Skunks (in the United States, occasionally called polecats) are mammals best known for their ability to secrete a liquid with a strong, foul odor. General appearance varies from species to species, from black-and-white to brown or cream colored. Skunks, together with their closest living relatives, the stink badgers, belong to the "skunk family", the "Mephitidae" and to the order Carnivora. There are twelve species of mephitids, which are divided into four genera: Mephitis (the 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 stink badgers in the genus Mydaus inhabit Indonesia and the Philippines; while all other members of the family inhabit the Americas, ranging from Canada to central South America. All other known mephitids are extinct and known only through fossils, many in Eurasia.

Skunks had been classified as a subfamily within the Mustelidae, or "weasel family", which includes ferrets, weasels, otters, badgers, stoats, and wolverines. However, recent genetic evidence suggests that skunks are not as closely related to the mustelids as previously thought and they are now classified in their own family. Until recently, the stink badgers had been classified with the other badgers on the basis of physical examination, but genetic testing has proven correct those who believed stink badgers share a more recent common ancestor with skunks than they do with the weasel family; stink badgers have therefore been transferred from Mustelidae to the skunk family.

Read more about Skunk:  Etymology, Physical Description, Diet, Behavior, Reproduction, Anal Scent Glands, Bites, Domestication, Classification

Other articles related to "skunk, skunks":

List Of Skunk Fu! Episodes - Season 1: 2007–2008
... Kung Fu school with cool-colored belts, and Skunk is faced with a choice stick with Panda or go to Rabbit's school ... is fine until a tournament pits the best students from each school against each other, and Skunk has to fight himself ... capture some Ninja Monkeys using traps made of sticky tree sap, but Skunk and his friends can't resist playing with the stuff ...
Skunk Oil
... Skunk oil is an oil that is obtained from the two lateral glands that run the length of a skunk's back ... Skunks store fats in these glands for use during hibernation or semi-hibernation in warmer climates ... Skunk oil has minimal odor ...
Margaret Wallace - Career - Skunk Studios
... In 2001, Wallace went on to Co-Found and become Chief Executive Officer of Skunk Studios ... Formed by all former employees of, Skunk Studios was one of the first to call itself a casual game company ... Skunk Studios is best known for titles including Varmintz QBeez QBeez 2 Gutterball Gutterball 2 Tennis Titans Mah Jong Adventures Spelvin Word Up ...
Skunk (weapon)
... "Skunk" is a malodorant, non-lethal weapon used for crowd control by the Israeli Defense Forces ... Deriving its name from the animal of the same name, "Skunk" is dispersed as a form of mist, fired from a water cannon, which leaves a terrible odor of rot or sewage on whatever it touches ... form of crowd control began in Israel in 2004 Skunk was first used for crowd control in September 2008 ...
Skunk - Classification
... Conepatus Conepatus chinga – Molina's hog-nosed skunk Conepatus humboldtii – Humboldt's hog-nosed skunk Conepatus leuconotus – American hog-nosed skunk Conepatus semistriatus ...

Famous quotes containing the word skunk:

    But he sent her Good-by,
    And said to be good,
    And wear her red hood,
    And look for skunk tracks
    In the snow with an ax—
    And do everything!
    Robert Frost (1874–1963)