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Tattoo designs - S >> Skunks

Skunk tattoo design ideasSkunk Tattoos - The skunk commands respect from humans and would-be predators alike, who give it a wide berth. It's distinctive fur, with black and white stripes along the back and over the skull, is enough to warn others to keep their distance. And for good reason, or else.

The skunk is associated with self-respect. It meanders along at its own pace exuding self-assurance, but it can't see clearly beyond three metres, which makes it an all too common road kill. In fact, skunks rarely live beyond three years.

As a powerful totem, it teaches fearlessness and calmness in the face of challenge. It is also an emblem of peace, since its famous last line of defence does no lasting damage. It's solitary habits suggest self-knowledge and discernment, and avoiding others when necessary. Its silence signifies caution and discretion. Other skunky symbols are introspection, patience and gentleness.

If the skunk feels threatened, it will perform a foot-stamping ritual accompanied by a hissing sound. If that fails as a deterrent, the skunk will deploy its famous stink bomb. It lifts its tail - where the perfume glands are located on either side of the anus - and fires away with accuracy up to four metres. It's a sulphur-based odour unmatched in the animal kingdom, and can cause temporary blindness and nausea. Due to the scent's oily base, it's not easily or quickly removed. Even the skunk can't stand it.

A skunk tattoo might suggest non-aggressive self defence. But most critics are going to immediately attach the connotation of 'smell', and react accordingly. Another association with this cat-sized mammal is the competitive term 'skunked', meaning an overwhelming defeat, usually implying the loser has been kept off the scoreboard. If you identify with the skunk, you are confident, easy going, and sensual. Balance in attraction and repulsion are basic lessons offered by this striking and energetic creature.

One of the most well-known symbols of this striking little creature is the Warner Bros. cartoon, 'Pepe Le Pew', a romantically-challenged skunk who won't take no for an answer.. 'Pepe' was penned by Chuck Jones and Michael Maltese, voiced by the legendary, Mel Blanc and was a favorite of the Looney Tunes and Merry Melodies series of cartoons. Pepe appeared in 17 cartoon shorts and was awarded an Oscar from the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences in 1949 for Best Animated Short Film.

Waner Brothers cartoon skunk Pepe le Pew

There are several different species of skunk, the most common being the striped skunk, but it is the spotted variety that entertains its audience by doing a handstand and then firing over its own head. All skunk species are solitary creatures, although females sometimes like to form communal dens to protect their young. They forage for food during the twilight hours, and although they don't hoard food themselves, they're not above sneaking off with the weasel's hard-earned stash. Otherwise, they lie in wait or slowly stalk their prey, since they're not too fast on their feet. Fruit, insects, reptiles and small mammals comprise much of their diet.

Images of skunks

Skunk Inspiration Gallery - Click here to get inspired!The skunk's most deadly natural predator (after man & his automobiles) is the great horned owl, which dives from above and whisks away any baby skunks before mother can get her tail up. Other potential foes are the coyote and domestic dog. Skunks are found throughout Canada, Mexico and the United States and can be a carrier of rabies. They don't mind making their homes in burrows or nests created by other animals, or taking over abandoned buildings and hollow logs.

Get inspired by some really great images and photos in our Skunk Inspiration Gallery

See also: Animal Tattoos Index

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Tattoo designs - S >> Skunks

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