skunk skull and bits of tail .. what killed it???

ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5July 13, 2012

being MI.. i have ruled out dingos .. lol ...

speculate at will ...

mink are known in the area ... what are my other options???


ps: man you gotta be hard up to go after these foul smelling animals.. and that is why i ask .. its a curiosity

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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

This is a good question for Friday the 13th!

Let's see, what about one of the birds of prey? Maybe an owl since skunks are nocturnal. I remember seeing Great Horned and Barred Owls fairly frequently when I lived in Michigan. I'm just thinking of big owls.

Um, coyote, fox, and hungry dogs also come to mind.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2012 at 1:49PM
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I'd go with the raptors as well......birds do not have a well-developed sense of smell and as such, are not put off by the possibility of the skunk spraying. Several sources indicate owls are the primary natural predators of skunks.

But they can be caught and consumed by other meat eating mammals....depends on how hungry they are and how easily they can sneak up on the skunk without getting blasted. I also seem to remember a Gator Boys or some such TV episode showing an alligator snapping down a skunk like candy. But I guess maybe not too many gators in MI either :-)

    Bookmark   July 13, 2012 at 3:36PM
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Laughing at the though of it, but you any mortal creature, skunks do die of natural causes occasionally too.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2012 at 8:13PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

We never think of death by natural causes, do we? Lol! It's the same with all of the plant questions....sometimes plants die 'just because '.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2012 at 8:40PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

natural causes??? .. but for the lack of the rest of the bones .... one would suspect they would all be there ...

something ate all but the skull ...

back a few years ago.. i had dead possum only the tail and the spine were left ... like 3 years running ... within 10 feet of the same place.. weird ...

then late one winter we found a dead mink frozen solid in a snow bank next to the road ... daughter paid to have a pelt made ...

the taxidermist said.. they are one of the meanest.. pound for pound ... predators ... and she said it wouldnt surprise her.. that it was taking out the possum ... and that the spine and tail.. would be the only thing left ...

anyway.. great conversation ... its fun to speculate ...


    Bookmark   July 17, 2012 at 8:44AM
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Probably the work of more than one critter, Ken, a primary that killed it, maybe an owl, that ate the tender bits, then other scavengers that got the rest, crows maybe and other meat eaters that dragged off and scattered the bones. Insects would finish off the rest.

I'm a "bone collector" and I often find skulls intact with no other bones in sight. I found a dead raccoon in the woods once, and kept track of the progress of Nature's disposal system. In about 3 weeks, it was all gone, bones and all, EXCEPT the skull. (which I kept.)


    Bookmark   July 25, 2012 at 10:34AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Of course, you're exactly right, Sandy. It would have been interesting to watch the parade of critters.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2012 at 10:59AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

well hot spit.. didnt even consider multiple culprits ..

go figure


    Bookmark   July 25, 2012 at 3:02PM
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Yep..........On occasion, I'll find a really large bone, thigh from a deer, or skull from a groundhog, with no other bones around, and in the absence of the rest of the skeleton, you wonder if where you found a bone that size is the spot of death. Dogs and other carnivores will carry bones around, long after the flesh is .....well......'nice'. On memorial day, when I went to the cemetery to put flowers on my grandparent's grave, right on top of gramps was the skull, tail, and pelt of a small raccoon. OMgosh, did that creep me out, like it was some sort of omen. I kicked it aside, and there were no other bones present, it was like a dried, deflated football.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2012 at 2:34PM
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