(I did a quick search but did not find this question. Please forgive me if it’s been asked before…I think it’s pretty obvious, but who knows?)
There is nothing I enjoy more on warm, summer nights than to take Poochie on a nice stroll through the neighborhood. However, I’d guess that we average about two skunk sightings during each outing. We haven’t been sprayed yet but I think we’ve come pretty close. (I thought Poochie was sniffing a trunk at one point; I didn’t see the skunk behind it, about two inches from Poochie’s snout!)
Each skunk sighting is more or less the same…I’ll catch a quick flash of white out of the corner of my eye, confirm it is indeed a skunk by the tell-tale waddling, and then Poochie and I will steer clear.
Here’s my question: why aren’t skunks just black in color? Why in the world would Mother Nature allow a big white stripe (which might as well be a neon sign) to evolve on the back of a nocturnal rodent? If I’m so quick to pick out the creature, then surely its predators are even better, yes? Does the stripe have some evolutionary benefit? And wouldn’t an entirely black skunk be more fit for survival?
Mind, Poochie and I are not complaining. But we are damn curious.