Striped hog-nosed skunk
The striped hog-nosed skunk, Conepatus semistriatus, is a skunk species from Central and South America. It lives in a wide range of habitats including dry forest scrub and in rainforest; these white-backed skunks inhabit the foothills and timbered or brushy sections of their general range. They avoid hot desert areas and heavy stands of timber; the largest populations occur in rocky, sparsely timbered areas. It is a nocturnal solitary animal, feeding on invertebrates, small vertebrates and fruits. Media related to Conepatus semistriatus at Wikimedia Commons
Scent glands are exocrine glands found in most mammals. They produce semi-viscous secretions which contain other semiochemical compounds; these odor-messengers indicate information such as status, territorial marking and sexual power. The odor may be subliminal—not consciously detectable. Though it is not their primary function, the salivary glands may function as scent glands in some animals; the even-toed ungulates have many specialized skin glands, the secretions of which are involved in semiochemical communication. These glands include the sudoriferous glands, the preorbital glands, the nasal glands, the interdigital glands, the preputial gland, the metatarsal glands, the tarsal glands, the inguinal glands in the lower belly or groin area. Like many other species of Artiodactyla, deer have seven major external scent glands distributed throughout their bodies. Deer rely on these scent glands to communicate with other members of their species, even with members of other species. For example, male white-tailed deer are seen working over a scrape.
First, the animal scrapes at the dirt with its hooves, depositing the scent from his interdigital gland on the ground. After that, he may bite the tip off an overhanging branch, depositing secretions from his salivary glands onto the branch, he may rub his face on the overhanging branch, depositing secretions from the sudoriferous and preorbital glands on it. The tarsal gland appears to operate by a different mechanism than the other external scent glands. A behavior called. During rub-urination, the animal squats while urinating so that urine will run down the insides of its legs and onto its tarsal glands; the tarsal glands have a tuft of hair, specially adapted to extract certain chemical compounds from the animal's urine. For example, in the black-tailed deer, the major constituent of the tarsal gland secretion is a lipid, -6-dodecen-4-olide; this compound does not originate in the tarsal gland itself, but rather it is extracted from the animal’s urine by the tarsal hair tuft during the rub-urination process.
In white-tailed deer, the presence and concentration of certain chemical compounds in the urine depend on the season, reproductive status and social rank of the animals. This fact, along with the observation of rub-urination behavior in this animal indicates that urine plays a role in olfactory communication in deer; the fossa has several scent glands. Like herpestids it has a perianal skin gland inside an anal sac which surrounds the anus like a pocket; the pocket opens to the exterior with a horizontal slit below the tail. Other glands are located with the penile glands emitting a strong odor. Like the herpestids, it has no prescrotal glands. Apocrine sweat glands, such as in the armpits of humans Sebaceous glands, such as the cranial surface glands of the red-bellied lemur Flank glands, such as in voles or shrews Anal glands, found in all carnivora including wolves, sea otters and kinkajous Castor sacs, found in beavers Perineal glands, found in viverrids, guinea pigs, porcupines Preputial glands, found in many species including mice and wolves Deer musk Red fox#Scent glands White-tailed deer#Marking Ozadenes, defensive glands of some arthropods that emit noxious compounds
Animals are multicellular eukaryotic organisms that form the biological kingdom Animalia. With few exceptions, animals consume organic material, breathe oxygen, are able to move, can reproduce sexually, grow from a hollow sphere of cells, the blastula, during embryonic development. Over 1.5 million living animal species have been described—of which around 1 million are insects—but it has been estimated there are over 7 million animal species in total. Animals range in length from 8.5 millionths of a metre to 33.6 metres and have complex interactions with each other and their environments, forming intricate food webs. The category includes humans, but in colloquial use the term animal refers only to non-human animals; the study of non-human animals is known as zoology. Most living animal species are in the Bilateria, a clade whose members have a bilaterally symmetric body plan; the Bilateria include the protostomes—in which many groups of invertebrates are found, such as nematodes and molluscs—and the deuterostomes, containing the echinoderms and chordates.
