Common Skunk or Striped Skunk Skull, Brain Endocast & Negative Footprint Replicas are museum quality polyurethane resin casts. Made in USA.

The Striped Skunk (Mephitis mephitis) is a skunk of the genus Mephitis that occurs across much of North America, including southern Canada, the United States, and northern Mexico.

The Common Skunk or Striped Skunk is currently listed as least concern by the IUCN on account of its wide range and ability to adapt to human-modified environments.

Striped Skunks are polygamous omnivores with few natural predators, save for birds of prey. Like all skunks, they possess highly developed musk-filled scent glands to ward off predators.

The Common or Striped Skunk have a long history of association with humans, having been trapped and captively bred for their fur and kept as pets. The striped skunk is one of the most recognizable of North America’s animals.

Alternative English names for the striped skunk include common skunk, Hudsonian skunk, northern skunk, black-tailed skunk and prairie polecat. The latter name was originally used by English settlers, who noted the animal’s similarity to the European polecat.

The striped skunk may dig its own dens, though it will appropriate those abandoned by other animals should the opportunity present itself. These dens are normally used only in late fall, winter, and early spring, while females with unweaned kits make use of them in late spring and summer.

In cultivated areas, striped skunks will dig their dens in fencerows, likely because they are less likely to be disturbed by machinery or livestock.

In winter it is common for a single den to be occupied by multiple females and a single male. During this period, the striped skunk saves its energy by lowering its body temperature from 38 °C to 32 °C.

Although it will forage for short periods in winter, it primarily depends on its fat reserves in cold weather, and can lose as much as 50% of its body weight.

The Striped Skunk is polygamous, and normally breeds once a year, though yearling females who have failed to mate may enter a second estrous cycle a month after the first.

When a male locates a female, he will approach her from the rear and lick her genitals, then bite her on the nape before copulating. A single male may have a harem of several females, which he mates with and defends against other males for a period of about 35 days.

Once the mating period has finished, the impregnated females confine themselves to their dens, while the males attempt to rebuild their fat reserves.

The Common or Striped Skunk’s gestation period lasts around 59 to 77 days, with kits being born at about mid-May to early June. Litters generally consist of 2 to 12 kits, with the average being five or six, though a litter of 18 is known from Pennsylvania.

Kits are born blind and sparsely furred, weighing 25 to 40 grams. The eyes open after around three weeks, and are weaned after 42 to 56 days.

Although their musk is still undeveloped, kits of this age will instinctively assume the defensive stand position when threatened. At this point, the kits may accompany their mother outside the den, becoming independent after 2½ months.