Humboldt's hog-nosed skunk

Humboldt's hog-nosed skunk, also known as the Patagonian hog-nosed skunk (Conepatus humboldtii) is a type of hog-nosed skunk indigenous to the open grassy areas in the Patagonian regions of Argentina and Chile. It belongs to the order Carnivora and the family Mephitidae.

Humboldt's hog-nosed skunk
Zorrillo
Scientific classification
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C. humboldtii
Binomial name
Conepatus humboldtii
Gray, 1837
Humboldt's Hog-nosed Skunk area
Humboldt's hog-nosed skunk range

Appearance

This skunk is small and stocky, with a bare nose elongated for the purpose of finding ground beetles, grasshoppers and crickets [2]. Its fur is brownish-red with two symmetrical stripes on either side, extending to the tail. It ranges from 30–34 cm in body length, with a 17- to 21-cm tail. They usually weigh 1.5 to 3.0 kg. The skunk has long claws and well developed forelimbs in order to dig to locate prey [2].

Physiology

Its teeth are specialized for the consumption of invertebrates and fruit, their lower molars are adapted for crushing such resistant foods. Similar adaptation of the molars is seen in the South American gray fox [3]. Like all South American hog-nosed skunks, it is smaller with a more primitive skull and tooth structure than North American skunks [4].

Habitat and Ecology

There is high pressure from intraguild predation on Patagonian hog nosed skunks. It is often preyed upon and targeted competitively by larger carnivorans such as the culpeo, chilla fox, Geoffrey's cat, pampas cat, Andean cat, and puma. It however is unlikely to target other carnivorans [5].

Diet

Patagonian hog-nosed skunks are omnivorous, feeding primarily on insects but also on vertebrate prey, such as rodents and carrion during winters, when insects are less abundant [2]. Patagonian hog nosed skunks have also been known to eat fruit [3].

Unlike other South American carnivorans it is less effected by competition from increased dietary homogenization in areas where native prey species has gone extinct due to its largely strictly insectivorous diet [6].

Behavior

Patagonian hog nosed skunks are crepuscular, active primarily at dawn and twilight. It does little in the way of active hunting, selecting prey that is easiest to capture. During the winter seasons it shifts from its open grassy habitats to shrubs, forests, and mountainous areas as insect populations decline to seek alternative food sources [2].

Taxonomic Status

C. humboldtii's and C. chinga's status as separate species is debated. There is a high degree of observed variation in coloration and pattern within the two species and observed differences are inconsistent [7]. Much of the variation in shape and size observed can be attributed to environmental influence [7]. Morphological comparisons show a wide overlap in skull and mandibular structure, as well [7].

References

  1. ^ Emmons, L. & Helgen, K. (2008). "Conepatus humboldtii". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2008. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 27 January 2009.
  2. ^ a b c d Zapata, Sonia C.; Travaini, Alejandro; Martínez-Peck, Rolando (January 2001), "Seasonal feeding habits of the Patagonian hog-nosed skunk Conepatus humboldtii in southern Patagonia", Acta Theriologica, 46: 97–102
  3. ^ a b Zapata, Sonia C.; Travaini, Alejandro; Martínez-Peck, Rolando (January 2001), "Seasonal feeding habits of the Patagonian hog-nosed skunk Conepatus humboldtii in southern Patagonia", Acta Theriologica, 46: 97–102
  4. ^ Wang, X., & Carranza-Castañeda, Ó. (2008). Earliest hog-nosed skunk,Conepatus(Mephitidae, Carnivora), from the early Pliocene of Guanajuato, Mexico and origin of South American skunks. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, 154(2), 386-407.
  5. ^ Oliveira, T. G., & Pereira, J. A. (2013). Intraguild Predation and Interspecific Killing as Structuring Forces of Carnivoran Communities in South America. Journal of Mammalian Evolution, 21(4), 427-436.
  6. ^ Palacios, R., Walker, R. S., & Novaro, A. J. (2012). Differences in diet and trophic interactions of Patagonian carnivores between areas with mostly native or exotic prey. Mammalian Biology - Zeitschrift für Säugetierkunde, 77(3), 183-189.
  7. ^ a b c Schiaffini, M. I., Gabrielli, M., Prevosti, F. J., Cardoso, Y. P., Castillo, D., Bo, R., . . . Lizarralde, M. (2013). Taxonomic status of southern South AmericanConepatus(Carnivora: Mephitidae). Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, 167(2), 327-344.
American hog-nosed skunk

The American hog-nosed skunk (Conepatus leuconotus) is a species of hog-nosed skunk from Central and North America, and is one of the largest skunks in the world, growing to lengths of up to 2.7 feet (82 cm). Recent work has concluded the western hog-nosed skunk (formerly Conepatus mesoleucus) is the same species, and Conepatus leuconotus is the correct name of the merged populations.In Texas, it is commonly known as the rooter skunk for its habit of rooting and overturning rocks and debris in search of food.

