; superorder Ferae, order Carnivora)
A family, formerly included in the Mustelidae, of nocturnal mammals that inhabit fields and woods, but also occur close to human habitations, feeding on invertebrates which they dig from below ground, in urban areas augmenting this diet with garbage. They are renowned for their defensive use of a foul-smelling secretion they squirt with considerable force and accuracy, but only after giving ample warning of their intention. There are four genera and ten species of skunks, found throughout the United States, southern Canada, and Central and South America, and one genus and two species of stink badgers found in southern Asia and the Philippines.
Subjects: Zoology and Animal Sciences.