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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.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Ring around the collar

You can't fully appreciate it from the photo, but Stinkarella has a ring around the collar.

I pulled a couple of cameras today, and this spotted skunk made a couple of appearances on an overgrown logging road.

In all of the photos its nose is in the ground and its neck is stained.

I've seen the dirty neck before in these little Butte County stinkers.

Rubbing the neck on smelly substances, or self-anointing is a common trait among carnivores and a familiar and distressing habit of dogs.

That's how stinky got the ring around the collar, I believe.

There are more theories than data about the function of self-anointing.

One prevalent idea is that it disguises the owner's scent.

Somehow I find this hard to believe in skunks.


Joe said...

I have to agree with you on it disguising it's scent. Don't think it's going to happen.

Shervin Hess et al said...

When I first read the title I thought that was a massive radio antennae

Camera Trap Codger said...

Wish we did have some radio-collars on these guys.