Eastern spotted skunk

The eastern spotted skunk (Spilogale putorius) is a small, relatively slender skunk found throughout the eastern United States and in small areas of Canada and Mexico.

This small skunk is more weasel-like in body shape than the more familiar striped skunk. The eastern spotted skunk has four stripes on its back which are broken in pattern, giving it a "spotted" appearance. They have a white spot on their forehead. They are found in Canada (southeast Manitoba and northwestern Ontario), the United States and northeastern Mexico. Males, at 46.3–68.8 cm (18.2–27.1 in) in total length, are large than females, at 35–54.4 cm (13.8–21.4 in). The tail accounts for roughly a third of their total length. Body mass can range from 0.2 to 1.8 kg (0.44 to 3.97 lb), with males averaging around 700 g (1.5 lb) against the female's average of 450 g (0.99 lb). Skull length is 43–55 mm (1.7–2.2 in). The Eastern spotted skunk is a very small skunk, which (for comparison sake) is no larger than a good-sized tree squirrel.They are much more active than any other type of skunk. They have mostly the same predators as any other skunk (big cats, bobcats, owls, humans, etc.). Up to eight skunks may share an underground den in the winter. They can also climb and take shelter in trees.Eastern spotted skunks seem to prefer forest edges and upland prairie grasslands, especially where rock outcrops and shrub clumps are present. In western counties, it relies heavily on riparian corridors where woody shrubs and woodland edges are present. Woody fencerows, odd areas, and abandoned farm buildings are also important habitat for Eastern Spotted Skunks.

Hog-nosed skunk

The hog-nosed skunks belong to the genus Conepatus and are members of the family Mephitidae (skunks). They are native to the Americas. They have white backs and tails and black underparts.

Hooded skunk

The hooded skunk (Mephitis macroura) is a species of mammal in the family Mephitidae. Mephītis in Latin means "foul odor", μακρός (makrós) in Greek translates to "long" and οὐρά (ourá) translates to "tail".

Lutrogale

Lutrogale is a genus of otters, with only one extant species—the smooth-coated otter.

Mephitidae

Mephitidae is a family of mammals comprising the skunks and stink badgers. They are noted for the great development of their anal scent glands, which they use to deter predators.

There are twelve extant species of mephitids in four genera: Conepatus (hog-nosed skunks, four species); Mephitis (the hooded and striped skunks, two species); Mydaus (stink badgers, two species); and Spilogale (spotted skunks, four species). The two stink badgers in the genus Mydaus inhabit Indonesia and the Philippines; the other members of the family inhabit the Americas, ranging from Canada to central South America. All other mephitids are extinct, known through fossils, including those from Eurasia.Skunks were formerly classified as a subfamily of the Mustelidae (the weasel family); however, recent genetic evidence has caused skunks to be treated as a separate family. Similarly, the stink badgers had been classified with badgers, but genetic evidence shows they share a more recent common ancestor with skunks, so they are now included in the skunk family. In alphabetical order, the living species of Mephitidae are:

Family Mephitidae

Genus: Conepatus

Conepatus chinga – Molina's hog-nosed skunk

Conepatus humboldtii – Humboldt's hog-nosed skunk

Conepatus leuconotus – American hog-nosed skunk

Conepatus semistriatus – striped hog-nosed skunk

Genus: Mephitis

Mephitis macroura – hooded skunk

Mephitis mephitis – striped skunk

Genus: Mydaus

Mydaus javanensis – Indonesian or Sunda stink badger (Teledu)

Mydaus marchei – Palawan stink badger

Genus: Spilogale

Spilogale angustifrons – southern spotted skunk

Spilogale gracilis – western spotted skunk

Spilogale putorius – eastern spotted skunk

Spilogale pygmaea – pygmy spotted skunk

Mephitis (genus)

The genus Mephitis is one of several genera of skunks, which has two species and a North American distribution.

Molina's hog-nosed skunk

Molina’s hog-nosed skunk, Conepatus chinga, is similar to the common skunk with scent glands used to spray an odorous liquid to offend potential predators. They have a resistance to pit viper venom, distinct thin white markings and a pink, hog-like, fleshy nose.

Palawan stink badger

The Palawan stink badger (Mydaus marchei), or pantot, is a carnivoran of the western Philippines named for its resemblance to badgers, its powerful smell, and the largest island to which it is native, Palawan. Like all stink badgers, the Palawan stink badger was once thought to share a more recent common ancestor with badgers than with skunks. Recent genetic evidence, however, has led to their re-classification as one of the Mephitidae, the skunk family of mammals. It is the size of a large skunk or small badger, and uses its badger-like body to dig by night for invertebrates in open areas near patches of brush. While it lacks the whitish dorsal patches typical of its closest relatives, predators and hunters generally avoid the powerful noxious chemicals it can spray from the specialized anal glands characteristic of mephitids.

