Sunday, September 20, 2009

Nature Blog 2

It was around midnight. I was leaving the library after a long night of studying. Normally I walk down the stairs in the library and go through the ACC but for some reason that night I left the library through the entrance facing Yokum Hall. It was there that I saw something that I had never seen in person before, and I don't think I ever want to see it again.

It was a skunk. I know some people right now are saying, "Why were you afraid of a skunk?" but when you come from a country that does not have skunks, and the first time you see one it is running wild and catches you off guard you would be scared to. It was running by the railing, and it stopped when it saw me. I did the same thing. I tried to remember what I knew about skunks but the only thing that came to mind was that it was gonna spray me with something nasty, and I was going to smell really bad.

For a moment the animal looked at me directly in the eye and I stared back. Then it just ran off and it was all over. This little encounter intrigued my interest in skunks because I never thought my first time seeing one would be on campus walking back to my dorm. I began to do a little research.

Skunks belong to the Mephitidae family and to the order Carnivora. They are best known for the secretion that they produce which has extremely strong, disgusting smell. They look different according to the species. The one I saw was black and white but they have brown and cream colored skunks. I learned that it wasn't surprising that I saw this skunk alone because they are solitary animals unless when breeding.

Skunks eat both plants and animals. However, they have very little predators. This can be linked to the secretion that they produce. The great horned owl is the one of the only predators for the skunk.

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