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Old 30 April 2009, 03:11 AM
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Icon86 Skunks can't spray on concrete

Comment: Is it true that a skunk needs grass or dirt to grip into before
it can spray you, therefore making it impossible for the skunk to spray
you if he's on concrete?
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  #2  
Old 30 April 2009, 01:20 PM
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Pretty sure all skunks need to do is turn their back to you and raise their tail...
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Old 30 April 2009, 02:01 PM
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I now have a mental image of a little skunk with his face all scrunched up and his tiny toe pads digging into the ground while he tries with all his might to squirt.

EEEHRN!!

I have been spending entirely too much time on Cute Overload.com

...

Last edited by A Cat Named Easter; 30 April 2009 at 02:14 PM.
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  #4  
Old 30 April 2009, 02:02 PM
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Should be easy enough to test empirically.

I am not volunteering.
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  #5  
Old 30 April 2009, 02:57 PM
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I'm 100% sure that the skunk that my dog cornered in the cement floored garage was able to spray despite the ground surface. My mom's them 2 week old leather upholstery was not easy to get skunk juice out of either.
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  #6  
Old 31 July 2009, 05:21 PM
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Growing up, there was an old wive's tale that skunks couldn't spray if they didn't have their feet on the ground. I assume this started out as a joke to get some unsuspecting person to try to pick one up and get sprayed.
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  #7  
Old 01 August 2009, 02:33 AM
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Interesting question, also speaking of the little critters, is it true they can only spray once in a sitting and have to "recharge" over a few hours or so?
Hehe, anyways back on topic, this would be an interesting theory to test out with someone you had a grudge with.
"Hey Mike, it's ok, I read in National Geographic that Skunks can't spray on concrete! Go get 'im..."

"Sweet! *spray* bluraaaaarrrgh!!! It burns....it stinks!"
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  #8  
Old 01 August 2009, 12:42 PM
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I can attest that skunks can spray on concrete... as you run over them with your car. PEW!!!!
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  #9  
Old 01 August 2009, 02:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShockDingo View Post
Interesting question, also speaking of the little critters, is it true they can only spray once in a sitting and have to "recharge" over a few hours or so?
They have a limited supply. Wikipedia sez they carry 15cc, good for 5-6 sprays, and need about 10 days to refill. Only one spray's worth might not be much use; perhaps if they were being attacked by multiple threats they'd need to spray a couple of times in succession.
There aren't any wild skunks in this country so I am unable to empty one under controlled conditions. (I have a guinea pig who *looks* like a skunk, and she can squirt wee, but that probably does not count.)

I am unsure of one detail about skunks. They themselves don't smell, just their spray, correct? Which is ejected away from them with great force, so it is unlikely any residue gets on them. Given that skunks can be kept as pets without having their scent gland removed, it would seem likely that they do not carry the unpleasant smell themselves. Can anyone confirm?
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  #10  
Old 01 August 2009, 04:01 PM
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Skunks do have a little bit of a miasma that follows them around all the time. They smell a bit like a ferret, but stronger. However, I guess it's something you can get used to if you're the owner (given that people get used to living near tanneries, paper plants, and stockyards with their associated stenches).
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Old 01 August 2009, 05:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crocoduck_hunter View Post
Skunks do have a little bit of a miasma that follows them around all the time. They smell a bit like a ferret, but stronger. However, I guess it's something you can get used to if you're the owner (given that people get used to living near tanneries, paper plants, and stockyards with their associated stenches).
Yes - I believe that all the members of the musklid family (which includes skunks and ferrets) have a bit of personal odor on them. Thus the name. They have scent glands in various parts of their bodies. I think other animals do too - I know cats have them in their cheeks which is why they rub things ~ but we can smell some of them more than others. You can remove the squirting apparatus from a skunk but it will still have a definite smell to it.


And I am pretty sure all a skunk has to do to spray is lift the tail and let 'er rip.
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Old 01 August 2009, 05:56 PM
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ETA: And I somehow managed to post in the wrong thread...
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  #13  
Old 02 August 2009, 05:16 AM
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Originally Posted by snapdragonfly View Post
Yes - I believe that all the members of the musklid family (which includes skunks and ferrets) . . .
Nitpick for spelling: mustelid, from the latin mustelidae.

(However, for what it may be worth, I misspelled it myself when looking it up!)

Silas
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Old 02 August 2009, 08:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snapdragonfly View Post
Yes - I believe that all the members of the musklid family (which includes skunks and ferrets) have a bit of personal odor on them. Thus the name. They have scent glands in various parts of their bodies. I think other animals do too - I know cats have them in their cheeks which is why they rub things ~ but we can smell some of them more than others. You can remove the squirting apparatus from a skunk but it will still have a definite smell to it.


And I am pretty sure all a skunk has to do to spray is lift the tail and let 'er rip.
The striped skunk yes. The spotted skunk does a handstand to spray, though I'm sure that it can spray without going through all those motions.
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Old 03 August 2009, 03:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silas Sparkhammer View Post
Nitpick for spelling: mustelid, from the latin mustelidae.

