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Native Californian, biologist, wildlife conservation consultant, retired Smithsonian scientist, father of two daughters, grandfather of 4 small primates. INTJ. Believes nature is infinitely more interesting than shopping malls. Born 100 years too late.

Friday, December 8, 2006

Love is in the air?

The striped skunk mates in the winter. In January and February, the males ramble about looking for mates and often meet with misadventure when they cross busy highways. I have never gotten a picture of a family group or a pair of striped skunks, so this picture is a little unusual. There are two possibilities. A couple of skunks just happened to meet, or we are seeing a prelude to courtship. I favor the latter. It looks to me like the skunk in the foreground (a female?) is looking over its shoulder at the pursuer (an amorous male?).

More recently researchers have shown that stripped skunks den together in the winter--one male with a group of females.

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