Q:

How rare are albino skunks?

A:

Quick Answer

Researchers believe albinism occurs in one out of every 10,000 mammal births, which makes the albino skunk a true oddity. Albino skunks, like all albino animals, fare poorly in their natural habitats and may even have a survival rate that is close to zero, since their color makes them stand out to predators.

Continue Reading

Full Answer

Albino skunks are very rare in the wild and tend not to survive past infancy. In captivity, albino skunks can be found in zoos and sanctuaries. They are also sold as exotic pets that are prized for their rare color, since the albino skunk is much rarer than its white or cream-colored skunk cousins.

The albino skunk can be differentiated from a white skunk by its pink eyes. A true albino animal lacks the ability to produce melanin. Without melanin to provide color, the fur is white and the skin and eyes are pink. Albino animals commonly suffer from other health issues, often because the albinism occurs as a result of inbreeding.

Learn more about Mammals

Related Questions

  • Q:

    How long do skunks live?

    A:

    The lifespan of a skunk in the wild is 2 to 4 years, although skunks in captivity have been recorded living up to 15 years. As many as 90 percent of all baby skunks die during their first winter.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Where do skunks live?

    A:

    The common striped skunk is a North American native found throughout the U.S. and into Central Canada and Northern Mexico. Some skunk species, like the hog-nosed skunk and spotted skunk, can be found further south in South and Central America.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Why are skunks black and white?

    A:

    A skunk's coloring is not meant to blend in to its surroundings. Unlike the coats of many other animals, it is not used for camouflage. Research suggests that this distinct coat color may serve as a warning to other predators that the black and white animal has a chemical defense, or that it is particularly fierce.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What are different types of skunks?

    A:

    There are many different species of skunk, which break down into four distinct genera; species in the genus conepatus include the hog-nosed skunks, while the genus mephitis contains a hooded and striped skunk, the genus mydaus contains two types of stink badgers, also the newest members of the skunk family, and the genus spilogale has the spotted skunks — eastern, western, southern and pygmy. These skunk species share basic coat colors of black and white and reside around the world, although most live in the Western Hemisphere. However, despite belonging to the same family, different species of skunks live in various locations and show variations in behavior and physiological characteristics.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore