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The Evolution Of The Striped Skunk

3 pages in length. The Mephitis mephitis – also known as the striped skunk – shares a vast and colorful history with its other Mustelidae family members, all of which have historically been classified as weasels. This classification comes from the distinction of an absent upper fourth premolar carnassial notch and upper second molar, in addition to expanded scent glands. Interestingly, the evolution of these characteristics is suspected to be more a response to convergence rather than ancestral; in short, the skunk's evolution is thought to be derived from a blending of several traits instead of what existed in their ancient predecessors. As such, identifying the precise evolution of the striped skunk is not a cut-and-dried objective for scientists, inasmuch as it shares some characteristics with otters and badgers, as well. Bibliography lists 10 sources.

File: LM1_TLCSkunkS.rtf

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