Chemical Defense of Skunks


Skunks are famous for their nasty spray. Skunks can produce and spray mixtures with very unpleasant smell and ability to cause irritation and even temporary blindness. As a result, skunk’s spray is a powerful defensive weapon by which they can even repel bears. Relatively-volatile sulfur-containing chemicals such as (E)-2-butene-1-thiol, 3-methyl-1-butanethiol and S-(E)-2-butenyl thioacetate which are among thiols or thioesters are responsible for unpleasantness of skunk’s spray.




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