Why do skunks stink?

Photo_1_skunk

Sometimes when a person feels scared they shiver or start to sweat. A skunk does a similar thing when they feel scared or threatened but their way of showing fear is a lot smellier than a humans. Skunks spray a special kind of liquid from two glands (parts of the body or organs that produce something important, humans have them too) that are located underneath their tail. They can spray as far as 25 feet, that’s half a school bus!  The reason their spray is so smelly is because there is a special kind of chemical in the spray called thiol. Skunks learn how to start spraying when they are only a few weeks old but they really get the hang of it when they are around 3 months of age. If you or your dog are unlucky enough to get sprayed by a skunk, the story is that you are supposed to take a bath in tomato juice. This doesn’t actually work and you may just end up smelling like a stinky tomato!

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