Paradoxurus

Paradoxurus is a genus within the viverrid family that was denominated and first described by Frédéric Cuvier in 1822. As of 2005, this genus was defined as comprising three species native to Southeast Asia:

the Asian palm civet (P. hermaphroditus)

the golden palm civet (P. zeylonensis)

the brown palm civet (P. jerdoni)In 2009, it was proposed to also include the golden wet-zone palm civet (P. aureus), the Sri Lankan brown palm civet (P. montanus) and the golden dry-zone palm civet (P. stenocephalus), which are endemic to Sri Lanka.

Patagonian weasel

The Patagonian weasel (Lyncodon patagonicus) is a small mustelid that is the only member of the genus Lyncodon. Its geographic range is the Pampas of western Argentina and sections of Chile. An early mention of the animal is in the Journal of Syms Covington, who sailed with Charles Darwin on his epic voyage aboard HMS Beagle.

Pygmy spotted skunk

The pygmy spotted skunk (Spilogale pygmaea) is a species of mammal in the family Mephitidae. It is endemic to Mexico.

Spotted skunk

The genus Spilogale includes all skunks commonly known as spotted skunks and is composed of four extant species: S. gracilis, S. putorius, S. pygmaea, S. angustifrons.

Still Life at the Penguin Cafe

Still Life at the Penguin Cafe is a ballet choreographed by David Bintley and featuring music composed by Simon Jeffes, founder of the Penguin Cafe Orchestra. It is also the title of the accompanying album. Geoffrey Richardson co-wrote one of the pieces.The ballet's debut production in 1988 was performed by The Royal Ballet at Covent Garden, in England. The ballet was conceived by David Bintley (at that time resident choreographer at Covent Garden), who approached Simon Jeffes about the music that was to be used in the choreography. The music for the ballet was drawn from several musical pieces composed by Jeffes before the ballet was conceived, composed during the period 1981 to 1987. Most of the pieces were originally written for small ensembles, consisting of, for example, violin, cello, guitar and piano. Jeffes orchestrated the pieces for the ballet, and in the Royal Ballet production, they were performed by a full orchestra. The ballet was filmed in 1988 by London Weekend Television and commercially released. The name of the ballet is derived from that of the Penguin Cafe Orchestra, which was Simon Jeffes' ensemble.

Stink badger

Stink badgers (Mydaus) are a genus of the skunk family of carnivorans, the Mephitidae. They resemble the better know members of family Mustelidae also termed 'badgers' (which are themselves a polyphyletic group). There are only two extant species - the Palawan stink badger (M. marchei), and the Sunda stink badger or Teledu (M. javanensis). They live only on western islands of the Malay Archipelago: Sumatra, Java, Borneo and (in the case of the Palawan stink badger) on the Philippine island of Palawan; as well as many other, smaller islands in the region.

Stink badgers are named for their resemblance to other badgers and for the foul-smelling secretions that they expel from anal glands in self-defense (which is stronger in the Sunda species).Stink badgers were traditionally thought to be related to Eurasian badgers in the subfamily Melinae of the weasel family of carnivorans (the Mustelidae), but recent DNA analysis indicates they share a more recent common ancestor with skunks, so experts have now placed them in the skunk family (the Mephitidae, which is the sister group of a clade composed of Mustelidae and Procyonidae, with the red panda also assigned to one of the sister clades). The two existing species are different enough from each other for the Palawan stink badger to be sometimes classified in its own genus, Suillotaxus.

Striped hog-nosed skunk

The striped hog-nosed skunk, Conepatus semistriatus, is a skunk species from Central and South America (from southern Mexico to northern Peru, and in the extreme east of Brazil). It lives in a wide range of habitats including dry forest scrub and occasionally, in rainforest.These white-backed skunks inhabit mainly the foothills and partly timbered or brushy sections of their general range. They usually avoid hot desert areas and heavy stands of timber. The largest populations occur in rocky, sparsely timbered areas.

It is a nocturnal solitary animal, feeding mainly on invertebrates, small vertebrates and fruits.

Sunda stink badger

The Sunda stink badger (Mydaus javanensis), also called the Javan stink badger, teledu, Malay stink badger, Malay badger, Indonesian stink badger and Sunda skunk, is a mammal native to Indonesia and Malaysia. Despite the common name, stink badgers are not closely related to true badgers, and are, instead, Old World relatives of the skunks.

Western spotted skunk

The western spotted skunk (Spilogale gracilis) is a spotted skunk of western North America

Extant species of family Mephitidae
Conepatus
Mydaus
Mephitis
Spilogale
Extant Carnivora species

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