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Animal Themes
Mammals
Skunks



Skunks
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 4 to 7
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   7.59

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    popularity, discharge, notorious, offspring, hence, self-defense, despite, mechanism, ultimate, refuses, extremely, lifestyle, mating, based, eye-catching, rearing
     content words:    South America


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Skunks   

1     Skunks are, without a doubt, the stinkiest of all animals! Skunks have eye-catching fur coats of black and white. This gives a clear warning to any animal that dares to come near them. If the intruder refuses to leave the skunk alone, it will receive a spray of foul-smelling liquid!
 
2     Skunks have two scent glands under their bushy tails that produce the famous smelly fluid. When they spray, they aim at the intruder's face. The oily, yellowish liquid is designed not only to make their enemy stinky for days to come, but also to cause irritation and temporary blindness. Fortunately, skunks don't spray without giving out a fair amount of warning. They hiss, stamp their feet, handstand, and raise their fluffy tails. They only discharge if absolutely necessary. Skunks can squirt the liquid more than ten feet away.
 
3     This remarkable self-defense method shields skunks from hungry predators like foxes. But it has one fundamental flaw. It only works on animals that can smell. So if skunks are up against an enemy that lacks the sense of smell, they are in trouble. Skunks' worst nightmare is to run into a great horned owl. Owls hunt in silence in the nighttime and are not deterred by skunk spray.

Paragraphs 4 to 7:
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Animal Themes
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Mammals
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