Researchers analyzed spotted skunk DNA and found that rather than the four skunk species previously recognized by science, there are actually seven.
Referred to as the “acrobats of the skunk world” these small carnivores use impressive handstands to warn predators that a noxious spray is coming their way.
The plains spotted skunk (included among them) is in significant decline, but figuring out the different species lineages may inform and aid conservation efforts.
This episode features the popular article, "In search of the 'forest ghost,' South America's cryptic giant armadillo," by Liz Kimbrough:
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Photo Credit: Western spotted skunk (Spilogale gracilis). Image by Robby Heischman courtesy of the Field Museum.
Liz Kimbrough is a staff writer for Mongabay. Find her on Twitter: @lizkimbrough_