Life forms interpreted. Many modern animal phyla became established in the fossil record as marine species during the Cambrian explosion which began around 542 million years ago. 6,331 groups of genes common to all living animals have been identified. Aristotle divided animals into those with those without. Carl Linnaeus created the first hierarchical biological classification for animals in 1758 with his Systema Naturae, which Jean-Baptiste Lamarck expanded into 14 phyla by 1809. In 1874, Ernst Haeckel divided the animal kingdom into the multicellular Metazoa and the Protozoa, single-celled organisms no longer considered animals. In modern times, the biological classification of animals relies on advanced techniques, such as molecular phylogenetics, which are effective at demonstrating the evolutionary relationships between animal taxa. Humans make use of many other animal species for food, including meat and eggs. Dogs have been used in hunting, while many aquatic animals are hunted for sport.
Non-human animals have appeared in art from the earliest times and are featured in mythology and religion. The word "animal" comes from the Latin animalis, having soul or living being; the biological definition includes all members of the kingdom Animalia. In colloquial usage, as a consequence of anthropocentrism, the term animal is sometimes used nonscientifically to refer only to non-human animals. Animals have several characteristics. Animals are eukaryotic and multicellular, unlike bacteria, which are prokaryotic, unlike protists, which are eukaryotic but unicellular. Unlike plants and algae, which produce their own nutrients animals are heterotrophic, feeding on organic material and digesting it internally. With few exceptions, animals breathe oxygen and respire aerobically. All animals are motile during at least part of their life cycle, but some animals, such as sponges, corals and barnacles become sessile; the blastula is a stage in embryonic development, unique to most animals, allowing cells to be differentiated into specialised tissues and organs.
All animals are composed of cells, surrounded by a characteristic extracellular matrix composed of collagen and elastic glycoproteins. During development, the animal extracellular matrix forms a flexible framework upon which cells can move about and be reorganised, making the formation of complex structures possible; this may be calcified, forming structures such as shells and spicules. In contrast, the cells of other multicellular organisms are held in place by cell walls, so develop by progressive growth. Animal cells uniquely possess the cell junctions called tight junctions, gap junctions, desmosomes. With few exceptions—in particular, the sponges and placozoans—animal bodies are differentiated into tissues; these include muscles, which enable locomotion, nerve tissues, which transmit signals and coordinate the body. There is an internal digestive chamber with either one opening or two openings. Nearly all animals make use of some form of sexual reproduction, they produce haploid gametes by meiosis.
These fuse to form zygotes, which develop via mitosis into a hollow sphere, called a blastula. In sponges, blastula larvae swim to a new location, attach to the seabed, develop into a new sponge. In most other groups, the blastula undergoes more complicated rearrangement, it first invaginates to form a gastrula with a digestive chamber and two separate germ layers, an external ectoderm and an internal endoderm. In most cases, a third germ layer, the mesoderm develops between them; these germ layers differentiate to form tissues and organs. Repeated instances of mating with a close relative during sexual reproduction leads to inbreeding depression within a population due to the increased prevalence of harmful recessive traits. Animals have evolved numerous mechanisms for avoiding close inbreeding. In some species, such as the splendid fairywren, females benefit by mating with multiple males, thus producing more offspring of higher genetic quality; some animals are capable of asexual reproduction, which results
Molina's hog-nosed skunk
Molina’s hog-nosed skunk, Conepatus chinga, is similar to the common skunk with scent glands used to spray an odorous liquid to offend potential predators. They have a resistance to pit viper venom, distinct thin white markings and a pink, hog-like, fleshy nose; the Molina’s hog-nosed skunk’s native range is throughout mid to southern South America, Peru, northern Argentina, Paraguay and southern Brazil. The mammal is therefore associated with temperate regions and open areas described as the Pampas biome and preferring to live in open vegetation, shrub forest and rocky sloped areas, they will live alone in an average home range size of about 1.66 individuals/km^2 with some overlapping and about six skunks per 3.5 km^2. Although living in solitary areas, the skunks will come together temporarily for mating purposes. Foraging at night, the skunk is omnivorous eating birds, small mammals, insects and fruit; the tooth morphology in the molina’s hog-nosed skunk, is different than most mammals in that their teeth are adapted to their omnivorous diet with grinding being the main function of the carnassial apparatus.
