How to Identify a Skunk Skull

Skunk skulls differ from most rodent skulls.
Skunk skulls differ from most rodent skulls. (Image: Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images)

Skunks are a part of the rodent family. When they are alive, they are characterized by long black fur with white stripes and, of course, by the foul-smelling secretion they release when under attack. However, their skulls are similar in appearance to skulls of other rodents and they can be difficult to distinguish. There are a few distinct characteristics of skunk skulls that can help you determine if the skull is that of a skunk.

Examine the shape of the skull. Skunk skulls are horizontally long and oval shaped. The shape is similar to that of a river otter, but the skunk’s lower jaw is thicker and the river otter's skull is two or three few inches longer.

Check the upper jaw shape. Skunk’s upper jaws are square in shape.

Check the teeth of the upper jaw. Skunks have only one back molar (flat teeth in the back) on each side of the jaw, whereas other carnivores have two back molars.

Check the lower jaw. It should have two back molars on each side of the jaw instead of one like the upper jaw.

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