it comes to skunks. Thank you for choosing Fast Facts for Kids.