(However, for what it may be worth, I misspelled it myself when looking it up!)

Silas
To extend: skunks now apparently have been moved to their own family, Mephitidae. (Probably, at least. Some dispute this. I am no taxonomist and am once again wiki-ing for skunk information, but it has references.)

I am familiar with eau de unwashed ferret. One turned up in the street at 11 one night, and some neighbours up the road- knowing we had a cage- informed us. It was very large and quite lively, so we encouraged it into a box with the help of a broom handle and decanted it into a suitable enclosure. It was an intact male, albino, and had evidently been living wild for a while judging by dirt and minor injuries.
He was exceptionally, peculiarly, asthma-inducingly rank. Cool animal, though. It was about 3 days before I could take it to the ferret rescue (a surprisingly specific local charity- I love the ferrets, but do not have the facilities to keep one), and AFAIK he was quite happy as I had a rabbit carcass in the freezer (just lying around, as you do) for him.
Anyway, he ended up well cared-for, and the ferret rescue folk made a point of showing us their delightfully clean and neutered beasts so we could see how he'd end up after a bit of scrubbing.

So the ferret was nasally memorable, but far from the worst thing i have sniffed. (There's a glue factory near here too...) Does anyone want to have a go at describing skunk spray? I'll probably never experience it, and things like that have a slightly ghoulish fascination.
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  #16  
Old 03 August 2009, 04:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pudding Crawl View Post
Does anyone want to have a go at describing skunk spray? I'll probably never experience it, and things like that have a slightly ghoulish fascination.
From a ways off it smells sort of like burning rubber.

From what I have been told (and hope never to be able to tell you from personal experience) it smells not only much stronger but rather different way up close and fresh.

The very far off and faint smell of skunk I rather like, because it reminds me of when we used to go camping when I was a girl.

~and thanks for the speieling correction, Silas. I have good spelling but it gets wobbly sometimes.
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  #17  
Old 03 August 2009, 04:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crocoduck_hunter View Post
The striped skunk yes. The spotted skunk does a handstand to spray, though I'm sure that it can spray without going through all those motions.
I'd forgotten there were spotted skunks, though now you say something about them I remember.

Both are pretty animals. Also both are really very laid back. They don't worry about things much. They have such a remarkable defense system I guess they don't need to get their panties in a wad about much, do they?
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  #18  
Old 03 August 2009, 04:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Pudding Crawl View Post
To extend: skunks now apparently have been moved to their own family, Mephitidae. (Probably, at least. Some dispute this. I am no taxonomist and am once again wiki-ing for skunk information, but it has references.)
The bio-sciences are my weakest field (try me on orbital mechanics, tho'!) I figure both the pro and con of this revision have good reasons. It must be fun to be part of whatever international congress of zoologists that vote on these things!

Quote:
I am familiar with eau de unwashed ferret. . . .
De-scented ferrets smell (in my opinion) actually rather pleasant. A kind of fruity aroma, sort of like apple yogurt. They are darling pets, house-trainable (to a degree; they sometimes get excited and forget) and affable, and lots of fun to play with. You can pick 'em up and T-W-I-S-T 'em around, so their head and shoulders are nearly 360 degrees around from their hips!

(I learned, the stupid way, that they can't land, like cats, on their feet. I had one in my arms, and dumped it to the floor, just like you would with a cat, and it fell, splat thump. Ferrets do not know "breakfall.")

Quote:
. . . Does anyone want to have a go at describing skunk spray? I'll probably never experience it, and things like that have a slightly ghoulish fascination.
Well, for a basis, go without bathing for two weeks. But that isn't quite right, as unwashed humans have a vileness, a kind of "diseased" scent that skunks don't. Skunks have a cleaner, sharper, more "chemical" odor. So, if you can imagine it, cross the smell of an adult human who is unwashed for two weeks with a chemical solvent, say, a mixture of vinegar and acetone and chlorine. It shocks the nose, but doesn't have the moral nastiness of a really oily unwashed human.

Truth to tell, I'd far rather keep company with a skunk than some humans I have encountered. I used to live a mile from a chicken ranch, and that was also worse than skunk scent.

Another stench that is vaguely comparable to skunk is the rich loamy reek of a dairy full of cattle, but, again, you have to add a chemical solvent to the mixture for the real knife-up-the-nose effect. Skunk scent cuts at you.

Silas
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  #19  
Old 03 August 2009, 05:16 AM
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Silas, that's probably the best written description of what a skunk smells like that I've ever seen.
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  #20  
Old 03 August 2009, 03:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crocoduck_hunter View Post
Silas, that's probably the best written description of what a skunk smells like that I've ever seen.
Yeah, & I was just gonna go with "skunk smells like skunk." Because I just couldn't think of anything else that smelled like that.
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