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small, carnivorous, nocturnal mammal, Ictonyx striatus, of the weaselweasel,
name for certain small, lithe, carnivorous mammals of the family Mustelidae (weasel family). Members of this family are generally characterized by long bodies and necks, short legs, small rounded ears, and medium to long tails.
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 family, found in dry regions of Africa. It is also called striped weasel and striped polecat. Although it strongly resembles the North American skunkskunk,
name for several related New World mammals of the weasel family, characterized by their conspicuous black and white markings and use of a strong, highly offensive odor for defense.
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, a member of the same family, it is more closely related to the true polecatpolecat,
carnivorous mammal of the weasel family. The name refers especially to the common Old World polecat, Mustela putorius, found in wooded areas of N Eurasia and N Africa.
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 of Eurasia. The zorilla has thick fur with black and white markings, and a long, bushy tail. Its anal glands secrete a pungent fluid that can be ejected as a defense against predators. It is avoided by other animals. It lives in rocky crevices and hunts by night, feeding on small reptiles and rodents. Other African members of the weasel family, also called striped weasels, are more weasellike in appearance, with long, slender bodies. Zorillas are classified in the phylum ChordataChordata
, phylum of animals having a notochord, or dorsal stiffening rod, as the chief internal skeletal support at some stage of their development. Most chordates are vertebrates (animals with backbones), but the phylum also includes some small marine invertebrate animals.
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, subphylum Vertebrata, class Mammalia, order Carnivora, family Mustelidae.



(Ictonyx striatus), a predatory mammal of the family Mustelidae. Body length, 28–38 cm; tail length, 2(K30 cm. The zorilla is black with broad white longitudinal stripes and has a white tail with a black head with white spots. There are anal glands which secrete a foul-smelling substance, which it sprays to protect itself from enemies.

The zorilla is found in Africa south of Senegal, northern Nigeria, Sudan, and Ethiopia. It is a ground animal, although it climbs trees and swims well. It is a solitary, nocturnal animal that feeds on murine rodents and large insects. Each litter contains two to three young. The zorilla is useful to man because it destroys harmful rodents.