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MammalMAP: Striped polecats

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Q: What is black, white, striped and cute all over?

A: A striped polecat

These adorable bundles of fur are also known as African polecats or to our purveyors of Latin, Ictonyx striatus. This mammal has a skunk-like appearance. It is mostly black with four prominent white stripes running from its head to its tail. Striped polecats are small – typically 60 cm including a tail that makes up a third of their length. The IUCN classifies striped polecats as a species of least concern as they are common in their distribution range and have relatively few threats.

Now before you decide to pick up a striped polecat, a word of warning. When these little tykes are annoyed or harassed, they emit the most foul-smelling anal secretion. The Guinness Book of Animal Records claims a striped polecat used its unique ‘cologne’ to keep nine lions at bay while it scavenged their kill. Maybe it was a distant relative of Looney Tunes’ Pepé Le Pew?

For more information on MammalMAP, visit the MammalMAPvirtual museumorblog.

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Ictonyx

provided by wikipedia EN

Ictonyx[1] is a genus in the family Mustelidae (weasels). It contains two species :[1]

References

  1. ^ a b Wozencraft, W.C. (2005). "Genus Ictonyx". In Wilson, D.E.; Reeder, D.M (eds.). Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference (3rd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. pp. 532–628. ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0. OCLC 62265494.
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Ictonyx: Brief Summary

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Ictonyx is a genus in the family Mustelidae (weasels). It contains two species :

Saharan striped polecat (Ictonyx libycus) Striped polecat (Ictonyx striatus)
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