Ten facts about the striped polecat, and no, it is not a skunk | Trending Viral hub


striped polecats (Ictonyx striatus), or the African skunk, are small carnivores that look like North American skunks but are not. They are more closely related to weasels and have smaller, thinner bodies.

There are lots of fun facts about this creature, like what they actually use a stink gland for and more. Let’s take a closer look at the striped polecat.

1. Striped polecats are those of the skunk double

(Credit: Karel Bock/Getty Images)

If a striped polecat looked at a North American skunk or vice versa, it might think it was looking in a mirror. Striped polecats have thick, rough black fur with white spots and stripes. However, the difference between their coat lies in the coloring patterns. Striped polecats have a white patch on their forehead and white under their ears.

Four thick white stripes cover the animal’s body and have long claws. Skunks do not have white spots on their heads, but rather have a thin white stripe that runs from the top of the head to the beginning of the snout. Although they look alike, the polecat is definitely not a skunk.

Read more: A brief history of the hand skunk

2. They are related to domestic ferrets

Polecats are a type of carnivore in the family Mustelidae, which also includes ferrets, fishermen, otters and badgers. Animals in this family have long bodies, thick fur, small round ears, and stubby legs. Zorillas are part of Ictonychinae, a subfamily of mustelids. Domestic ferrets are also classified in the Family Mustelidae.

Read more: Otters, beavers and other semi-aquatic mammals stay clean underwater thanks to their flexible fur.

3. His name is Spanish for Fox

(Credit: Michal Sloviak/Shutterstock)

Its name, zorilla, comes from the word ‘zorro or fox’ for fox. The word zorillo in Spanish is also the word for skunk. But, seriously! they are No skunks. Striped polecats are known as Zorillealso.

Read more: 10 names of animals that have fooled you

4. Striped Polecat Scream

When threatened by other animals, or frequently by domestic dogs, the polecat fluffs, growls and barks. The striped polecat will begin to scream if the warning is not enough to scare away the threat.

After the sharp warning, the polecat will spray the unfortunate attacker with the worst-smelling secretion. But, if this were not enough to scare away predators, the smelly animals play dead. Scientists suspect that the secretions also make the striped polecat taste horrible. So that they could escape the jaws of death. Literally.

Read more: What are the loudest animals in the world?

5. They have a stink gland

(Credit: Michal Sloviak/Shutterstock)

Striped polar cats have a stink gland and will spray when they feel threatened or cornered. Their scent comes from their anal gland and is smellier than skunk spray. It is so strong that it can temporarily blind predators. you can thank sulfur because of the terrible smell.

But still, not a skunk.

Read more: These 6 animals are attracted to strange smells

6. Striped polecats feast on small rodents and amphibians

Striped polecats crave meat and, with 34 teeth, easily shred their lunch. They will eat mice, rats and even hares. But they can also catch an aquatic snack. They will eat frogs, small snakes, lizards, some birds and their eggs, and insects.

Read more: Who is at the top of the food chain?

7. They are native to the African continent.

The striped polecat is commonly found in the African savannah. However, it can also live in the dunes of the Namib Desert and in the forests, mountains and swamps of Zimbabwe. Other species of polecats are found in Europe and Asia.

Read more: These rare adaptations help animals survive in the desert

8. Striped polecats are nocturnal

The striped polecat or zorilla belongs to the night. These mammals are nocturnal but also look for food just before the sun rises or sets. During the day, striped polar cats sleep in trees or among rocks. They may also dig a burrow and cover themselves with a blanket of twigs and leaves.

Read more: 5 animals that you will only have the opportunity to see at night

9. Striped polecats are introverted creatures

In the wild, striped polecats are solitary and are often seen alone. Males and females only interact with each other when it is time to mate. Otherwise, striped polecats are aggressive towards each other.

Read more: 5 introverted animals

10. They used to be in the same family as skunks.

Okay, now you might be thinking, “Are you sure these aren’t skunks? They spray like skunks and look like skunks, so why isn’t it a skunk?

In the 1990s, a group of scientists used molecular analysis to show that skunks and polecats are found in different subfamilies despite looking similar. Skunks are now part of their own family called Mephitidae, which also classifies stink badgers. The polecat was once thought to be the “Old World” skunk. But nowadays he is no longer a skunk.

Read more: 6 Animals With Funny Names You’ve Probably Never Heard Of

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