BioKIDS home

Kids' Inquiry of Diverse Species



The skunk family includes 10 species of skunks found in North and South America and 2 species of stink badgers found in southeast Asia. American skunks are all small to medium sized mammals that have black and white patterned fur and the ability to spray the foul-smelling contents of their scent glands onto potential predators. Skunks usually aim for the predator’s face to discourage them. Skunk spray has an extremely offensive smell and can also burn and irritate the skin and eyes. Skunks prefer animal foods but will eat almost anything. Some species seem immune to the effects of bee and wasp stings and will raid their nests to eat the adults and larvae.

University of Michigan Museum of ZoologyNational Science Foundation

BioKIDS home  |  Questions?  |  Animal Diversity Web  |  Cybertracker Tools

. "Mephitidae" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed May 27, 2024 at

BioKIDS is sponsored in part by the Interagency Education Research Initiative. It is a partnership of the University of Michigan School of Education, University of Michigan Museum of Zoology, and the Detroit Public Schools. This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant DRL-0628151.
Copyright © 2002-2024, The Regents of the University of Michigan. All rights reserved.

University of Michigan