Mephitidae – Skunks

This family stinks! To deter predators, of course

Once part of family Mustelidae; skunks and stink badgers make up this stinky family.

The first thing that comes to mind when we hear the word ‘skunk’ is a foul stench. Blame their infamous nipple-like anal glands. They lift their tail, aim their butt at the enemies and spray a pungent and stingy chemical in defense. This musky odor is so strong that it can be smelled from as far as 2.4 km (1.5 miles).

Skunks usually feed on small insects like wasps and honeybees but don’t underestimate their predation capabilities, as they are immune to snake venom and can even eat one of the most dangerous animals on earth—rattlesnake!