Two species of skunk are found in California, the striped skunk (Mephitis mephitis), which is the most commonly found species, and the spotted skunk (Spilogale gracilis). Both are members of the weasel family and are equipped with a powerful and protective scent gland that can shoot a potent and pungent liquid as far as 6 to 10 feet. The secretion is acrid enough to cause nausea and can produce severe burning and temporary blindness if it strikes the eyes.
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