. [Ind.] An animal of the Weasel family, found only in America. There are eighteen species, of which the common skunk is found in the rocky parts of North America. It defends itself by giving out liquid secreted in two glands near the anus, the scent of which is so nauseous and persistent that it forms an effectual defense against other animals. It is about the size of a cat, with a broad body standing low on the legs. Its fur is coarse, the hair long, and the tail long and bushy. The claws on the fore feet are strong and suited for digging. It preys on mice and frogs. It does not run from its foes, its elevated white tail being a sufficient warning to all carnivorous animals, none of which will attack it. The common skunk is black, with white on the body and tail. The spotted skunk of Mexico is smaller, and is also marked with black and white. The skunk is hunted for its fur, which is in considerable demand, but the hunter must be careful to avoid alarming the animal and causing it to discharge its "obnoxious secretion.

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