The skunk is listed as “least concerned” according to the IUCN Redlist. The main threats of the skunk are increased habitat destruction and fragmentation from over exploitation of humans and grazing of agriculture; the skunk is affected by the planning of new roads and road-kills. Due to improper planning, habitat destruction, fragmentation, the skunk has started living around man-made structures and along fences and buildings; the Andes: A Trekking Guide Infonatura
Humboldt's hog-nosed skunk
Humboldt's hog-nosed skunk known as the Patagonian hog-nosed skunk is a type of hog-nosed skunk indigenous to the open grassy areas in the Patagonian regions of Argentina and Chile. It belongs to the family Mephitidae; this skunk is small and stocky, with a bare nose elongated for the purpose of finding ground beetles and crickets. Its fur is brownish-red with two symmetrical stripes on either side, extending to the tail, it ranges from 30–34 cm in body length, with a 17- to 21-cm tail. They weigh 1.5 to 3.0 kg. The skunk well developed forelimbs in order to dig to locate prey, its teeth are specialized for the consumption of invertebrates and fruit, their lower molars are adapted for crushing such resistant foods. Similar adaptation of the molars is seen in the South American gray fox. Like all South American hog-nosed skunks, it is smaller with a more primitive skull and tooth structure than North American skunks. There is high pressure from intraguild predation on Patagonian hog nosed skunks.
It is preyed upon and targeted competitively by larger carnivorans such as the culpeo, chilla fox, Geoffrey's cat, pampas cat, Andean cat, puma. It however is unlikely to target other carnivorans. Patagonian hog-nosed skunks are omnivorous, feeding on insects but on vertebrate prey, such as rodents and carrion during winters, when insects are less abundant. Patagonian hog nosed skunks have been known to eat fruit. Unlike other South American carnivorans it is less effected by competition from increased dietary homogenization in areas where native prey species has gone extinct due to its strictly insectivorous diet. Patagonian hog nosed skunks are crepuscular, active at dawn and twilight, it does little in the way of active hunting, selecting prey, easiest to capture. During the winter seasons it shifts from its open grassy habitats to shrubs and mountainous areas as insect populations decline to seek alternative food sources. C. humboldtii's and C. chinga's status as separate species is debated.
There is a high degree of observed variation in coloration and pattern within the two species and observed differences are inconsistent. Much of the variation in shape and size observed. Morphological comparisons show a wide overlap in skull and mandibular structure, as well
Eastern spotted skunk
The eastern spotted skunk is a small slender skunk found throughout the eastern United States and in small areas of Canada and Mexico. This small skunk is more weasel-like in body shape than the more familiar striped skunk; the eastern spotted skunk has four stripes on its back which are broken in pattern, giving it a "spotted" appearance. They have a white spot on their forehead, they are found in the United States and northeastern Mexico. Males, at 46.3 -- 68.8 cm in total length, are large at 35 -- 54.4 cm. The tail accounts for a third of their total length. Body mass can range from 0.2 to 1.8 kg, with males averaging around 700 g against the female's average of 450 g. Skull length is 43–55 mm; the Eastern spotted skunk is a small skunk, no larger than a good-sized tree squirrel. They are much more active than any other type of skunk, they have the same predators as any other skunk. Up to eight skunks may share an underground den in the winter, they can climb and take shelter in trees. Eastern spotted skunks seem to prefer forest edges and upland prairie grasslands where rock outcrops and shrub clumps are present.
In western counties, it relies on riparian corridors where woody shrubs and woodland edges are present. Woody fencerows, odd areas, abandoned farm buildings are important habitat for Eastern Spotted Skunks. Spilogale putorius possess a small weasel-like body with fine, dense black fur that has 4 to 6 broken, white stripes. Two of the stripes are located at the median of the body and four stripes are placed on the side running from the back of the head to the rear. White markings are present on both cheeks, as well as on the tip of the tail; this is thought to act as a warning to predators. The typical body length of eastern spotted skunks is 24 to 26 centimetres with a tail length from 11 to 19 centimetres, resulting in a total length of 35 to 45 centimetres; the feet are 40 to 53 millimetres long, the forefeet have claws 7 millimetres long, while the hind feet have claws that are around 3.5 centimetres. The feet are equipped with pads on the soles; the large claws of the forefeet help the skunk grasp prey.
