Mephitis 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 Mephitis 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.

Mephitis 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.

This association likely resulted in the striped skunk’s subsequent unfavorable reputation as a poultry thief, despite it being a much less destructive animal than the true polecat. The name “Alaska sable” was employed by furriers during the late 19th century.

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.

The Striped Skunk is a stoutly-built, short-limbed animal with a small, conical head and a long, heavily furred tail. Adult males are 10% larger than females, with both sexes measuring between 52 and 77 cm in total body length and usually weighing 4.0–9.9 lb., though some may weigh 12 lb.

The feet are plantigrade with bare soles, and are not as broad or flat as those of hog-nosed skunks. The forefeet are armed with five long, curved claws adapted for digging, while those on the hind feet are shorter and straighter.

Like all skunks, the Striped Skunk possesses two highly developed scent glands, one on each side of the anus, containing about 15 milliliters of musk each, which provides a chemical defense against predation.

This oily, yellow-colored musk consists of a mixture of powerfully odorous thiols (sulfur analogues of alcohols, in older sources called “mercaptans”), which can be sprayed at a distance of several meters.

The color patterns of the fur vary greatly, but generally consist of a black base with a white stripe extending from the head which divides along the shoulders, continuing along the flanks to the rump and tail.

Some specimens have a white patch on the chest, while others bear white stripes on the outer surface of the front limbs. Brown or cream-colored mutations occasionally occur.

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