May 7, 2008 9:45 PM Subscribe
Do Spotted Skunks stand on their fore legs?
posted by Sam.Burdick to Pets & Animals (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I've got what may be an urban legend kicking around my head. At one point in my childhood I ran across a Zoobooks issue about skunks and other mustelids and the salient fact that stayed with me (beyond the need to hang up your food while out camping around Wolverine country) was that Spotted Skunks will stand on their fore legs just before they spray, as a warning.
Now, I've turned up some semi-dubious sources that mention this fact. A few of the following links are first-page hits on google, not that this means much, and one wiki link. But, if there are any mustelidae fans or experts who can give me an actual peer-reviewed study on the spraying behaviors of the spotted skunk I'd appreciate it.
Wikipedia link on the spotted skunk
As a warning before spraying, the skunk stamps its front feet, raises its tail, and hisses. They may warn with a unique "hand stand"—the back vertical and the tail waving.
They defend themselves by stamping their
feet, and, if the intruder does not leave, will stand on forefeet, raise their hind legs, and spray a jet of scent up to 11 feet.
The skunk first gives a warning by stamping its front paws. If the intruder pays no heed, the spotted skunk then stands stiff and struts around. It then stands on its front paws and waves its rear end in the air.
The spotted skunk has a unique spraying behavior. When threatened, it will turn its back, do a handstand on its forefeet, raise its tail, and spray.
The spotted skunk has a unique trait of doing a handstand on their front legs and then spraying over their backs.