The total body weight of adults ranges from 400 to 965 grams. Eastern spotted skunks are quite secretive and crafty creatures, it is a rarity for humans to see them, they are nocturnal and tend to be more active during dry cool nights rather than warm wet nights. Although these skunks do not hibernate, they do tend to reduce their activity when enduring intensely warm summers or cold winters. Speaking, out of the four species, S. putorius is the most active. They are more agile and vigilant than the other skunks dwelling in North America. In addition to performing a handstand before spraying a potential predator, the skunk performs foot stamping, which involves the skunk stamping its feet on the ground in order to warn an approaching predator; the stamping can be heard for several meters away and is followed by the skunk spraying its odorous solution. When these skunks encounter an egg that they want to eat they will straddle the egg with their front legs and bite the egg open. If this fails they will proceed to use their front legs to push the egg back and kick it with one of their hind legs.
Eastern spotted skunks breed in the winter months and give birth in late Spring to early Summer. On average the female skunk will give birth to 4–5 baby skunks at a time, it takes twelve weeks before newborn skunks will become developed into adult skunks and two months before they develop skunk musk to use as self-defense. The Eastern Spotted skunk has seen sharp declines in populations from several states those in the Midwest, like Minnesota and Wisconsin for example; the exact reason behind the decrease in numbers is not known, puzzling considering the species was quick to adapt to human settlement, was trapped up until the second half of the 20th century. Before they were seen on farmlands, were known to dig burrows under the sides of barns and prey on mice that were attracted to stored grains. In Minnesota, after a peak in the number of reported trapped specimen in 1949, during which over 19,400 spotted skunks were taken in that year alone, yearly reports of trapped spotted skunks in that state fell in the following years.
Pesticide use, modernization of farming techniques, over-trapping and consolidation of barns and other man-made structures are all believed to have had a negative effect on eastern spotted skunk populations. In is declining in parts of the eastern US. Where it is not declining, the eastern spotted skunk is uncommon, although it remains common in Southern Florida. Kinlaw A. E.. "Eastern Spotted Skunk". Mammalian Species 511 Smithsonian Institution - North American Mammals: Spilogale putorius Eastern Spotted Skunk Spilogale putorius IOWA'S ENDANGERED AND THREATENED PLANT AND ANIMAL SPECIES: https://web.archive.org/web/20071015231818/http://www.iowadnr.gov/other/files/chapter77.pdf Eastern Spotted Skunk http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/rsg/profile.html?action=elementDetail&selectedElement=AMAJF05010
The hooded skunk is a species of mammal in the family Mephitidae. Mephītis in Latin means "foul odor", μακρός in Greek translates to "long" and οὐρά translates to "tail", it can be distinguished from the similar striped skunk by its longer tail and longer, much softer coat of fur, larger tympanic bullae. A ruff of white fur around its neck gives the animal its common name. Three color phases are known and in all three, a thin white medial stripe is present between the eyes: black-backed with two lateral white stripes, white-backed with one dorsal white stripe, or black with a few white hairs in the tail; the hooded skunk ranges from the Southwestern United States to Mexico, Honduras and northwest Costa Rica. It is more abundant in Mexico; these skunks are found to be more than 50% smaller in size in southern Mexico than in the Southwestern United States. It is found in grasslands, in the foothills of mountains, avoiding high elevations, it tends to live near a water source, such as a river. The females tend to be 15% smaller in size than the males and their breeding season is between February and March.
The litter size ranges from three to eight. The diet of the hooded skunk consists of vegetation prickly pear, but it will consume insects, small vertebrates, bird eggs as well. No cases of rabies are reported, but they host a range of parasites, including nematodes and fleas. Hooded skunks are solitary, but they might interact at a feeding ground without showing any signs of aggression, they are active at night. Like M. mephitis, for self-defense, they spray volatile components from their anal glands.! Hooded skunks are not endangered, they are abundant in Mexico and can live in human suburban areas on pastures and cultivated fields. Their fur has low economic value. However, their fat and scent glands can be used in local folk medicine. In some parts of their range, their flesh is considered a delicacy. Other common names for the hooded skunk include: mofeta rayada, moufette à capuchon, southern skunk, white-sided skunk, zorillo. Irwin, M. 2001. Mephitis macroura, Animal Diversity Web. Accessed September 13, 2006 Smithsonian Institution - North American Mammals: Mephitis macroura