Ask Mar­i­lyn

Chattanooga Times Free Press - Parade - - Advertisement - By Mar­i­lyn vos Sa­vant Send ques­tions to mar­i­lyn @ pa­rade.com

Do skunks ever spray other skunks? Or are they im­mune to the smell?

—John Cim­bal­ista, Pen­ndel, Pa. Skunks spray only as a last re­sort and would rather re­treat from dan­ger. They wrst hiss or growl, click their teeth, stamp their feet and raise their tails in an ef­fort to warn off preda­tors. And as they rarely feel greatly threat­ened by other skunks, they sel­dom spray each other. Yet skunks have a wne sense of smell, and when they do spray an­other skunk, the de­ter­rent is ef­fec­tive! For ex­am­ple, a fe­male will oc­ca­sion­ally spray a male who pesters her too hard for a date, and he slinks away, of­fended. Think of it as the op­po­site of per­fume.

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